Hockey: LoPresti twins lead Passaic Valley/Cedar Grove
LITTLE FALLS — When Alex LoPresti scores goals for the Passaic Valley/Cedar Grove hockey team, it tends to happen in bunches – and, lately, in the clutch.
The junior forward collected the game-winner with 48 seconds remaining and added an empty-netter to propel the Hornets past Northern Valley/Hasbrouck Heights, 6-4, Friday night at Floyd Hall Arena.
LoPresti finished with four goals in helping Passaic Valley/Cedar Grove to its fourth win. In the previous three, he scored two, three and two goals, respectively.
The most recent outburst came two games after he netted the winner with 11 seconds to go in a 6-5 victory over Clifton.
The go-ahead tally versus Northern Valley/Hasbrouck Heights (2-1) came on the power play with assists from LoPresti’s twin, Nick, and Sam Giuffrida. The Golden Knights took a penalty with 2:02 to play, at which point the Hornets took a time out.
“We were just told to keep our cool, set up and work the puck around,” Alex LoPresti said. “And I ended up getting the puck in the right position.”
Giuffrida had tied the game with 7:42 left, sparking a 3-0 run by the Hornets (4-3) to end it. Stefan Schimpf chipped in a pair of assists and Dan Lapinski added another.
Alex LoPresti now has 11 goals on the season. Nick LoPresti, a defenseman, remained the team’s top point-scorer by registering one goal and one assist on Friday to up his total to 12 (four goals, eight assists).
“In travel hockey, I do play forward,” said Nick LoPresti, noting his club team also is based at Floyd Hall. “Coming in my freshman year, we had a need on defense, so I told my coach I’ll play wherever he needs me.”
The Golden Knights, who entered Friday having already equaled last winter’s win total, held a 40-33 edge in shots. They staged a 3-0 rally of their own spanning the second and third periods en route to a 4-3 lead.
Senior Darren Katz ignited the run by scoring on the power play with 4:09 to go in the second. Ryan Travers netted his second breakaway goal of the game 3½ minutes into the third, and less than two minutes later, Andrew Basin capitalized on a power play thanks to a Katz assist.
John Geraci, Jonathan Zeiri and Mike Masterson assisted on the Northern Valley/Hasbrouck Heights goals.
“This is the first game in seven that we got outshot,” Hornets coach Mike Sheehan said, “so we’ve just got to keep working.
“Our biggest concern going forward is getting secondary scoring,” Sheehan said. “We’ve got to figure out a way that our second line can be more of a threat for us… other than that, we’re in every game.”
Goalie Noah Vazquez made 36 saves for Passaic Valley/Cedar Grove, while his counterpart Jack Fitzgerald stopped 27 shots for the Golden Knights.