The road to their first ice hockey state championship begins tonight for the Glen Rock Panthers when they take on Jackson Memorial in a second round Public B state playoff game at the Ice House in Hackensack. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
Glen Rock (18-3-4) is the No. 1 seed in the Public B bracket and received a first round bye in the tournament. The Panthers last played a week ago, when they defeated Northern Highlands in the Big North Gold Cup final, to capture their fifth league title. Jackson Memorial (16-5-1) is the No. 16 seed in the tournament and defeated No. 17 Rumson-Fair Haven, 7-2, in their first round matchup on Monday.
The Panthers, who may be battling rust after six days without a game, will need to be wary of an upset; the tournament’s No. 2 seed, Northern Highlands, who some were anticipating being the likely opponent for Glen Rock in a potential state championship final, lost to underdog Mahwah, the No. 18 seed, 3-0 on Thursday. Mahwah, coincidentally, is the only common opponent Glen Rock and Jackson Memorial faced this season. Glen Rock beat Mahwah, 3-1 on Dec. 3 and again, 5-2 on Dec. 17; Jackson Memorial beat Mahwah 2-1 Nov. 17, in the second game of the season.
Glen Rock will be led by senior captain and first line center Jake Kinney, who leads the team in goals (22), assists (23). and points (45). Senior right wing Peter Cassidy is second in goals, with 18, and tied with linemate Matt Maselli for second in points, with 33. Maselli’s 20 assists are second-most on the team. Junior right wing Eddie Corvelli is fourth on the team in scoring with 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists), followed by junior left wing John LaMacchia (9-16-25) and senior defenseman Leo Pawlika (8-16-24).