Senior center Matt Maselli scored two goals and had an assist and fellow seniors Johnny LaMacchia and Eddie Corvelli each had a goal and an assist as the Glen Rock High School hockey team opened its 2017-18 season with a 4-2 victory over West Milford Sunday at the Ice Vault in Wayne.
Senior goaltender Ryan McAuley made 22 saves as the Panthers began their quest to win a second consecutive state title. Glen Rock captured its first state tournament championship last March and finished with a record 22-3-3 while winning the Big North championship and finishing as runners up to Don Bosco in the Bergen County Tournament. To match those achievements, the Panthers, No. 2 in The Record’s Top 25 and No. 8 in the nj.com’s Top 20 in the state, will have to find a way to move forward without Jake Kinney, the school’s all-time leading scorer, and Peter Cassidy, who were the top two scorers last season, as well as defensemen Colin Morrow and Leo Pawlika.
West Milford (0-2) had opened its season Saturday with a 10-1 loss to the newly combined Wayne Hills-Wayne Valley squad, but they opened the scoring with 10:03 left in the first period. LaMacchia and Maselli, the team’s co-captains, scored 59 seconds apart to give Glen Rock a 2-1 lead after one period. West Milford tied it, 2-2, early in the second period, but Maselli scored a power play goal with 3:47 left in the period and Corvelli scored an insurance goal midway through the third.
The team’s next two games will be Friday at 7 p.m. against Ridgewood and Saturday at 7:45 p.m. against Seton Hall Prep (No. 6 in the nj.com state rankings). Both games will be at the Ice House in Hackensack.