Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Matos Sparks Mahwah in Debut

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Matos Sparks Mahwah in Debut

Article excerpt

WAYNE - The 30-day wait seemed like forever, but Michael Matos finally had the chance to suit up for Mahwah on Sunday in the 2012 Ice Vault Holiday Classic. Not only did he make his presence felt, he gave the Thunderbirds a needed shot in the arm.

The junior transfer from Don Bosco scored the first Mahwah goal in the first period and assisted on the go-ahead goal as the Thunderbirds climbed above the .500 mark with a 4-2 win over Ridgewood.

"It was a long time," Matos said of the month he had to sit out because of the NJSIAA transfer rule. "I just wanted to get out there and help my team. Now we can't say this guy's out or that guy's out; we just have to move forward, play good hockey and win games."

That's pretty much what they did against Ridgewood (7-4), a team on a big slide after its fourth loss in a row. It looked like they might break out of their funk when Zach Kinkella scored 9:23 into the opening period, but Matos picked a good spot to get his first goal.

"I kept the puck on the wing and I went around the defenseman and went with the backhand," Matos said. "Sometimes you just have to keep working hard and that's what we did there, keeping the puck in the zone."

Matos got the second assist on the go-ahead goal, passing to Zach Toy at the right point. His shot was redirected in front by Zach Orton into the left corner just inside the post at 11:16 of the second period.

Tyler Gutierrez made it 3-1 at 2:34 of the third, poking the puck past Ridgewood goalie Sean Treppedi (26 saves) with a group of bodies all piled up at the top of the crease. Paul Curtiss then put the game away with a goal at 8:47, offsetting Kinkella's second of the game off a Mahwah turnover in its own zone.

The win gave the Thunderbirds a sweep of their three Classic games and earned them first place in one of the divisions.

With four more games before the Bergen County tournament is seeded, Mahwah needs only a split to make it eligible, but Matos believes there's more than just eligibility at stake.

"I think now we have that sense that we can win," he said. "We're only going to get better as we go along."

WAYNE VALLEY 3, PARAMUS 2 -- The Indians won their first game of the season in dramatic fashion, as Nick Hermann converted a rebound of a Justin Nover shot at the left post with 1:12 left in the game. …

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