Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Timely Goal and Hughes in Net Lead Paramus Catholic to Win

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Timely Goal and Hughes in Net Lead Paramus Catholic to Win

Article excerpt

HACKENSACK – Paramus Catholic has certainly had its struggles this hockey season. The newly created Egan Division for private school teams has made the Paladins' schedule more challenging, and injuries and other circumstances have often left them with a short bench.

Saturday was typical of their plight. Injuries and club team commitments left them five players short going up against Passaic Valley, and it forced the Paladins to take "keep it simple."

They got the two things they needed most, a superb game in goal by Joseph Hughes and a timely goal late that allowed the Paladins to skate off with a 3-1 win over the Hornets, improving their record to 4-6-2.

"We kept stressing all game that we need to be very basic," PC coach Keith Bland said. "We decided to play some neutral zone trap and try and slow their guys down. They like to skate it up and we kept them from doing that."

The Paladins opened the scoring at 10:03 of the first period, as Ed Walters emerged from a group of skaters in front and poked the puck from the top of the crease into an open right side of the net, his first goal of the season.

The Hornets got that one back at 2:30 of the second period as Kyle McCarthy was set up in open space in front of the net. He skated a bit left and sent a wrister that found top shelf right.

Alejandro Castro had a golden opportunity to put PC ahead 3:04 into the third when a puck caromed right to him just off the left circle. He had a clear shot by Valley goalie Noah Vazquez made the stop.

Passaic Valley then buzzed the Paladin net twice on power plays, but PC goalie Joseph Hughes and the defense were up to the task. Hughes had no fewer than six saves on the three-plus minutes of penalty kill.

"In our situation, we need him to make those saves and he did a great job today," Bland said.

Paramus Catholic finally broke through at 10:36 of the third, as Austin Teats found a seam and skated in front before tucking the puck under Vazquez through the five hole for the 2-1 lead. …

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