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OP Ice Demolished Verona

Photo Credits to: Patrick Gist

Will DeMilt, Staff Writer

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As Oratory Prep’s ice hockey team continues to acclimate themselves to a tougher division it would only make sense that the team would face hardships early on in the season. However, this has not been the case. Oratory has dominated, outscoring opponents 11-4 in the first two games of the season.  The first game, against Johnson, was a grudge match as the two teams chirped from both sides establishing a rivalry that will seemingly last until the end of the season according to captain John Meehan. Despite a gritty game filled with cheap shots and penalty calls, Oratory came out on top defeating the Crusaders 6-4 in a statement victory.

On Friday, Rowdies walked into the Union Sports Arena by the dozens not knowing what to expect as Oratory battled Verona-Glen Ridge in the second game of the season. To say it was a battle was an overstatement.  Oratory dominated all facets of the game with John Spitznagel scoring just 14 seconds into the game. This feat initiated an uproar in the Rowdy section as students began chanting “14 seconds, 14 seconds,” buying real estate in Verona’s left wings head.  The jeers were plentiful as James Crapser scored an electric goal 4 minutes later which was followed by an eccentric but overwhelmingly hype celebration that provoked the Rowdies even more. As the Rams continued to play it seemed as if they maintained possession the whole game and when they were not, they were laying kids out and stopping shots. The latter came especially easy for a sophomore goalie, Greg Lahr, who stopped a ridiculous 44 shots without letting any into the back of the net.  

After the first intermission, the Rowdies were hyped up and were ready to run through a brick wall. Captain John Meehan satisfied the Rowdies demand’s and responded with a goal 51 seconds into the second period prompting yet another celebration amongst the Rowdies. But Captain Meehan’s work was not done yet as he scored on a beautiful feed from Spitznagel in the last 10 seconds of the period. Verona’s team morale was low and the Oratory Prep hockey train was not slowing down for anyone. In the final minutes of the third quarter, Spitznagel scored on a feed from Dom Maida solidifying the win and crushing Verona’s dream of winning a game against the Rams.

Oratory Prep brought their A game on Friday as not only the players and coaches performed well, but so did the Rowdies. Captain John Meehan said, “Getting the people out to the games not only encourages us to play harder and faster than the other team but also gives us a sense of reward when we do capitalize, knowing our Rowdies from our school have our backs.” He also added that the Rowdies should expect a hard-fought and entertaining season and encourages Rowdies to come out and support the team on a regular basis. In all, if the first two games of the season are any indication what is yet to come, the Rowdies and OP hockey are in for a memorable year.

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