OP Hockey Celebrates Seniors With Win Over Nutley

OP Hockey Celebrates Seniors With Win Over Nutley

Will Moran, Sports Editor

The hockey season is coming to a close, but the OP Puck Rams have shown no signs of slowing down. On Sunday, the Rams honored the seniors on senior night by securing a 3-1 win over Nutley. Will Moran hammered home two goals which put him at 15 goals on the year. Jeff Jarvis contributed one goal and one assist and Aidan Sidlowski made 19 saves as the seniors of OP made sure the state playoffs were still in reach for the Rams. The Rams are one win away from clinching a state playoff berth. 


Before the big Senior Night tilt, the Rams gathered at Union Sports Arena at 5:30 for a team dinner. The dinner consisted of chicken, pasta, pizza and salad among other things. At dinner, the boys talked and let loose a little before having to focus for the game. Coach Tafel gave an inspiring speech just before the Rams dressed for warmups. He emphasized playing for the seniors and giving it 100% for the guys who had led OP hockey for four years. After a great meal with a side of inspiration, the Rams headed out for warmups.


After warming up and dressing for the game, the boys headed out on the ice and skated towards the bench. They stood tall on the bench and clapped in support of the seniors as they were honored in a pre-game ceremony. The Rams faithful also showed support for the seniors as Jack Holt, Pat Windels, Miles Madigan, Jeff Jarvis, and Aidan Sidlowski were honored with thunderous applause. 


The Rams knew, however, that this Senior Night would not be a success without a win. So, after the ceremony was over, the boys were strictly business and were focused on getting the W for the seniors.


Unfortunately, the first period got off to a slow start for the Rams. They didn’t have much offensive zone possession or pressure in the first five minutes of the game, and it ended up costing them. Nutley capitalized on a defensive breakdown by the Rams. The score was 1-0 through the first five minutes. 


The Rams found life, however, from the stick of Jeff Jarvis. After Jarvis chipped the puck by the defender in the defensive zone, Luke Jacobello skated up the ice with Will Moran on a 2 on 1. Jarvis hustled down the ice to make it a 3 on 1 and after Jacobello’s shot bounced off the pad of the goalie, Jeff crashed the net hard and slammed the puck home. The home crowd went crazy and the Rams were tied after a goal from their captain. The score after 1 period was 1-1. 


The Rams had time to think during the intermission and knew they were going to need multiple goals to win the game. 


So, the Rams came out in the third with tons of energy because they knew that they needed more goals and physicality to win the game. The Rams mustered up plenty of shots for the first few minutes of the period, but were unable to get them past the opposing goalie. 


Finally, over five minutes into the second period, Will Moran stole the puck from a Nutley defender and fired the puck on net from the top of the circle. The puck squeaked past the goalie on the glove side and went into the net. The Rams faithful once again went crazy as the score was 2-1. 


In the third period, the game remained mostly back and forth until Will Moran hit Jeff Jarvis with a stretch pass giving him a breakaway. Jarvis made a forehand to backhand deke and Nutley’s goaltender made a pad save where Will Moran put in the rebound. This would give the Rams a 3-1 lead securing the victory. 


In all, it was a very successful and exciting night for the seniors. Sidlowski had an impressive game between the pipes, and Jarvis found the back of the net. As the season comes to an end, Oratory Hockey wants to thank their seniors for their commitment and immense contribution to the team.