On only a few days rest, CIRIUS Fitness Ice Hockey drove to Jersey Shore Ice Arena through a snowy Sunday night to lace up the skates once again. With the bad weather knocking out a few players just before game time, CIRIUS skated with seven forwards and four defenseman. The new face in the locker room, Mike Nill, would be playing wing and center in his CIRIUS Fitness debut. Dan Mazzucola stepped up to play defense in the absence of Ryan Nolan.
The team jumped out to an early lead within the first two minutes of the game on Joe Cirincione's goal after Justin Brunt seemingly kept the puck in the zone, an arguably controversial call. The offense continued to roll and scored five more goals taking the lead by four at the end of the first period. Mazzucola, Susca, Fischer, and Johnson all played well in the defensive zone and the back-checking forwards were providing extra support, all of which were a focal point after the OT loss last Thursday.
The second period proved to be more difficult as the opposing team climbed back to a one goal deficit, 6-5. CIRIUS managed to score one more goal ten seconds before the end of the second to bring forth another two goal lead. Chemistry continued to build though, with some new offensive talent and Mazzucola's presence on the blue line.
In the third period, CIRIUS looked strong while their opponent looked tired chasing them around in the corners. Mike Nill clearly added some scoring depth as he had a number of great chances in his eventual three point debut game. He quickly clicked with Brendan Keelen and some of his former teammates and the offense began to pick up where they left off in the first period.
Leading 8-6, CIRIUS cashed in another four goals to finish off the game with a final score of 12-6, setting a team record for most goals scored in one game (previously 11 during 2013 season).
Needless to say, scoring 12 goals is impressive. Three players recorded hat tricks (Brendan Keelen, George Noble, Joe Cirincione) and several others recorded multiple point efforts as well. Will Hanley continues to pick up assists (one in particular, a brilliant soccer-like kick of the puck to spring George Noble for a breakaway goal), Dan Mazzucola and Chris Johnson both scored and recorded two assists while tending the blue line, and Mike Nill assisted on at least two goals while scoring one of his own.
The team joked in the locker room after the game, "A hat trick of hat tricks.." It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's pretty special.
The win brings CIRIUS to 3-2 on the season. They will play again this coming Thursday night for a chance at picking up another tally in the "W" column.
*** Mike Nill will soon be wearing #88 for CIRIUS Fitness ***
2015 PLAYER STATS
2 – Chris Johnson
4 - George Fischer
5 – Joe Cirincione “A”
13 – Rob Susca "A"
19 – Brendan Keelen “C”
20 – Keith Meyers
21 – Dave Keelen
27 – Mike Pavlou
31 – Jay Moye - G
35 - Andrew Rammairone - G
42 – Eric Fischer
50 – Will Hanley “A”
52 – Scott Dinella
82 – Ryan Nolan
88 - Mike Nill
98 – George Noble