Mahwah Skates to a 2-1 Win Over Arch Rival Ramsey
Thunderbirds defeat the Rams for the second time this season
After defeating Ramsey 1-0 back on December 23, the Mahwah Thunderbirds took to the ice to face off with their arch rivals for the second time this season on Friday night.
“Any time Mahwah and Ramsey get together you’re going to have some fireworks out there,” said a happy Mahwah coach Kevin Sabella after the Thunderbirds knocked off the Rams 2-1.
It’s the second time this season that Mahwah has defeated Ramsey and it also accounts for the only two losses on Ramsey’s record.
“It’s a friendly rivalry,” said Sabella. “I teach over there [in Ramsey] and I know these kids. They all grew up together playing club [hockey], but once you step out on that ice… All bets are off.”
For Mahwah, this game was one they have been waiting for since December.
“We have been preparing for this one all season,” said the Thunderbirds’ goalie, Sean Scannell.
“We knew we were going to have to keep our legs. We knew that they were going to come after us.”
The Thunderbirds were able to stay on par with the Rams as they battled toe-to-toe through a scoreless first period.
Ryan Magner got Mahwah on the board first when he picked up a loose puck on the right side and blasted in a shot to give the T-Birds a 1-0 lead early in the second period.
Getting his team on the board first was big according to Magner.
“That’s definitely the goal I’d choose to score of any all season,” he said. Taking the early lead in this one was important considering how close the game was played during their last meeting.
Mahwah came out in the third and added a second tally early in the period when Derek Jordan won a one-on-one battle behind the net and centered the puck to teammate Luke May for the backhander that turned out to be the “game winner.”
Ramsey’s Vincent Pedulla later picked up a goal for the Rams to cut the lead to 2-1.
Mahwah was able to fight off the heavy attack applied by Ramsey in the closing minutes of the game to preserve the victory.
After the game, Coach Sabella talked about his goalie Sean Scannell who came up big as he stopped 25 of the 26 Ramsey shots. Sabella said that during the week, Sean had asked if he could miss practice to pay a visit to his goalie coach.
“It was like going in for a little mid-season tune up,” Sabella explained. “It sure showed tonight. He played his angles great and he was all over the rebounds. Sean is a very underrated goalie in this county.”
With tune-ups complete, the Thunderbird’s are running on all cylinders and will be looking to keep pace with Ramsey as both teams get ready for perhaps a third meeting down the road in the playoffs. There may be a few more fireworks to come.
The Thunderbirds will be back in action on Sunday at 6:15 pm when they skate against Northern Valley-Demarest at the Ice Vault.