The Bridgewater-Raritan hockey team was hoping the third meeting with Ridge be the would the charm for its first win in the series. But Ridge captain Matt Zarabara scored an unassisted goal with less than seven minutes to go in the game to secure a tie.1st 2nd 3rd FINAL Ridge (12-1-2) 1 0 1 2 Bridgewater (11-2-2) 1 2 0 2
On the annual hockey "Pink Out Night," two of New Jersey's premier high school teams met at the Bridgewater Sports Complex.
Starting quickly, after a Ridge turnover deep in the offensive end Bridgewater drew first blood with an unassisted goal scored by Stephen Cleary just 1:57 into the game. Later in the first period, Eric Menzel was hovering over Bridgewater goalie Bobby Esposito when he took a pass from Matt Wilson and into the net.
At the start of the second period, only 1:04 in, Alec Caseiro took a pass on the right side from Will Dimock and slid it past Ridge goalie Robby Fenton to put Bridgewater up 2-1.
And that is how it stood for nearly 23 minutes with both teams playing at a fast pace moving the puck from end to end without success. That was until Matt Zarabara took the puck on the right side near mid-ice heading to the goal. "It was kind of a loose puck I picked up in the defensive zone and I was fortunate enough to control it," said Zarabara. "I was trying to shoot it between his legs because he's a good goalie and he was screened and fortunately it went in."
THEY SAID IT
"Every time we play them it feels like Ridge just keeps getting better every single period we play them and the pressure gets a little tougher. We have a young group of players and that is the area we struggle in right not, finishing games. And we had trouble finishing this one. We had a lot of good opportunities but we still gave up too many to them. A tie is a decent result against them, a top 20 team. I going to guess we might see them again sometime." - Bridgewater coach Patrick Alvin
"Ridge has always been a tough game for us. Ever since my freshman year, we've beaten Ridge twice in four years. They always give us a good game. Every time we play them it is a really emotional game. It is always a really big game. It is always circled on our schedule and always circled on their schedule. No matter how the teams are doing in any given year, it is always a close game between both of us. It is always fun playing Ridge, but at the same time it is tough if you lose or tie like we did. We wanted to win real bad." - Bridgewater captain Teddy Sweeney
"We knew coming into this game it was going to be a huge game for both of us. We know that it is a 45 minute game and anything can happen, any second something can go wrong for any team." - Bridgewater assistant captain and goalie Bobby Esposito
"We played them twice already this season and lost to them twice. A tie, not happy with it, but a tie is a tie and I will take it." - Assistant captain Brett Goldstein
"It was a great game . Two evenly matched teams and that's what happens all the time. It was really good, it was fun." - Ridge coach Tim Mullin, Sr.
"It was definitely a good game. Coming off the big game against Morristown and then having these two hard games in a row, I didn't think we had our legs under us at the beginning of the game and I thought we had to pick it up. To come out with a tie is not that bad, but obviously we wanted to win the game." - Ridge captain Matt Zarabara
Bridgewater will travel to Warinance Ice Rink to play Summit next Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Ridge will play Pingry next Wednesday at 4:35 p.m. at Bridgewater Sports Complex.