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South ice hockey team is establishing itself already Eagles’ top rival Middletown North to claim Mayor’s Trophy

first_img By Warren Rappleyea South ice hockey team is establishing itself already Eagles’ top rival Middletown North to claim Mayor’s Trophy VERONICA YANKOWSKI Middletown South’s Kolleen McCauley tries to pass a West Orange runner during the girls’ 400m at the Meet of Champions at Princeton University Sunday. As the regular season winds down, Middletown High School South ice hockey coach Adrien Thomas is looking for his team to make its mark in the New Jersey Ice Hockey League playoffs. With a 13-2-1 record and a first-place finish in the Shore Conference’s B Division to its credit, the Middletown South program is on the rise in just its second year of existence. In fact, ice hockey is doing well in Middletown as evidenced by the standing-room-only crowd at the Wall Sports Arena for the Mayor’s Trophy game on Friday. The Eagles downed Middletown North in that game by a 7-4 count, as senior forward Jordan Zimmel pumped home six goals, the last into an empty net with time ticking down, to pick up the rare double hat trick. Zimmel’s younger brother, Jamie, scored South’s other goal. Middletown South has succeeded in large part because of the strength of its top two lines, Jordan Zimmel, Matt McCann and Matt Rosenbloom, and the youthful trio of sophomore Jaime Zimmel and freshmen Brendan Keelan and Mike Johnson. Jaime Zimmel leads the Eagles in scoring with 29 goals and 13 assists, while Jordan Zimmel has contributed 15 goals. Defensively, Middletown South has received stellar play from Terrence Corridon and Pat Galindo, a pair of solid, physical blueliners, who hold forth in front of netminders Rob Hilski and Dan Johnson. “We’re a second-year program so we still play a pretty simple game,” Thomas said. “The plan is to get the puck in deep, overload that area, and keep the pressure on. It’s worked pretty well for us because we’re a good skating team, and our players know what is expected.” The results speak for themselves and include wins over Brick Memorial and Toms River North, a pair of established and well-respected programs. “Beating established teams is a yardstick for us,” Thomas said. “We’re still growing and learning, and anytime we can do that, it’s a big plus for our team.” The Eagles’ strong regular-season showing should result in a relatively good seed in the state playoffs. “Our goal from the start was to make the playoffs,” the coach said. “Now we’ve just got to take it one game at a time and try and go as far as we can.” Middletown South has one game remaining, Feb. 10 against Rumson-Fair Haven, before the playoffs begin. Staff Writer last_img read more

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