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Kinnelon's Dan Writenhour brings the puck up ice against Montclair during Friday's hockey action at the Clary Anderson Arena. Colts skated to impressive 3-0 victory. (Photo by Gene Nann-nannphoto)
Battle-Tested Kinnelon Skates With Authority
While Registering Road Win At Montclair
By Paul Bruno
MONTCLAIR- There isn’t quite a sense of desperation enveloping Kinnelon at this point, but the Colts are definitely intent on playing determined hockey now.
With just two wins in their first seven games in the highly competitive Mennen Division the Colts know every shift can be critical.
“We are feeling now like almost every game is a must-win,” said Ryan Less. “It’s getting time where we have to start winning games and today was a huge out-of-conference test for us. We really wanted to win this game.”
The senior forward was instrumental in that process, scoring two goals while senior goalie Derik Hoffman turned aside all 21 shots he faced as Kinnelon skated past Montclair, 3-0, before 200 on Friday at Clary Anderson Arena in Montclair.
The decision was the second straight for Kinnelon (3-5), which prior to that had suffered consecutive losses to Mennen opponents Morris Knolls, Morristown and Morristown-Beard – the Public A, Public B and co-Parochial champions, respectively, last season.
The loss was the first for Montclair (6-1), which had earned an impressive 4-1 victory over Essex County rival Nutley on Wednesday.
“They played like a hungry team,” Montclair coach Pat Verney said of Kinnelon. “We have a ton of respect for Kinnelon and all those Mennen Division teams, and what they have to do game in and game out. We came off an emotional, physical game against Nutley and Kinnelon is the best team we’ve played. We didn’t play up to the level that we can play.”
The Mounties needed to establish their disciplined pressure against Kinnelon but found it difficult against the Colts’ talented group of speedy defensemen. Led by senior defenseman Dan Writenhour, Kinnelon’s first-pass on the breakouts were crisp and quick.
It was Writenhour who ignited Kinnelon’s first goal, lugging the puck swiftly out of his own end and dashing along the left wall before sending a pass into the slot for a goal by senior forward Doug Caci with 2:39 left in the first to give the Colts a 1-0 lead.