January 7, 2014 at 6:55 AM
MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Livingston Lancers and Montclair Kimberley Academy have created a recent rivalry. Last year, the Lancers beat out MKA in the McInnis Cup Championship. However, this year; Livingston fell short in the early-season matchup.
Every time the two face-off against one another, the game is close, but now MKA is ranked number 12 in New Jersey and would prove to be a force. This game, played on Friday, Jan. 4, at MKA’s home ice, Clary Anderson Arena, would prove to be one for the ages.
The first period was dominated by Montclair Kimberley. Senior Brendan Pepe scored the opening goal, assisted by James Buckley and Zachary Schaller. Livingston didn’t seem like their normal dominant selves.
The second stanza opened up with Pepe’s younger brother, Devin, finding the back of the net. Lancer fans’ confidence was all but gone. Was the foreign ice the issue for the Lancers? Were they ill-prepared for the ever-improving MKA skaters? Livingston’s Joe Lilien silenced any doubts with a late second period goal to bring the deficit to one.
From then on, Livingston put on a clinic. Captain Cole Friedfertig commanded the defense and delivered hit after hit, and goalie Brian Lilien stopped any more MKA attempts in the third period. Lilien finished off the game with a 94 percent save rate, stopping 30 shots.
Tal Finberg began the third with a quick goal, and ended up scoring twice in the game. Josh Delseni and Phil Edelman each scored one and Steven Orciuoli finished off the game with an assist.
Editor’s Note: On Jan. 6, the Lancers beat number 15 in the state, Robbinsville, 2-1, without the benefit of having star player Tal Finberg in the game.