Montclair, NJ (4/22/11) – Senior defender Dustin Malaszuk (Clifton, NJ / Clifton) knocked the ball from the stick as Kean’s Nick Angrisani (Belle Mead, NJ / Montgomery) was preparing to shoot with five seconds left as Montclair State held off the Cougars, 9-8 to clinch the No. 2 seed in the Skyline Conference Tournament at Sprague Field on Friday afternoon.
Junior attack Tyler Meth (Basking Ridge, NJ / Ridge) scored four goals while senior Bobby Sinicola (North Caldwell, NJ / West Essex) added a goal and three assists as the Red Hawks (8-6) won their fifth straight and finished 5-1 in the league. MSU will host third-seeded Maritime College in the semifinals of the Skyline Tournament on Wednesday, April 27 at Sprague Field at a time to be determined.
Freshman midfielder Richard Cheifitz (Fair Lawn, NJ / Fair Lawn) tallied three goals for Kean (8-6, 3-3 Skyline), which had its four-game winning streak snapped with the loss. The Cougars will face top-seeded Farmingdale State in the semifinals on Wednesday in Farmingdale, NY.
The huge defensive play by Malaszuk ended what was another nail-biter between Montclair State and Kean, who have met six times since 2008 with four of the contests decided by a goal, including back-to-back Skyline Championship Games in 2008 (won by Kean 8-7) and 2009 (won by MSU 7-6).
Montclair State led 4-3 at the half and widened its advantage to 9-4 at the start of the fourth period before Kean came storming back. Brad Mills (Vernon, NJ / Vernon) scored with 10:24 remaining and Angrisani scored 35 seconds later on the man-advantage to make the score 9-6. Cheifitz scored the next two, the second coming with 2:06 remaining as Kean drew within a goal.
The Cougars would win the ensuing faceoff and moved the ball around for a minute before Angrisani’s shot went wide with possession going over to the Red Hawks. Montclair would clear the ball and call timeout, but off the stoppage turned the ball over with 42 seconds to go. Chris Masiulis (Ellicott City, MD / Howard) picked up the ground ball and the Cougars pushed the ball into the offensive zone.
Angrisani got the ball with 13 seconds remaining and was looking to find an open space to shoot. Guarded by two defenders, he would find that space and was ready to fire when Malaszuk checked the ball out of his stick. Robert Glander (Vernon, NJ / Vernon) picked up the loose ball as the clock expired. The forced turnover was Malaszuk’s third of the game.
A 2-0 Kean lead in the opening quarter turned into a 3-2 Montclair State lead early in the second as Meth registered the natural hat trick with the last goal coming with 12:22 to play. Matthew Prongay (Edison, NJ / Edison) scored off a Sinicola assist six minutes later as MSU went ahead 4-2 however Todd Petrone (Princeton, NJ / West Windsor-Plainsboro North) scored 81 seconds before halftime as Montclair State held the one-goal margin at the half.
Montclair State opened up the lead with the first four goals of the third period as Meth, Jack Skeels (Roseland, NJ / West Essex), Prongay and Anthony Rybek (Old Bridge, NJ / Old Bridge) each netted a goal as the Red Hawks led 8-3 with 3:46 left. Petrone stopped the run with an unassisted tally late in the quarter but Sinicola scored on a man-up advantage 1:44 into the fourth quarter.
Rybek finished with a goal and two assists for MSU, which outshot Kean, 38-22 in the contest. Mark Glander (Vernon, NJ / Vernon) had three saves while brother Robert Glander was 7-of-11 on faceoff. Sinicola added six ground balls while defenseman Mike Lade (Randolph, NJ / Randolph) posted nine ground balls.
Sophomore goalkeeper Lane Zierten (Washington Township, NJ / Washington Township) made 14 saves for Kean, which got four assists from Tom Clifford (West Islip, NY / West Islip).
Prior to the start og the game, Montclair State honored its nine seniors - Malaszuk, Sinicola, Glander, Doug Kennedy(Rumson, NJ / Rumson-Fair Haven), Marc Guido (North Caldwell, NJ / West Essex), Dan Rawson (Vernon, NJ / Vernon), Scott Livingstone (Fair Lawn, NJ / Fair Lawn), Ryan Hanhart (Toms River, NJ / Toms River North) andAnthony Dzienkiewicz (Jackson, NJ / Jackson Memorial).