Friday, April 19, 2024

Pope John Ice Hockey Begins Strong Season With 3-2 Start

Senior Declan Murphy coming into the defensive zone in a game last season. Photo by A. Nowel, 12/2023.

The Pope John Lions ice hockey team began their 2023-2024 season during the last couple of weeks, and it began with success as the Lions went 3-2 in their first five games to kick off the new season.

The start was very promising as senior forwards Robbie Myshkoff and Matt Hughes both continued their successes from last season where they had nine goals and seven assists totaling 16 points and seven goals and 13 assists totaling 20 points, respectively.

The season began on December 7 on the road against the Bergen Catholic Crusaders, but the Lions couldn’t outlast the Crusaders who won the game 5-4. Myshkoff scored two goals in the game, but the Crusaders scored first in overtime to win the game. The Lions returned to the ice the next day, traveling to face the Passaic Tech Bulldogs where they would win 2-0. Sophomore goalie Anthony Conetta earned the shutout with 23 saves.

The 1-1 start to the season was good for the Lions, but on December 13, they would once again fall to the Seton Hall Prep Pirates 4-2. Dropping to 1-2 on the season, they didn’t want to fall further from .500 or a winning record, so when they took the ice against the Paul VI Patriots, the Lions were ready to roar and take the game. This energy caused the Lions to explode for an excellent performance from the entire team, helping the Lions to defeat the Patriots 4-1.

With a 2-2 record, the Lions wanted to continue their winning ways as they took the ice December 18 against the Notre Dame Irish. They did just that as the Lions won 4-1 over the Irish in a dominant performance led by sophomore forward Hunter Parrillo who scored his third goal of the season and earned his first assist of the season during the game. The 2-point night from Parrillo created a boost in confidence from the team as a whole as both Myshkoff and Hughes scored their fifth goal of the season and fourth goal of the season, respectively.

The Lions have shot the puck a lot which means many chances to score, creating a promising future for an experienced Lions team. The 3-2 Lions will have their next challenge when they face the St. John Vianney Lancers December 20 at Skylands Ice World for their home opener. Puck drop will happen at 6:50 p.n.

Andrew Nowel, Contributing Sportswriter
Contributing Sportswriter

Currently enrolled at Canisius University in Buffalo, New York, Andrew Nowel is an up-and-coming journalist/photographer and broadcaster. He wrote sports' articles for his high school, Pope John XXIII Regional High School. Andrew has worked with Morris Sussex Sports in sports broadcasting and analyzes professional sports in his free time. Andrew and his friend Ryan have a podcast that talks about professional sports and Canisius Athletics. Andrew also runs his own website about Canisius Athletics. He strives to inform the people about local sports and the young athletes of our communities from Buffalo to New Jersey and everywhere.

Andrew has provided previous and remarkable sports stories and photographs for the Ridge View Echo since he was 16 and enrolled at Pope John High School.