By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr.
Matthew Schultz scored his first hat trick of the season with three goals as the Ocean-Shore ice hockey team defeated Monroe High School 6-2 on Thursday night. Schultz is one of the team’s captains this season and has been playing varsity all four years.
Schultz attends Shore Regional High Schools and along with nine other Blue Devils who join the nine Spartans from Ocean Township High School who comprise the ice hockey that was started five years ago. Dave Smith is the head coach who is assisted by Mike Ryan, Mike Salum and Devon Ribsam.
The team competes in the Class B North division of the Shore Conference and had a 12-14 record last year. “It was a nice bounce back for us,” said Smith. The night before the Monroe game Ocean-Shore suffered a tough 5-3 loss to South Brunswick.
“The two games were played very similarly, with us outshooting and mostly outplaying our opponent,” said Smith. But in the game against South Brunswick, the Ocean-Shore squad made a few mistakes that cost them the game. “In the win over Monroe we were essentially able to reverse the score by eliminating costly break-downs and soft goals.”
Eric Bolsch, junior at Shore, started the scoring on Thursday night with a first period goal. That was followed by Schultz, who plays center, stepping up and getting the hat trick. “He also had an assist. During the loss on Wednesday night he also had a goal and assist,” added Smith.
Also getting a goal and assist in the win over Monroe was Dave Newcomb, senior from Shore. According to Smith, Newcomb had two goals in the loss to South Brunswick. The other goal in the win over Monroe was put in the net by Ocean senior Tyler Harlow.
“This was the third consecutive game in which we played a strong third period, and this has been something we’ve been working,” said Smith. The coach also added that he has been preparing his players for better on defending better on the backcheck and around their own net. “We are receiving the expected contributions from a strong core of upper classmen, and our emerging group of sophomores. Our freshmen are exceeding expectations and contributing nicely to the effort.”
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