RED BANK — One will never truly understand their capabilities until they have been tested.
Will Herrington certainly didn’t having a working knowledge of his own skill set until Monday evening’s non-divisional tilt with Rumson-Fair Haven.
MAKING A PLAY: In the waning minutes of the third period and his Point Boro club (2-1-1) in a dire situation — trailing Rumson (0-2-0) by a goal and in the midst of a penalty kill — Herrington felt the urge to take matters into his own mitts.
With just over six minutes to play, Herrington scooped up a loose puck at center ice, raced into the offensive zone and turned the opposing defenseman inside out with a deke into the slot, before pulling the puck onto his backhand and ladling it under the crossbar to knot the contest at 4-4, the score by which this game would end.
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“I just kind of improvised and made it all up as I was going along…I’m really not that kind of player,” Herrington explained. “I’m more of fore-checker and a grinder. But I knew we needed a goal, and it was the play I had to make at the time.”
SURPRISING HIMSELF: Though Herrington’s modesty was in full effect in the post-game, as those on hand knew this was more than just “a play’ he had to make…but rather, something you would see on Sports Center’s Top 10 Plays.
It was an effort that surprised the sophomore centerman, and an eye-opening experience to say the least.
“To pull something like that and to help us get a point on the road, it’s definitely a confidence booster for my game. And it gives me the confidence to try and be a bigger contributor in the next game,” said Herrington, who now has three career goals at the varsity level.
PROUD FAMILY LINEAGE: If you recognize the last name, it’s because the moniker Herrington is somewhat synonymous with Point Boro ice hockey, as the Herrington family has seen all five of their sons — Evan, Owen, Dan, Will and the program’s longtime manager and Brick Stars Challenger Hockey Club standout Ryan Herrington — don the black, white and gold.
Holding up the family name is an added responsibility for the sophomore, and a task first-year Panthers coach Steve Plancey says Will is doing wonderfully.
“It was an individual effort that was single-handedly all Will Herrington,” Plancey said of the sophomore’s game-tying goal. “As a sophomore I can’t say enough about his work ethic, passion and dedication to this program. He’s a Point Boro Panther through and through, and epitomizes everything we want this program to stand for.”
“As one of five brothers who have been part of this team, Will has been a part of this program long before he put the jersey on, watching great successes and great failures from the stands. He’s been through so much already. So he knows what it means to be here. He knows what it takes to help us be successful on and off the ice. And he shows it every night.”
SCORING ROUNDUP: Herrington’s tally was the lone goal of the third period, and followed a pair of second period Bulldogs goals by Rowan Goldin and Chase Dorworth that staked Rumson to a 4-3 advantage heading into the final frame.
Rumson and Point Boro traded goals in the first period, as Christian Danielczyk opened the scoring for the Bulldogs, before freshman Matt Buccino jammed home his first career marker on a rebound off a Tyler Griffin shot.
Goldin’s first of the game put the Bulldogs up with 7:50 to play in the opening period, before Herrington closed out the period with his first of the game, knocking home another rebound left out in front of the crease.
Ryan McCabe followed with a second period goal to make it a 3-2 Point Boro lead, beating Rumson’s junior keeper Sean Ryan, who made 25 stops in the game. Ryan’s counterpart, fellow junior John Meyer, steered aside 12 of 16 shots faced.
IN OTHER SHORE CONFERENCE GAMES
CBA 2, Seton Hall Prep 0: The Colts (3-1-0) continued their strong start to the 2017-18 season on Monday with a shutout of Seton Hall Prep, moving to 2-1-0 in Gordon Conference play. Junior netminder Jake Brown stopped all 31 shots faced to improve his save-percentage to .951 in two starts (following a 46-save effort in a 4-1 loss to Don Bosco Prep). Two-way sophomore defenseman Chad Schneider opened the scoring with a power play goal in the first period, ahead of Liam Noonan’s team-leading third tally of the season, which came with just under eight minutes remaining in the opening frame.
Toms River South-East 9, Lacey 1: The Toms River cooperative (2-1-0) outfit picked up it’s second win of the season over the Lions (0-2-0) in this non-divisional meeting, a winning effort that was fronted by Brandon Coyle, who registered a four-point night and his first career hat trick. Casey Jacoby added two goals, while AJ Graziosi, Armone Markland, Shandon Robinson and Zander Taaffe each lit the lamp. Santo Trapani logged his first career goal for Lacey, while goaltender Ryan Thompson stopped 63 shots for the Lions.