WALL TOWNSHIP — It was a varsity debut he dreamt about making, but the dominant result was well beyond anything Kenny Maxwell could visualize.
On Thursday evening at the Jersey Shore Arena, the freshman winger was the standout star in a 9-0 opening night victory for Ocean Township (1-0-0) over non-conference foe Edison.
“I was working hard for this, waiting for this moment, and I guess it really paid off,” said Maxwell, who logged five goals and assisted on another in the lopsided decision. “It’s a great start, but it’s one game and now i have to continue to work to keep it going throughout the season.”
Maxwell’s first career marker came with 1:11 remaining in the first period, and was set up by Dylan Haar — who started the scoring at 6:34 of the opening frame — as the junior winger drove into the slot and took on three Edison defenders, before dropping off a pass in the slot for the freshman rifle through blocker-side for a two-goal Ocean Township advantage.
Maxwell opened the second period scoring just 34 seconds in, when he intercepted a clearing attempt by the left boards, wheeled into the high slot with a rifle release beat the keeper over the glove to make it a 3-0 game.
After freshman forward Ryan Convery registered his first career point with a primary assists on a Patrick Brannen tally, Maxwell completed his first career hat trick, when Haar accepted a pass down low, walked up the left boards and threw a pass at the crease that the freshman tipped through the nearside pads to make it a 5-0 lead at 1:55.
“It’s great to work with [Maxwell], he’s just an insane player,” said Haar, who logged a five-point evening of his own with two tallies and three assists. “It’s so much fun to share a line with him and work with him, because it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before, with his passing and his shot. I’m really excited to work with him and should make for a lot of great things in the future.”
Maxwell recorded the helper on Haar’s second marker of the night, before Gavin Cherella forced a turnover at the blue line, stickhandled around two Edison defenseman and went bar down with a wrist shot from the slot that made it a 7-0 affair.
Maxwell rounded out his impressive debut with two more goals to put a cap on this 9-0 victory, and much like Haar, coach Dave Smith is excited at what the future holds for his first-year standout.
“To be honest, I heard only a little bit about [Maxwell] before he came to the team, and it was all positive things, but I didn’t hear a lot,” Smith said. “Then we got him in practice, and to see him go is to know that you have a very special player. What you saw tonight with his vision, his anticipation, his speed, these flashes of brilliance…he’s the total package and we can’t wait to see how he continues to develop with Dylan and his teammates. And [Maxwell] is smart enough to know that it only gets harder from here, because the competition is going to get tougher…and the word is out about him.”
NOTE: Coverage of Maxwell’s debut and future coverage of Ocean Township is brought to you by the Ocean Township High School Hockey Club. For more information on head to www.oceanicehockey.com.