By Art Chill
WAYNE, NJ – Home ice has always been a place for Ramapo to excel. The Roadrunners were 7-0 going into the Stockton game. Being undefeated at home has come to an end. Ramapo hoped to avenge the overtime loss to Stockton in Atlantic City two weeks earlier. However, retribution will have to wait until next season. The Roadrunners started out strong but, as the game progressed, their play went from being listless to frustrated. Ramapo scored two goals by the three-minute mark of the first period. Stockton opened with a slashing penalty at the 30 second mark followed by a tripping penalty at 1:33. While the Osprey were two men down, Chris Dressler opened the scoring at 1:48 assisted by Gary Ragusa and Bobby Mulligan. Still on the power play, Bobby Spetz from Keith Doherty gave Ramapo a 2-0 lead.
With just 30 seconds remaining in the period, a give-a-way in front of the Ramapo net resulted in a Stockton goal. Ramapo had Stockton on the ropes and let them back into the game. The Roadrunners took a 2-1 lead into the locker room. Giving up the late first period goal stunned the Roadrunners. They came out lifeless in the second period and immediately gave up a goal at 1:35. A rejuvenated Osprey team tallied their third goal at 4:59 to take a 3-2 led. Ramapo finally woke up and knotted the game at 3 at 12:27 on a power play goal by Luke Campomenosi. Kyle DeBel and Spetz received assists. All three Ramapo goals were on power plays. The third period was Ramapo’s chance to redeem themselves. However, Stockton came out flying and Ramapo did keep pace. Frustration set in. The result was Stockton scoring three unanswered goals to take a 6-3 lead. A brief ray of hope happened at 13:58. Derek Sabato tallied a goal from Dressler and Zack Toy to cut the Osprey’s lead to 6-4. That should have been the catalyst to motivate the team to comeback. To even make things easier, Stockton took two penalties at 15:02 and 15:52. Even with a 5 on 3 advantage, Ramapo could not come back. The tempo of the game was morbidly slow due to unrelenting stoppages. There were 21 minor penalties and 3 major penalties called in the game. The Ramapo juggernaut that averaged over seven goals a game prior to the Empire Classic Tournament has only been able to score slightly over 3 goals a game. Hopefully, the time off for the winter break is what the team needs to get back on track. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all. See you next year.