The Lions started the weekend Friday night by shutting out the defending Champs NJIT thanks to a great performance by Justin Zegel in goal. Zegel, time after time frustrated the Highlander offense who just couldn’t get anything past him. Justin earned the MVP for the playoff tournament and was stellar in all three games.
North nemesis Seton Hall was next and the third ranked Pirates could only muster one goal against the high powered Lion defense and Zegel in net. Justin was very strong again today against Millersville and TCNJ built a 5-1 lead but “Ville” clawed back and eventually tied the game at 5 in the third period. With momentum all in Millersville corner, Nick Lisciandro, as he has been doing all season long, sniped a short side rebound of a Scott Rothlisberger slap shot to bring the Cup to Trenton. Lisciandro, the former Manalapan Brave, has lead the team in scoring all season and came into the playoffs with 31 goals and 27 assists.
Zegel, has been the backbone in net playing over 1,200 minutes in net and 92% save percentage and a solid 3.3 GAA. Former South Brunswick Viking Kush Patel had two goals in the first game of the weekend and had 17 goals and 16 assists in the regular season. The rough and tumble Lion defense featurs some well known NJ home ground talent with Tenafly’s Dan Guglielmo, Ramsey’s Scott Rothlisberger, Toms River’s Liam Coffey, and Northern Highlands Nick Wilechansky.
Wingers Anthony Santisi, John Czarnik, and Ryan Grum have all made major contributions to the TCNJ offense as well as Shaun Peterson and Craig Ismaili. Sophomore Anthony Santisi had a big goal against Seton Hall and John Czarnik’s two goals in the Championship game was outstanding in his first weekend back after suffering a concussion.
JP Stevens goaltender Dave Laub was a perfect 6-0 this season and will most certainly take over for the graduating senior Zegel.
The Lions finished the season 23-7. Congratulations to TCNJ’s Head Coach Joseph Cucci for winning GNCHC Coach of the Year.
The Lions of TCNJ capped off an amazing season with a weekend sweep of the best of the GNCHC and a thrilling 6-5 win over #2 Millersville to take home the Championship.