Lawrence drops two more to Hightstown

Ice hockey

By: Jim Green
   The Lawrence High School ice hockey team just can’t find away to beat Hightstown.
   The Cardinals suffered their third heartbreaking loss of the year to the Rams on Monday, falling 4-2 in the consolation round of the Lawrence High School Holiday Tournament at The Lawrenceville School.
   "This one I think we came out a little flat," Lawrence coach Andy Borowsky said. "We didn’t come out as hyped up as I thought we would have been."
   Borowsky was expecting an enthusiastic effort by his troops, who were looking to avenge an overtime loss to the Rams in the first round of the tournament. Instead, Lawrence got off to a slow start and fell behind 3-0.
   "It was the first period that killed us," Borowsky said.
   The Cardinals battled back with goals by Tom Guarrieri and Pat Jaeger to pull within 3-2 but failed to even the score. Hightstown added an insurance goal in the third period.
   Borowsky said he has been disappointed with the lack of intensity his squad has exhibited throughout the season.
   "For some reason, this team doesn’t have the enthusiasm," he said. "It’s something I’ve been trying to instill in them since day one."
   The loss dropped Lawrence to 0-8 on the season.
   "I really didn’t expect this team to be 0-8," Borowsky said. "This is the best team I’ve had since I’ve been here. But we still have eight games left in our season. Our goal when we started the season was to be .500, and I told them (the Cardinals) I still want that."
   The Cardinals easily could have won their meeting with Hightstown in the first round of the tournament Saturday. In fact, Lawrence scored three times in the second period — including two goals by senior Josh Azer — to take a 5-4 lead heading into the third. However, Hightstown’s Marc Silverman was able to net the equalizer, sending the game into overtime.
   "It was tough because both teams played a great third period," Borowsky said. "We went into overtime, and I don’t think a lot of these guys (on Lawrence) have ever been in an overtime situation."
   With less than a minute left, the Rams’ Matt Cialella scored the game-winning goal.
   "Both teams played great the whole overtime," Borowsky said. "It (the game-winning goal) was kind of a funky shot, and it bounced the wrong way, and it went past (Lawrence goalie) Zion Zate. That was it."
   Borowsky felt his team played well enough to earn its first win of the year.
   "It was just disappointing because they (the Cardinals) played well," Borowsky said. "They worked hard. They came ready to play. There were times when they fell asleep a little bit and laid back, though."
   The Cardinals’ solid effort was keyed by the play of senior captains Azer and Mike Tennant.
   "Josh Azer had a great game against Hightstown," Borowsky said. "He’s one of our captains, and he’s trying to step it up. He’s a senior, and I think he’s starting to realize time is running out, so he’s stepping up. So is Mike Tennant (who had a goal and an assist). That’s what I need my seniors to do."
   Despite the tough losses, Borowsky believes his team is ready to turn the corner.
   "I’m hoping," he said. "We’ve been in this position before when we were hoping to turn things around. But I think the cards are in our favor this time."