December 5, 2002
March 21,
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Paramus takes win in early season rivalry game

Thursday, December 5, 2002

By J.D. Kamp
NJS.com Correspondent

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Joel Miller had a goal and two assists as Paramus moved to a perfect 2-0 on the young season.

HACKENSACK - Less than a week after it started, the 2002-03 ice hockey schedule produced one of the better rivalries in North Jersey. When two schools located in the same town also share the same division, things are bound to get turned up a notch like they were on Wednesday night when Paramus and Paramus Catholic got together at the Ice House.

Tied at the end of the second period, Paramus scored twice in the third to spoil PC's season opener, 4-2. Thomas Legregni and Joel Miller had the third period tallies for the Spartans, who improved to 2-0 on the season after a win over defending North Conference Red Division champion Lakeland.

Denny Wirth made 21 saves, including one on a penalty shot, to earn the victory for Paramus.

Paramus, which reached the round of eight in the public school state playoffs last season, including an upset of defending champion Bayonne, fell behind early as PC was the aggressor in the first period. But, playing in just his second game as Paramus' starting goalie, Denny Wirth stopped all but one of the Paladins' nine first period shots.
On a power play midway through the opening period Paramus Catholic's Chris Lisi turned some hard work in front of the net into game's first goal when he knocked home his own rebound on the power play. PC had a chance to extend the lead but Wirth stoned Sean Loftus on a penalty shot early in the second period to keep his team close.

Chris Lisi (right) celebrating PC's first goal of the night.

Paramus tied it up at 1 with 3:52 to go in the second period and opened a flurry of three goals in the final four minutes of the period. Bryan Smith settled his own rebound then roofed the second shot over the left shoulder of PC goalie Chris Ceransky.

Smith goal tied the game and Paramus took its first lead when senior captain Richie Galgano stuffed home a Miller pass for a 2-1 Spartans lead. But then the rivalry crept in and with Ivan Zgambic in the box for roughing and Scott McNerney in for a trip, PC took advantage of the two-man advantage with 12 seconds to go before the horn when Eric Morin tied the game with assists going to Loftus and Mike Delamater.

Paramus Catholic goaltender Chris Ceransky stopped 26 shots.

But Wirth, who takes over in net this season for Tom DiSalvatore, Paramus' steady goaltender from last season, did not allow another goal the rest of the way as the Spartans stayed perfect on the young season.

Wirth finished with 21 saves, just three in the third period controlled by Paramus' defense, while Smith and Miller, who each had a goal and two assists, led the Spartans offensively. Ceransky made 26 saves for PC.

Paramus' tough early schedule continues on Friday against St. Joseph Regional followed by two more league games against River Dell and Pope John. Paramus Catholic will look to even its season record when it faces Pope John on Friday in the first half of a home-and-home series.

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