Shore Conference, NJ Ice Hockey – Three Stars for Friday, Feb. 12
In an homage to a National Hockey League tradition dating back to the 1936-1937 season, Shore Sports Network will be selecting three standouts from each day of Shore Conference ice hockey. The Three Stars of the Day will be posted each morning for the previous day's games.
Ryan Bechutsky, Sr., Fwd., Manalapan
As the College of New Jersey hockey Twitter account pointed out, it's amazing that Bechutsky can even hold a stick that's this hot. For the third straight game, Bechutsky notched a hat trick to give him nine goals in his last three games as the Braves pounded Southern, 7-1. What makes this win even more remarkable is that Manalapan was playing with a short bench, had not practiced and Southern was riding a four-game winning streak. Bechutsky's three straight hat tricks is a program record and his five career hat tricks are one behind the program career record of five set by Tom Caccia. Bechutsky now has 11 goals and six assists in seven games this season.
Brett Pritchard, Jr., Fwd., Rumson-Fair Haven
It took four games for Pritchard to score his first goal of the season, but it appears that first strike has opened the floodgates. After scoring twice in a win over Middletown South earlier in the week, Pritchard netted two goals again as the Bulldogs defeated longtime state powerhouse Morris Knolls, 3-1, at Mennen Arena. Pritchard scored at 2:22 of the third period to give Rumson a 2-1 lead and added another goal with 48 seconds left to clinch the victory. Rumson defeated three state top-20 opponents (Westfield, Middletown South and Morris Knolls) during the week.
Vincent Vassallo, Jr., Goalie, Howell
Vassallo made 29 saves in a 4-0 win over Brick to earn his first varsity shutout. He was particularly stellar in the first period when the Dragons peppered him with shots.
Jack Bilancione, Sr., Goalie, Catholic (St. Rose/RBC/Donovan)
Bilancione made 30 saves when St. Rose knocked Central from the ranks of the unbeaten in a 3-2 victory. Central had been averaging 7.7 goals per game.
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