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WALL TOWNSHIP – St. John Vianney had a double dose of motivation when it took the ice versus Manasquan on Wednesday night.

The Lancers had played well over their last two games, just not well enough in a one-goal defeat and then a tie  - both against Middletown South - where the tying goal was scored with 19 seconds left. But even more important than getting back in the win column was a chance to exact a bit of revenge, albeit in a much different setting. The last time St. John Vianney and Manasquan squared off it was the Warriors emerging with the Shore Conference Dowd Cup championship after a fluky goal from center ice beat the buzzer.

This rematch with Manasquan proved to be just the remedy St. John Vianney needed to find its scoring touch and pull out an important victory, but it was more than just that. The Lancers were flat-out dominant from start to finish.

Giuliano Fazio, Alec Osher and Rob Calice scored goals in a span of 2:05 in the first period and the Lancers, ranked No. 2 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, erupted for five goals in the third period to author a statement-making 8-2 victory over No. 5 Manasquan. Senior forward SJ LeComte scored twice, Osher had a goal and two assists, Fazio notched a goal and an assist, senior forwards Ryan Kulaszewski and Pat Condello, junior forward Rob Calice and sophomore forward Dom Mazzella each scored once and freshman defenseman Dakota Vastola had three assists.

“I don’t think we’ve played bad the last two games but we just haven’t been able to bury the puck and we’d come out slow and have to fight to get back in the game,” said St. John Vianney head coach Mick Messemer. “Tonight we got up early, didn’t let off the gas and everyone played hard.

“And we were extra motivated tonight with the way last year ended in the Shore Conference finals, so I think in the back of our mind this game was always circled.”

“Tonight we had a lot of revenge on our minds,” LeComte said. “We’ve been thinking about that game for a whole year.”

Manasquan was coming off a two-week pause of team activities because of exposure to COVID-19 and looked like a team that hadn’t played a game in 14 days. The Warriors' two prior results this season were a 4-0 loss to No. 1 Christian Brothers Academy and a 2-2 draw with No. 4 Rumson-Fair Haven. They managed just six shots through the first two periods and scored their two goals in the final three minutes of the game after St. John Vianney had pumped eight goals into the back of the net.

The definitive stretch began in the latter half of the first period. A great individual effort by Fazio saw him gain control of a puck in a neutral zone, move around a defender and scored with a backhander over Manasquan goalie Conall Dougherty. Just over a minute later, Osher went end to end with a nice move at his own blue line and a perfect shot just under the crossbar to make it 2-0. It was Calice’s turn 49 seconds later when his shot from the top of the right face-off circle found its way past Dougherty.

The flood gates opened in the third period, starting with LeComte’s first goal when he found the rebound of a shot by Colin Gartz for a power-play goal at 1:13.  The lead grew to 5-0 when Mazzella converted a pinpoint pass from Fazio at 4:53 and exactly three minutes later, LeComte finished a great breakout with a silky dangle around two defensemen for a commanding 6-0 advantage.

St. John Vianney had a 5-on-3 advantage and converted when Condello tipped in a shot by Pat Haines at 9:34. Kulaszewski capped the scoring for the Lancers with a goal at 11:20.

Manasquan broke the shutout when Braden Ryan scored an unassisted goal at 11:41. Jonathan Vogel then scored at 13:41.


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