The Renegades opened up their season with a tough 9 out of 11 day training camp with 3 pre season games in where they went 2-0-0-1.
On Saturday Sept. 9th the Rens held their EHL Premier Home Opener with a 4-0 victory vs the Jersey Wildcats. A wild and exciting home opener included the players entering the ice skating through the smoke machine with a professional spotlight entrance followed by Renegades Owner Cliff Graziano Sr. dropping the Ceremonial 10 year anniversary puck to the Wildcats captain and Renegades forward and grandson Nick Graziano.
Scotty Schnell (Renegades youth player) scored the 1st goal of the 2017-2018 campaign 9 minutes into the game and he followed it with the 2nd goal of the game 5 minutes later with assists coming from Brandon Kwestel, Sasha Pace(Renegades Youth Player) and Jon Kwestel.
Tom Brady followed up in the 2nd period with a beautiful power play goal set up from Alec Dugan and Nick Graziano (Renegades Youth Player) 6 minutes into the 2nd period. 9 minutes into the 3rd period Nick Monticchio scored a gritty, hard-working rebound to make it 4-0 for the final tally of the game with assists from Mason Jenne and Brian Frister. Starting goaltender Jon Szynalski pitched a shutout on the opening night stopping all 26 shots he faced.
Co-Head Coach Cliff Graziano said “The boys came out flying and never took the foot off the gas. We understood that the majority of our team never played Jr hockey before and the boys rose to the challenge and we are very proud of them for that."
The next afternoon the Renegades traveled to Middletown NJ to face off against the NJ 87’s (a new franchise of the EHLP). After having a 2 goal lead on a slapshot from Nick Graziano to start the game with the assist coming from Anthony Zito. A few minutes later Graziano connected again this time on a 2 on 1 with Alec Dugan feeding Graziano for a timer to the inside post.
A few minutes into the 2nd period Tom Brady buried a power play goal from Jon Kwestel and Nick Graziano to give the Renegades a 3-0 lead. But then the 87’s stormed back to score the next 2 goals on what the Renegades coaches can only describe as “inexperienced mistakes made by 1st time Jr players not knowing how to hold a lead”. Alec Dugan then struck on a short handed breakaway goal to make it 4-2.
The 87’s then scored 2 unanswered goals in the 3rd to tie it up. With just 2 minutes left to play in regulation a broken face-off play resulted in the 87’s goal where an unfortunate bounce of Defenseman Jon Kwestel's skate trickled into the Renegades net to give the 87’s the 5-4 and the final tally of the game.
“We as a young team took it for granted that we had 2 and 3 goal leads and we got away from our game. It’s an unfortunate loss, but a learning experience for sure for these kids.” said Co-Head Coach Pete Rossi.
The Renegades will be back in action this Saturday Sept. 16th at Flemington Ice Arena at 8:30pm vs Applecore’s EHL Premier team before traveling to Brewster, NY to play them the next day.
For more info and box scores of the 1st 2 games see links below: