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  • Mike Gurnis

More post-game reaction from Randolph's OT win in Public B final

Top seed Randolph claimed its ninth state title in program history- and its first since 2015- after a dramatic 3-2 overtime win over third seed Ridge in the NJSIAA Public B final.


Be sure to check out our game story for a full recap on the game. Below, you can find more reaction from players as well as coach Rich McLaughlin.


COACH RICH MCLAUGHLIN

On the final few minutes and overtime...

“The last three or four minutes, we kind of started to party early. We had a 2-0 lead, usually we can hold onto that. But that’s a good team. They’re all very good, good players, good skaters. They just don’t quit. Timmy (Mullin) gets them going all the time. We don’t like each other. So it’s never-ending. It was a fun game, now, but we made it very hard on ourselves. We came in in between periods. We said listen, we played these guys- we didn’t outplay them the whole time- but we played them for 43 minutes. The last minute-and-a-half, we fell apart. Are we gonna let a minute-and-a-half kill our whole season, or are we gonna pick this thing up? Who’s going to be the man? I guess it was J.T., I gotta tell you, I don’t know who scored.”


"Everyone did their job tonight. We’ve been preaching that all year long. Not everyone’s a 40 goal scorer. Not everyone can do certain things. Guys did their jobs tonight for the most part, except for about two minutes.”


On J.T. Zangara's hat trick...

‘It was a lot of pressure on him, because the last couple of years we put pressure on our top guys. He’s been our top guy since he was a freshman. The last two years we lost. We came here and we lost, and those guys took it personally. They took it hard. Both times, we were seeded one and we lost both times. It hurt these guys. They started to have some doubts. But they worked hard all summer long."


"Some of these guys- Chris Civetta lost 50 pounds. That kind of thing. They really went to it all summer long. It wasn’t just one week. They started, this time last year. They have not stopped since. This senior group has been together since they were six years old. We don’t have any help. We don’t get billets, we don’t get other guys coming. We play with kids who have been playing here since they were six years old. I think that’s what gets us through a lot of big games. We trust each other. They really do trust each other out here.”


On the mindset going into overtime...

“We just had to step up and step over it. Seniors have to play like big boys and carry us. Seniors have to carry us through the thing. We’re one shot away from being state champions. We can’t look back. We can’t look at the last five minutes of the game, we’ve got to look at the next shift. Win your next shift, and we’ll go from there. If everyone wins their shift, we’ll have a good chance.”


On the performance of goalie Gavin Einfeldt...

“He’s a senior, he had a rough state final last year, and we didn’t play well. None of us did. I think it stuck in his head that he had to be a man and be a leader out here. Tonight, he was. Tonight he was a leader. He came up, and we call it playing like a big boy. He played like a big boy. It was a big boy game out there tonight. These guys stepped up and did what they had to do. It was a great way to end it for these seniors. It’s never a great way when you lose, but these guys really deserved to win. They worked really hard the last four years.”


On claiming a state title after losing in its last three final appearances...

“I think it’s on these guys. They were starting to have doubts, are we good enough to get over the hump? We’ve gone, I think it’s five years, and last year’s was the first senior class that didn’t win a state championship in 15 years or so. One of the kids out there, he’s crying. The kid who graduated last year is crying, because he misses this and wanted to be here last year, and it didn’t happen for him. But he was here this year, and he feels like he’s a part of it. We do a lot of- and it sounds cliche- family stuff, but they’re tight. Year-after-year, we’re pretty tight, and it’s a good group of kids that go out and play hockey together. They have fun together, and they work hard together, and good things happen when you do that.”


J.T. ZANGARA

On the team's mindset going into overtime...

"It was rough in the beginning but when we came into the locker room we decided to get back on track. We talked about how we’ve been dreaming about this moment since we were kids. When we walked in and got back on the ice we just brought it back to calm hockey and tried to take momentum back."


GAVIN EINFELDT

On giving up two goals in 35 seconds late to send the game to overtime...

"I’m not going to lie to you, I was really upset. I was trying to keep my cool. It’s just natural in that moment to be upset. You think you have it and they just take it away from you. Going into the overtime, I just knew I had to play my game and trust my teammates to bury one for me."


On getting to celebrate a title with his senior teammates...

"We’ve all been playing together since 2008. We’re all best friends off the ice from school but we all started playing hockey in second grade and ever since we’ve played rec, and Freeze. To us, it’s been everything. We’re super close off the ice. We do everything together and it’s pretty special to win with this group."



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