WAYNE — If ever there is must-see hockey, it’s Friday night.
That’s because Wayne Valley and Wayne Hills tangle for the first time this season at the Ice Vault Arena with the puck dropping at 9 p.m.
With the Big North Conference, Liberty Stripes Division starting to the shape, the game takes on early township bragging rights, but the real test occurs on Feb. 3 when the Mayor’s Cup is up for grabs.
Wayne Valley sharpened its skills for Friday's rivalry game on Sunday with star players Braden Ploehn and Gary Ragusa at the helm.
Ploehn tallied an unassisted goal with 8:05 left in the game giving the Indians a 2-1 victory over Mahwah in Liberty Stripes play.
Ploehn opened the scoring after 66 seconds from Ragusa. Mahwah’s Nick Carabin evened the score at 1 less than a minute later. After a scoreless second period, Ploehn hit for his second marker and senior goalie Joe Sponenburg stopped 26 shots.
Following the Wayne Hills game, the Indians (2-3-1) won’t be in action again until Dec. 23 with Lakeland at 6 p.m. at the Ice Vault.
Meanwhile, Wayne Hills freshman goalie Dan Rinna made 17 saves and did not allow a goal until late in the third period and the Patriots crushed Ridgewood, 6-1, last Saturday in a Big North crossover at the Ice House in Hackensack.
Daniel Mirman scored two goals, and Seth Friedman, Dean Hulbert and Coleman Brennan also tallied for the Patriots, who slotted two goals in each period.
Hills (2-2-1) will close the weekend on Sunday against Paramus Catholic at 3:45 p.m. in another crossover game at the Ice Vault.
Just over three weeks into the season, Glen Rock is starting to separate themselves from the pack. Last weekend, most of the division played in crossover games with the Liberty Stars Division, but Wayne Valley did beat Mahwah to vault into second place.
Things get back to normal for Wayne Valley and Wayne Hills in the Liberty Stripes, including the first of two head-to-head matchups.
The updated Liberty Stripes Division standings:
1-Glen Rock 3-1-0, 6 points; 2-Wayne Valley 2-1-0, 4 points; 3-Lakeland 1-1-1, 3 points; 4-Mahwah 0-2-2, 2 points; 5-Wayne Hills 0-1-1, 1 point.