By Jim Hintelmann
RED BANK – Most all-star games, regardless of the sport, are played at a slower pace with few players going all out in order to avoid injuries.
Sunday’s game, however, was a notable exception, with players from both teams playing at peak intensity.
The Monmouth County All Stars prevailed, 10-6, to continue its domination against the Ocean County All Stars. Monmouth has won 11 of the previous 13 meetings, including the last three, in the series that began in 2001.
“This game reminded me of the regular season,” said Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) standout Brendan vanRiemsdyk, who won the Monmouth County Most Valuable Player Award for the second year in a row. He finished the game with a hat trick and an assist.
“Nobody was taking off,” he said. “It was heated out there but in the end there was a lot of respect between the two counties. We just left everything out on the ice.”
Monmouth County never trailed after jumping out to a 5-1 lead in the first period. Highlights included goals by vanRiemsdyk, Bobby Hampton (CBA), and Todd Goehring of Red Bank Catholic (RBC.)
“This was a great game,” said RBC goalie Mike Cosentino,
who helped RBC win its first Shore Conference championship last winter. “There was a lot of intensity out there and it was a thrill to be playing in this game. It was also a lot of fun.”
Cosentino will play club hockey this fall and college hockey the following season.
“I’ll be playing for the Philadelphia Revolution,” he said. “Practice has already begun.
“Last winter (at RBC) was a great season,” Consentino said. “We came back from a rough junior year and turned a lot of heads. It was an unbelievable season that I’ll never forget.”
Ocean rallied on Sunday with three straight goals to cut the deficit to 5-4. A later goal by Ocean County’s Chris McDermott of Point Pleasant Boro made it 7-6, but a goal by Wall’s Jeff Morgan and two more by vanRiemsdyk put the game out of reach.
“This was a good way to go out,” vanRiemsdyk said. “It was great to be out there with some of my (CBA) teammates. It was a Middletown connection.
“I’ll be playing for the Islanders Hockey Club and raise my game to another level,” vanRiemsdyk said. “Then I’ll be playing at the University of New Hampshire the following year.”
This was Red Bank Regional (RBR) ice hockey coach Colin Morris’ first time coaching the all stars. “It was just a matter of letting everybody play and having a good time.
“VanRiemsdyk had a great game,” the coach said. “He’s someone you can count on for production but he had some good linemen. We had just one practice but got to know the players.”
Proceeds from the game benefit Hometown Heroes in Toms River.