Friday night was a winning proposition for the Ridge High School ice hockey team on all fronts _ not only did the benefit game bring in a haul of toys for Operation Santa Jersey Shore, but the boys skated their way to a 3-2 victory over perennial rival Bridgewater-Raritan.
The toys, collected in lieu of regular admission, will be delivered to Operation Santa, according to information from the team.
The team had opened the season with a 3-2 win against longtime Skylands Conference rival Montgomery in a game last Saturday night, according to the team's website.
Then, on Tuesday, Ridge beat Brick Memorial 7 to 2 to up the season record to 2-0.
But Bridgewater-Raritan is always a team to beat. The hard-fighting teams were tied twice on Friday's game at the Bridgewater Sports Arena.
To start the scoring, Ridge went up 1-0 on a first period goal by Shrey Khetarapal, assisted by Cole Sanderson and Geoffrey Vogt.
In the second period, Bridgewater got on the scoreboard to tie the game 1-1 with a goal by Kevin Grace, assisted by Mark Kinsey. Less than three minutes later a pass from Matt Zarabara to Kyle Leddy put the Red Devils back in front 2-1. Leddy then added to the scoring with a goal with only 32 seconds remaining in the second.
The third period was an all-out battle. Ridge played great defense but the Bridgewater squad broke through and scored the Panthers' second goal of the night as Teddy Sweeney got the puck deep in the Ridge defensive zone and Mark Kinsey scored for the Bridgewater.
But the Red Devils managed shut down the Panthers for the remaining eight minutes to earn the 3-2 victory. Robbie Fenton had 17 saves for Ridge. Mickey Avenoso had 16.
Upcoming games for the next week are Skylands Conference opponent Hillsborough at 8:45 p.m. on Friday at ProTecHockey Ice Skating Rink in Somerset and a non-league game against Red Bank Catholic at 8:30 p.m. next Saturday.