Newly-formed line spurs KJS United past Madison in Halvorsen semifinal

By Mike Gurnis

It was during KJS United’s 3-1 win over Mahwah on Wednesday that coach Jeff Myhren made the call to put Anthony Pandiscia, Dylan Fleksher, and Adam Stefancik together on a line.

After one game together, that trio looked like one that had been playing together for years.

The group was involved in six of the team’s eight goals, as top-seeded KJS United took down fourth-seeded Madison, 8-4 in the Halvorsen Cup semifinals at Mennen Arena.

“I think we just kind of worked together more today,” said Anthony Pandiscia. “We jelled a little bit more than we usually do. We had some nice passing plays and we kind of cycled a bit more than we usually do.”

That group did more than jell, as it dominated play whenever it was on the ice. Pandiscia finished with four goals and an assist, Stefancik had a goal and three assists, and Fleksher chipped in with a goal and two assists.

It wasn’t as if the group was totally unfamiliar with each other, though. Pandiscia and Stefancik have played on a line together for years for their club team, and were happy to have the opportunity to play with Fleksher.

“I’ve played with Anthony on my club team, so me and Panda have had chemistry for awhile,” Stefancik said. “Dillon..that kid is so good, and he’s so easy to play with.”

He added, “We just connected very well. During practice, we’ve been working really hard. I don’t know, we have a lot of chemistry together.”

That group stepped up and led the charge as the team recorded its highest goal output in a game this season. Even more remarkably, it did so with its leading scorer in Anthony Prunty being held completely off the scoresheet in this game.

It needed all of that offense, too, as Madison hung tough in this game. Sam Gero scored two goals with two assists, while Tyler Shannon added two goals and an assist for the Dodgers.

KJS led, just 4-3 after two periods, before Pandiscia scored twice in a span of 22 seconds to give it a commanding three-goal lead.

The win now means KJS United will play in Tuesday’s Halvorsen Cup final, where it will battle second-seeded Mount Olive-Hopatcong-Hackettstown at 8 p.m.

Kinnelon, as a standalone program, last won the title in 2019. Regardless, it is the first finals appearance for the tri-op since it was formed in 2020.

“We’re just excited to get there after two kind of hard years, especially with how many seniors we have,” Pandiscia said. “We’re just excited to get the opportunity.”

First period
KJS — Anthony Pandiscia (Dillon Fleksher) 8:39
KJS — Logan Winslow (Tyler Parisi) 4:10
KJS — Anthony Pandisica (Adam Stefancik) 2:16
MAD — Tyler Shannon (Sam Gero) 0:41
Second period
KJS — Dillon Fleksher (Adam Stefancik, Jake Piorier) 10:53
MAD — Sam Gero (Kyle Piechnik) PPG 6:42
MAD — Tyler Shannon (Sam Gero) 0:08
Third period
KJS — Anthony Pandiscia (Aiden Parlapiano, Tyler Parisi) 11:04
KJS — Anthony Pandiscia (Dillon Fleksher, Adam Stefancik) 10:52
MAD — Sam Gero (Tyler Shannon) 7:55
KJS — Adam Stefancik (Anthony Pandiscia) 1:49
KJS — Harrison Root ENG 0:15

E-mail Mike Gurnis at

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