The Chatham Cougars were unable to capture their first Mennen Cup championship in over thirty years on Saturday night.
The lengthy drought only continues at the hands of the Morristown-Beard Crimson, who beat the Cougars 4-0. Coming into the game, the Crimson had won two of three games against the Cougars and their success against the Cougars only continued.
Heading into the game, the Cougars were confident that the much-desired trophy would be theirs.
“We are very confident in the hockey we play and if we do the little things right, we will end that thirty-three year drought,” said junior Will Barnett. “That’s our main goal for tonight.”
However, the Crimson proved to be too much. They started their success with 3:43 left in the 1st, when senior Josh Schappel scored past a diving Chatham goalie, C.J. Albanese. The Crimson kept the pressure on, as they connected for two more goals in the 2nd, then one more in the 3rd to close out the game. Alex Borowiec, Chris Brunner- Grande and Spencer Shepperly also found the net for the Crimson.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get the result we were looking for,” added Barnett. “On the other side, we get to wake up and have a clean slate. It’s hard to take it all in right now, but our season isn’t over. The best parts are just beginning.”
Barnett was referring to the approaching state playoffs. Chatham will surely be a tough contender, as they came into the game ranked No. 5. The Cougars are the defending Public B state champion.
“We now know what it feels like to lose, especially in a final. It’s going to give us some motivation and next time, we aren’t going to have a second chance because it’ll be the state tournament,” junior Bryn Casey said.
With the state playoffs weeks away, the Cougars will look to bounce back from this tough loss and continue their successful season. Casey reassured that the Cougars still have confidence.
“This loss does not change my mindset, the entire team’s mindset, or any of the coaches’ mindset that we will be at the Prudential Center on March 9th,” Casey said.