December 9, 2013 at 9:55 PM
MORRIS TOWNSHIP - Two days after Chatham relinquished a lead in the third period to Randolph to end in a tie, the Cougars did the same against Morristown-Beard on Monday at Mennen Arena.
After leading for most of the game, the Cougar defense was unable to hold the Crimson down, as senior Michael Meisenbacher scored past an outstretched leg of Chatham goalie C.J. Albanese. The goal came with 40 seconds left in the third period, allowing Morristown-Beard to tie it up, 3-3. That is how the game would end.
Chatham junior forward Bryn Casey said, “We really have to fix it. If we give up a lead like we have the past two games, it would be the end of our season. It is good that we are learning this early in the year, rather than later. We have to finish games out and keep leads."
Despite Casey’s evident frustration, he added,” I don’t think it should be a problem. We are going to learn from our mistakes and fix them.”
Chatham’s Brett Montgomery and co-captain Teddy Simson had great games for the Cougars. In the first period, the duo connected for a goal when a falling Simson flicked the puck to Montgomery for a goal.
Later, near the end of the second period, they connected once more, but this time, it was Montgomery passing to a wide-open Simson, who slapped the puck into the upper right-hand corner of Morristown-Beard’s net.
Then, with 4:27 left in the third period, Simson added Chatham’s final goal while Chatham (1-0-2) had a two-man advantage. However, Morristown-Beard’s strategy of removing its goalie, Nick Sanford, paid off later in the game, as the man-up advantage put pressure on Albanese and led to Meisenbacher’s goal. Morristown-Beard also had goals from junior James Callahan and sophomore Alex Borowiec.
It was not Chatham’s “seventh skater” that provided the emotion for the game, but the players themselves. The game proved to be a very heated one, as there were multiple scuffles throughout the game, involving several players from both teams. Each team racked up significant penalty minutes.
“Being a division game, everybody on the ice was giving that extra effort and playing with high emotions," Casey said. "We need to play with emotion but play within the rules. All the Mennen Cup games are the same: full of physical play, trash talk, and ups and downs. He added that, “Hopefully, we will learn from our past experiences and use them to our advantage down the road.”
Chatham will look to capitalize on Wednesday night when they face Westfield. “We have to bounce back and be ready to go,” junior Jack O’Connor said.