ALLENDALE, NJ - The dream of a third straight Group 2 state championship ended with 2:22 left in the first overtime on a shot by Holden Rosen-Grupp of Northern Highlands.
Chatham's Adam Drury won the faceoff to start the overtime and Scott Lynch made a bid to win it, but goalie Landon Feurstein made the save. That allowed Rosen-Grupp to get his chance and he put it away to advance Northern Highlands with a 5-4 victory.
It was a tough way to go out for Chatham (16-7), which rallied in the fourth quarter to take the lead. Northern Highlands (19-2) took a 3-2 edge into the fourth quarter, but Austin Pierce found a seam in the zone defense and Rich Berger found him with a pass in front of the net. Pierce turned and fired to make it 3-3 just 36 seconds into the fourth.
David Gill appeared to put Chatham in the driver's seat when he received a pass from Pierce and rifled a shot into the net for a 4-3 lead with 6:28 to go.
But a penalty led to a man-advantage goal by Rich Holle with 1:48 left as Northern Highlands tied it at 4-4, forcing the overtime.
"We had a lot of penalties called against us," Chatham coach Tony Calandra said. "More than we've had called all year. We allowed them to hold the ball. I thought throughout we allowed them to possess the ball too much. We played hard thoughtout and had opportunities."
The Cougars had taken advantage of a penalty against Northern Highlands in the first period as Will Barnett scored off a feed from Evan Bernard.
Gill scored an unassisted goal in the second period for Chatham, sprinting down the middle and blasting a high shot past the helpless goalie for a 2-2 tie with 2:05 left ini the half. But Northern Highlands took a lead into the break when Ryan Mulvey connected with 1.1 seconds left on the clock.
"I told them I'm just proud of their accomplishment," Calandra said. "The senior class leaves with not only one, but two state championships and that put us in the next tier of teams. And I'm proud of their effort. We could have definiitely won the game."
David Gill scores for Chatham in video below
Scott Lynch of Chatham picks up ground ball and shoots in video below
Scott Lynch is flagged after he takes a forearm to the throad in video below
Austin Pierce gets a shot off for Chatham in video below