MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ- The heated ice hockey rivalry between Randolph and Morristown was renewed on Thursday Jan. 16 in a game at Mennen Arena, with the final score a 1-1 tie.
The two schools have always been neck in neck when it comes to hockey. In 2012, the teams played each other in the State Championship in which Randolph proved to be victorious, while last year Morristown beat Randolph in a regular season game.
As expected, this game was a close one.
The Mennen division opponents had both come off of tough losses, to Chatham and Roxbury respectively, and each team sought for the win. The game opened with the Rams dominating play as the puck rarely left their offensive zone. The opening moments of the game were filled with excitement, as Randolph had a 5-on-3 power play with 13:23 remaining in the first. The Rams had four shots on the power play, but couldn't put one in the net.
The game was essentially a battle of the goaltenders.
In net for Randolph was junior Garret Stenberg and for Morristown, junior Shane Brown. Each goalie controlled their respective crease and handled scrambles in front of the net with ease.
The first period ended with penalties from both Randolph and Morristown, and the shots were 12-4 in favor of the Rams, however the teams hadn't touched the scoreboard.
The momentum of the game completely shifted in the second period. Morristown dominated play and took the majority of the shots. The period was played almost entirely in Randolph's defensive end, with Stenberg making key saves. Randolph's play became sloppy, and several players ended up in the penalty box. The game still remained scoreless at the end of two.
The final period opened with a Morristown goal 40 seconds in, scored by Jakob DeFares, frustrating the Rams. Minutes later, thanks to a Morristown penalty, Randolph got their rhythm back and assistant captain Luke Wright scored to tie the game.
The remainder of the third period consisted of numerous penalties taken by both teams. During 4-on-3 play, captain Brenden Siegel made the smart play to cover up the puck while being in the crease, although it was illegal, due to two Morristown players scrambling to put the puck in the net. The Colonials were awarded a penalty shot.
Goalie Garret Stenberg said, "I was not in the least bit worried. I just kept thinking 'go glove side, buddy.' You've got nothing.'"
The shot went to the left of Stenberg, just barely deflecting off his pads.
The Rams' energy from the big save on the penalty shot carried through the rest of the game, which was played mostly in the Morristown end. Randolph put many shots on net, though Brown stopped them all.
The game ended with 35 shots on goal from the Rams and 20 from the Colonials. Each team will receive one point for the tie, bringing Randolph’s record to 8-2-2 and Morristown’s to 7-5-3.
Randolph's next game is to take place at Aspen Ice Arena on Jan. 22 against Pingry school at 4:45p.m.
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