MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ - Madison had the undefeated record and the more vocal crowd support in its ice hockey matchup with Chatham on Sunday night.
But Chatham grabbed the momentum early on with a goal by Evan Schmidt and pulled off a "gritty" 2-0 win over the Dodgers at Mennen Sports Arena.
Thomas Winter hustled for a loose puck and threaded a pass to the opposite side of the crease, where Schmidt scooped it into the net to give Chatham (5-1) a 1-0 lead 9:34 into the opening period. The Cougars have scored 22 goals this season and 12 of them have come in the first period.
"Starting fast is key for us," Chatham coach Brendon Herr said. "It gives us momentum. They beat us 4-0 in the preseason. It was a gritty win for us, which is nice to see for this team. They're a well-coached team and for us to come out and play good defensive hockey is huge."
Zach Pendergrast, Evan Schmidt and Thomas Winter talk about win over Madison
Chatham held a 35-11 advantage in shots on goal, but the Cougars had to kill five penalties and Zach Pendergrast made 11 saves to earn his first shutout.
"We relied on our goaltender tonight," Herr said. "He made some big saves and got us out of some jams."
Chatham got a big goal from Dave Andreychuk just 32 seconds into the third to make it 2-0. Andreychuk rushed the net from the right wing and slipped the puck inside the near post for his team-leading seventh goal of the season.
Dave Andreychuk celebrates the goal he scored 32 seconds into the third period for Chatham