MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ - Perhaps, the Chatham boys ice hockey team was looking ahead to its matchup against state-ranked Randolph on Wednesday. After all, the last time Chatham and Vernon met on the ice, the Cougars rolled to a six-goal win in December.

The bottom line is that Chatham got the job done on Monday afternoon with a 3-1 win over Vernon that wasn't clinched until late in the third period at the Mennen Sports Arena.

"It's always tough playing a team the second time, especially after the first game we had against them," Chatham coach Brendon Herr said. "We said before the game, it's a team that if you keep them around, one bad bounce can go against you. I thought Will Ewald made some really big saves to get us out of some tight situations. He kept it 2-1. He had a really strong game. He looked great."

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Goalie Will Ewald and forward Ryan Sordillo talk about the win

Ewald earned his win in the third period when he made the save on Vernon's bid for a short-handed goal that would have tied the game. Ryan Sordillo finally put in the clincher for Chatham (8-3-2) when he deked his way to a goal (see below) with 4:37 left. Ronan Curry was credited with the assist.

"We need to start a little bit quicker, especially against teams like this," Herr said. "We weren't finishing rebounds. We got our first goal on a tip, which is great, but we have to do a better job of finishing our chances in front."

The Cougars took a 1-0 lead 13:01 into the first period when senior Ryan Mancino tipped in a shot (see below) from the point by senior defenseman Gabe Park.

Chatham pushed its lead to 2-0 in the second period when Brandon Lupi knocked in a cross-ice pass from Tommy Sennett (see below). Vernon (6-8) cut its deficit a minute later on a goal by Ayden Steinbach.