BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Casey Marshall is quite at home when she's near an ice hockey rink. Chances are, the junior from Chatham is going to run into someone she knows when she approaches the ice.
Such was the case on Friday night when the Oak Knoll coach ran up and gave her a hug before the game between the combined Chatham/Madison girls ice hockey team and Oak Knoll at the Bridgewater Sports Arena.
"It's a lot of fun to meet and play with a bunch of girls from Madison," Marshall said. "I've played with a couple of them in the past on opposing teams. So it's fun to play with them and play against other girls that I know."
Marshall had a lot of fun during the game as well, notching 22 saves in "Chatison" 4-1 win.
The first-year combined club team made up of Madison and Chatham girls ice hockey players now stands at 3-3 on the season.
"Half the girls are experienced players and the other half are beginners," coach Kevin Hannon said. "It's been a pretty good mix of the two. Our hope is to get enough girls together to have two teams so we can have a Chatham team and a Madison team in a couple of years. This will be helpful in getting the word out to younger girls that we have a team. It's exciting to get off to a good start."
Oak Knoll took a 1-0 lead in the second period before the "Mad Chatters" put their offense in gear. Freshman McKenna O'Connor of Chatham connected for a goal 9:06 into the second that made it 1-1. Just 22 seconds later, Madison's Carlin Collier scored to give "Chatison" a 2-1 edge.
In the third period, Madison freshman Chase Cmaylo scored for a 3-1 lead before Chatham defenseman Jen Olnowich broke inside the blue line and fired in a slap shot with 1:35 left to cap the scoring.
Olnowich, a standout soccer player, already had an ice hockey team to play for before the formation of the Chatham/Madison squad. Olnowich plays for the Triple-A New Jersey Devils boys team, the highest level team for a player her age. On the boys team, she plays goalie.
Chatham players on the team include Daniella Groh, Ginger Boles, Olnowich, Veronica Quidore, McKenna O'Connor and Marshall.
Chase Cmaylo takes a backhand shot for Chatison ice hockey team vs. Oak Knoll