MORRIS PLAINS, NJ - Chatham High students had the day off in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but the Cougar ice hockey team was definitely not on holiday Monday when it met Middletown South on the ice.
Cougar Nation didn't show up for the game but the Cougars didn't need any extra support as they continued their torrid scoring pace in overwhelming a nine-win Middletown South team for their fifth straight victory, 8-0, at Mennen Sports Arena.
"We don't have to say too much to them to get up for these type of games," Chatham coach Brendon Herr said. "We knew they were a good team coming in. Our m.o. all year is try to play fast and get on the board fast and play with a lead. We did that today."
Alex Laferriere and Thomas Winter each produced two goals and two assists for Chatham (11-3), which has scored 32 goals compared to 4 allowed during its five-game winning streak.
Thomas Winter and Alex Laferriere talk about the roll Chatham is on right now
Chatham's third line got the Cougars started when Brian Nall put away an angled shot off a pass from Matt Keane 2:22 into the first period (see video below) for a 1-0 lead. Laferriere made it 2-0 on a power-play goal 9:49 in, knocking in a rebound of a Winter shot. The Cougars took a 3-0 lead into the first break after Jack DeLetto scored with 9.7 seconds left in the opening period.
In the second period, Winter finished a breakaway chance and Laferriere deposited a backhanded shot off of a faceoff to make it a 5-0 bulge.
Chatham senior Tanner Acone, playing his fourth game back after recovering from torn ligaments in his ankle, made a ferocious check on an Eagles skater, who was slow to get up from the ice. Acone insisted he made a legal hit, but the referees whistled him for boarding and assessed a five-minute penalty.
Middletown South (9-3) was unable to take advantage of the power-play opportunity and Dave Andreychuk capped the period by scoring with 27 seconds left to make it 6-0. It was Andreychuk's team-leading 13th goal.
"I was out for six weeks," said Acone, who picked up an assist in the game. "We don't have a lot of big guys, but we have a lot of skill on this team."
Winter scored off a pass from Laferriere 46 seconds into the third period and Chatham got its final goal when Cade Krauss drove in a pass from his brother, Cole.
The Cougars go for their sixth straight on Friday when they meet Morristown at Mennen.
Alex Laferriere cleans up the rebound on the power play to give Chatham a 2-0 lead
Thomas Winter scores 46 seconds into the third period on a pass from Alex Laferriere