CHATHAM, NJ - A few line changes, a focused intensity and a hat-trick by Michael Sciaretta turned Chatham's three-game losing streak into a distant memory on Saturday night.
Sciaretta's first career three-goal game and two goals by Matt Keane highlighted the effort in which Chatham dominated from start to finish in a 6-1 ice hockey win over Morristown at Mennen Sports Arena.
Chatham (2-3) had to reassess its game after absorbing a 5-0 loss to Morristown-Beard on Thursday. Two days later, the Cougars looked like a different team, outshooting the Colonials, 46-8.
"Every game starts in our warmup and our warmup had much more energy than we had in our other games," Senior defenseman Danny Mahoney said. "This is Chatham hockey."
Sciaretta got Chatham started when he scored 3:42 into the action (see the video below) with help from Mahoney and Evan Schmidt.
Keane scored the first of his two goals off a pass from Mahoney to make it 2-0 for the Cougars in the first period. Chatham took a 2-0 lead into the first break, having outshot Morristown, 18-2. It was more shots than the Cougars had mustered in the entire game vs. Mo-Beard.
"We had a good film session (Friday), we made a couple adjustments with some lines," Chatham coach Brendon Herr said. "I thought it worked out pretty well, too. We're not a high-flying scoring team this year. The biggest thing that we underlined from the film session was urgency and effort."
Herr switched up the right-wingers on all three lines, moving Brian Nall to the first line with Sciaretta and Schmidt. Luke Hale move into the second line with Keane and Nate Marshall, and Jack Deletto became the right wing on the third line with Ryan Sordillo and Declan Curry.
"We got points out of every line," Herr said. "Confidence-wise it's huge. It was good for us to get some chemistry going."
Keane scored to make it 3-0 in the second period when Sordillo took a shot from the right circle that was blocked into the air. When it landed on the far side, Keane knocked it home (see video below).
Just 36-seconds later Sciaretta scored a power-play goal (see below) during Chatham's two-man advantage to make it 4-0.
Chatham spent a good portion of the second period on the power play and did not allow a shot by Morristown all period.
"There was a lot more hustle tonight," Keane said. "The line changes helped by giving us three really strong lines."
Schmidt scored early in the third period with assists on the play being credited to Sciaretta and Nick Meyer.
After Sean Donnelly broke up the shutout bid for Morristown (0-4) by netting a power-play goal with 4:54 left, Sciaretta scored to notch his hat-trick.
"We went into the game knowing our roles," Sciaretta said. "Everyone has to their job and not try to do someone else's job.
"It feels amazing (to get his first hat-trick). It's a huge load off my shoulders."