WEST ORANGE, NJ - Less than 24 hours after being blanked by state-ranked Randolph, the Chatham boys ice hockey team went back to work with a renewed sense of urgency and a tweaked lineup.
Senior Luke Hale joined the first line with juniors Ryan Sordillo and Declan Curry and that combination keyed a five-goal second period that sent Chatham past Vernon, 6-0, in the opening round of the Codey Arena Holiday Tournament on Saturday night.
"We wanted to put up as many goals as possible to make up for the shutout last night," Curry said.
The game also featured the first varsity shutout for senior Jen Olnowich for the Chatham boys team. The Princeton University women's ice hockey commit came up with 20 saves in the win.
"We made some lineup changes that paid off," Chatham coach Brendon Herr said.
Hale scored his first varsity goal in the first period when he tipped in a shot taken by Sordillo (see the video below). Sordillo figured in nearly every goal for Chatham (3-1-2) by notching five assists.
While the game was still in doubt, Olnowich made some key saves in the second period when the game was 1-0 before Chatham broke the game open with its five-goal outburst.
"It could have been a lot closer if she didn't play as well as she did," Sordillo said. "She kept us in the that game."
Curry, who finished with two goals, was knocked to the ice in the second period, but got up in time to fire in Sordillo's pass (see below) for a 2-0 lead.
Brandon Lupi scored the first of his two goals for a 3-0 lead before the Cougars offense erupted for three goals in the span of 74 seconds to put the game away. Curry started the spree when he knocked in a power-play goal off a pass from Danny Mahoney.
Chatham followed with rapid-fire goals by Gabriel Park and Lupi to close out the scoring.
Ryan Sordillo, Luke Hale, Declan Curry and Brandon Lupi talk about 6-0 win
Chatham built its 6-0 lead with 8:41 left in the second period and the only thing to determine from there was whether Olnowich could complete the shutout. She made some of her most acrobatic stops in the third period when she collected eight saves.
"She did make some big saves in the second," Herr said. "The more she plays, the more confident we become in front of her as a team, which is nice to see."
Olnowich makes a save in the third period of her 20-save shutout
"She gets better and better each game," Lupi said. "She was lights out. She made some big saves and we love to have her in net."
Olnowich talks about her first Chatham varsity shutout