LIVINGSTON, NJ -- Michael Mumm, recently nominated in a statewide poll to select one of the top junior hockey players in New Jersey, scored two goals and assisted on one in Livingston's 4-1 victory over West Essex Saturday in the opening round of the McInnis Cup at Codey Arena.
Mumm now has 20 goals and 13 assists this season as the Lancers (10-6-5) head into the cup semifinals Tuesday against Summit at 6:30 p.m. at Warinanco Rink in Roselle.
After playing center as a freshman, Mumm moved back to his natural position at right wing, and the Livingston hockey team has benefited from the switch ever since.
"I told my coach that I wasn't producing much at center and I wanted to switch to right wing," Mumm said. "The winger leaves the zone with the puck more, and I am pretty fast. It helps with our offense to get the puck out. It helps our scoring chances."
A prolific scorer, Mumm also enjoys distributing the puck.
"I usually like use my whole team," Mumm said. "I use my linemates. I am not a puck hog. I have a lot of points, but so do my line mates."
"Michael has been a pleasure to coach over the years," said Livingston head coach Dave Conklin. "For me, working with Michael and watching him grow as a hockey player from a beginner player learning to skate to now as one of the top players in the state is amazing. His work ethic and desire to help the team is second to none."
Mumm has been playing hockey since he was 5, "or maybe when I was even younger than that," he said. Although he says his favorite game so far this season was when he achieved a hat trick (three goals) against Verona, Mumm is hoping the best is still yet to come.
Tuesday's semifinal against Summit will be a challenge. Summit defeated Livingston, 3-2, in the regular season.
"I think we could beat them. We have to keep our minds on defense, because their forwards are really good with the puck," Mumm said. "We know their setups. We just need to keep defending what they do."
Mumm, who is 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, recently enjoyed a four-game stretch in which he scored nine goals and had four assists. He has at least one goal in 13 of Livingston's last 15 games.
"He does not only rely on his skill to help the team," Conklin said. "He is always looking to speak and work with the younger players. His love of the game and energy he brings to the team on a daily basis makes him a very valuable player on and off the ice."
After Livingston completes its run in the McInnis Cup, the Lancers will play in the state tournament.