MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ - Madison High School’s quest for perfection is no more. The Dodgers dropped their regular season finale on Saturday night to Morristown, 2-0 marking their first loss of the season.
“We knew we were in for a tough game with Morristown,” Madison’s head coach Dave Hanson said. “They did a good job pressuring us in our own end of the ice and were able to capitalize on their two power plays to beat us.”
The third period proved to be the nail in the coffin for Madison’s perfect season. With the game scoreless after two periods, the Colonials scored twice in the final frame.
After Madison defenseman Harrison Meyer was sent to the penalty box for interference, Morristown capitalized on its power play with a goal by forward Bradley Greik to take a 1-0 lead.
A few minutes later, the Colonials got another power play opportunity when Madison’s forward Aaron Wilson went to the penalty box for slashing. Morristown would again take advantage of this opportunity with a goal from defenseman Kyle Beyer to go up 2-0 and go on to win by that score.
“I don’t mind having the loss,” Hansen said. “This game is going to help us get better since Morristown is such a better team than most of the teams we are going to play in the playoffs. I think also the guys won’t have the pressure of the perfect season over their heads and just go out there and play every game like it’s a regular hockey game. Plus, it’s going to give the guys a little chip on their shoulder for motivation on Monday when the playoffs start.”
Madison goaltender Avi Sinha stopped the first 17 shots he faced during the first two periods, then allowed two goals on his next 15 opportunities.
Sinha said losses hurt in general, but the Dodgers should learn something from their first defeat of the season.
“I think though this loss is going to help us out in the long run because Morristown is a much better team than the teams we are going to face in our Haas Cup Playoff Tournament,” he said. “I think this loss is going to fire us up for the playoffs and we are going to come out really hard on Monday night.”
With the loss, Madison finishes the regular season 22-1, while Morristown improves to 10-9-3.
Madison will open the Haas Cup against Vernon on Monday.