MONTVILLE, NJ - After avoiding defeat in their first 13 games in 2017-18, the Montville ice hockey team suffered their first loss of the season on Monday, Jan. 15 as they fell 4-1 to Millburn at Codey Arena in West Orange.
Millburn set the tone right from the opening puck drop as they fired early and often at Montville’s freshman goalie, Adrian Prelich. Millburn's Sam Charlat broke the ice with the opening goal only 34 seconds into the game off an assist from Charles Palmer. 43 seconds later, Palmer would be on the scoring end of another Millburn goal to make it 2-0 just over a minute into the game. This marked the first time that Montville had trailed by multiple goals since their comeback win over Whippany Park back on December 16. The Mustangs played much sharper defense for the remainder of the first period to stay within striking distance.
A more motivated Montville squad took the ice coming out of the intermission. Joe Nuzzi scored a power play goal off an assist from Daniel Scheine 48 seconds into the second period to get Montville on the board and right back into the game. At the time, the goal seemed to be a crucial confidence booster. However, Millburn goalie Eli Nadell stood on his head and finished with 19 saves on the night. Palmer would add another goal with just under four minutes remaining in the second period to make it a two-goal game once again going into the final intermission of the game. Both sides accumulated multiple penalties in the third period, but neither team was able to convert until Charlat tallied his second goal of the game, this one on the power play off an assist from Jack Williams with three minutes left, to put the exclamation point on a Millburn victory and hand Montville their first loss of the season.
The Mustangs will look to shake off the disappointment from this defeat when they return to the ice on Wednesday as they face Newton in a primetime matchup at Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown at 7:45 p.m.