MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ – While they narrowly missed out on an opportunity to all but assure qualification, the Morristown High School ice hockey team did take another step toward making the state tournament on Monday evening.
The Colonials tied Roxbury, 3-3, to move its record to 7-10-3 overall and 2-6-1 in MCSSIHL-Mennen Division play. To be eligible for the NJSIAA tournament, sub-.500 teams must be a maximum of four games under to be considered.
With just two regular season games left, vs. Randolph on Thursday and Vernon on Saturday night, Bobby Jones’ club will simply need one tie or one victory to punch their ticket. With the Mennen Division being considered the best non-Gordon Conference league in the state, it is unheard of for any eligible Mennen team not to be selected.
Morristown appeared poised to qualify in this one, but recently christened all-time Roxbury scorer Billy Hefferle scored a third period goal to force the draw.
The Colonials had taken a 3-2 lead late in the second period, when Jay Horan scored off an assist from Nate DeFares for the period’s only goal.
Morristown’s Conor Critchley scored just 25 seconds into the game, and his finish came off assists from Tommy Zmachinski and DeFares, but Roxbury would respond with goals from Nick Hefferle and Shane Miller – both off assists of the scoring machine Billy Hefferle’s stick – to move the Gaels ahead.
Critchley’s second goal off a DeFares feed with 7:08 remaining in the first capped off a wild scoring sequence that saw a 2-2 score after one.
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