MORRISTOWN, NJ – The Morristown High School ice hockey team held on for a 5-4 victory over Madison in a Morris County Secondary Schools Ice Hockey League contest on Monday, Jan. 13 at Mennen Sports Arena.
The Colonials (7-6-2) finished with a 23-20 advantage in shots on goal and won their second game over Madison this season – the first being a 3-0 shutout on Dec. 19.
In a back-and-forth game between the division foes, Harry Santen scored two goals for Morristown, while Conor Critchley scored and had an assist, Jack McKenna put in a goal, Stefan Brockmann scored and had an assist and Chris Kay finished with two assists for the Colonials.
“Any win in the Mennen Division is a good win,” said Morristown head coach Bobby Jones. “I know that it came down to the end, but we need to learn how to finish off one- goal games. It was definitely good for our group to experience that – a tight game that will be what it’s like in the playoffs.”
The Colonials only took one penalty on the night, which came after McKenna was called for tripping with 6:51 remaining.
Madison did capitalize on that, as Aidan Niceberg put in a power-play goal that made it a4-3 game.
“We’ve been working on team discipline,” Jones said of the lone penalty on the night. “When we’re disciplined in our play, we can be very good. It’s all a mental battle. That’s
what you get when you have a younger group. We’re learning from what we went through last year.”
Morristown seemed to have an answer every time the Dodgers got close, however. Santen scored his second on assists from Critchley and Kay that gave the Colonials a 5-3
advantage. Madison got within a goal once again with 5:04 remaining, after Jacob Erickson scored
from Niceberg and Liam O’Hearen.
While both teams had opportunities from that point on, Morristown did enough to hold on for the win.
With the teams tied 2-2 after Erickson scored his first goal 1:26 into the second period. The Colonials ended the second period on a positive note, as McKenna gave them a 3-2
lead, and then Brockmann put Morristown up by a pair of goals with 8.1 seconds remaining in the period.For Morristown, a program accustomed to winning, the rebuilding process has been positive so far. The Colonials had two wins in 2018-19. Now at 7-6-2, the group has shown it can compete in one of the top divisions in the state once again.
“We chose to be in the Mennen Division again, and it’s a division that’s going to make you better and better,” Jones said. “The failures, or lack of success we went through last year, led to success this year. It’s a hard sell for these guys who want to win right away. When you’re thinking state championship, we can’t just be playing weaker opponents. We’re making ourselves better year after year.”
For Madison (6-7-1), the team is searching for consistency following a 3-0-1 start to the season.
The Dodgers certainly had opportunities Monday night, but trailing by two goals was
ultimately too much of an uphill battle.
“That was a tough one,” said Madison head coach Dave Hansen. “I thought we played well defensively in the second period. We just couldn’t find a way to get a win tonight. We’ll keep working hard. Hopefully down the stretch we’ll get a few wins.”
Madison freshman goalie Luke Chayut has been filling in for starting goalie Keaton Tom, who has been out with a concussion and will likely be back within a week or two.
“His confidence is getting better,” Hansen said of Chayut.
Matt Gero put in the Dodgers’ first goal from Niceberg and Erickson 58 seconds after Morristown took a 1-0 lead in the first period.
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