MORRISTOWN, NJ – After one period of play, it appeared the Morristown High School ice hockey team was headed for defeat in its Mennen Division contest vs. Roxbury on Thursday night.
But the Colonials flipped the switch – partially by readjusting their first two lines – with a 3-goal second period to come from behind and snatch a huge win.
When all was said and done, the Colonials won a 3-2 decision over the Gaels at Mennen Arena, moving them back over .500 to 4-3-1 on the overall ledger, and up to 2-3 in Mennen play.
Roxbury—now 1-6 and 0-5 in Halvorsen play following the result—struck first at the 7:08 mark of the first period, when star forward Billy Hefferle scored off a wrap-around pass from Shane Miller.
Miller, along with defenseman Johnny Facchini, would assist on the next Gaels goal three minutes later, when Kevin Keane got on the board with a point blank finish to the near post.
Miller would get a golden look on frame with 20 seconds left, but his rifled shot was saved by Morristown goaltender Derek Peck’s extended right foot to preserve the victory.
Peck finished with 20 saves, while Roxbury goalie Tyler Marston registered 16 stops.
“(Roxbury) was rotating their first two lines for almost the entire game, so we had to move a couple guys around to kind of counter that,” said Morristown coach Bobby Jones. “The kids adjusted well and responded when they went down.”
Trailing 2-0 at after one, Morristown got on the board four and a half minutes into the second period when senior captain Nate DeFares intercepted a pass at the red line, took the puck into the Roxbury zone and laced a shot into the left corner of the net to cut the deficit in half at 2-1.
Seven minutes later, DeFares would strike again from the right wing off a pass from Conor Critchley to square things up at two apiece after the slow start.
Critchley would go onto score the go-ahead goal, as a shot from the right point off the stick of Spencer Levite was ricocheted by Critchley to put Morristown up 3-2 at the 1:43 mark. Jay Horan also had an assist on the play.
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