STOCKHOLM, NJ – The contest so strongly fought it took four periods to declare a winner in the 2015 Sussex Cup ice hockey game. Newton Lenape Valley came out on top, beating Sparta High School 3-2 deep into the extra session.
Sparta kept the pressure on with 54 shots on goal.
Newton’s Kyle Vandenberg scored early, assisted by brother Ryan Vandenberg and Tylear Sevean with the only point for the first period. Sparta tied it up in the second on a goal by Colin Hidgon assisted by Serbei O'Sullivan and Andrew Lopuch only to be answered back by Maverick Reiner, assisted by Joe Castelluccio getting Newton the lead again.
Sparta’s Brendan Erickson assisted by Jeremy Dericks and Connor Erickson, tied it up early in the third. The score stayed at 2-2 through the third period buzzer.
Both teams came back out in overtime playing to win with Sparta taking nearly 20 shots at Newton Lenape Valley's goal. With 2:17 left on the clock in overtime Todd Zellars scored on an assist from John Lynch.
It was a costly game for Newton Lenape Valley losing both Vandenberg brothers to injury. According to head coach Ryan Sevean, Kyle left the bench after the second period with what turned out to be a broken leg and his brother Ryan sustained a dislocated shoulder in the overtime fourth period.
Newton Goalie Ian Freericks said, “I just wanted it to be over,” after the ceremony at center ice where Newton Lenape Valley was awarded the ‘cup.’
Newton Lenape Valley’s other goalie Taylor Zinc had seen “60 shots exactly” in the preliminary game against Vernon. “It was the most exhausting game and the most exhilarating game at the same time,” Zinc said of the marathon shut out on Dec 26.
In the past decade, Sparta has had possession of the cup for seven years with Newton winning it twice and Vernon once.