STOCKHOLM, NJ – Vernon High School ice hockey gets to keep the ‘cup’ having defeated Sparta Jefferson United in the Sussex Cup final game on 6-2. The teams battled at Skylands Ice World on Sunday in front of a large crowd.
SJU goalie Logan Hanek took a beating from the first drop of the puck. Vernon put up 19 shots on goal in the first period and 22 in the second. By the final horn Hanek had made 42 saves. Vernon’s goalie only saw 19 shots in the whole game.
Vernon started out strong with three goals in the first period. SJU could not catch up. The first SJU goal came on a powerplay with less than a minute to go in the first period. Nick Montone, assisted by C.J. Leonardo and Jaxon Mase, was able to get SJU on the board before the teams left the ice for the first ice cut.
Mase would score the only other SJU goal halfway through the third period.
Vernon players thanked their fans before returning to center ice to receive the Sussex Cup- a milk can. The Vikings will add their name to the unique trophy and it will reside at Vernon High School until next year.
Vernon won the cup last year. The newly combined team of Sparta Jefferson United was not allowed to play in the cup last year by a vote of the other participating coaches, citing an unfair advantage for the new team. This is the first year the united team competed in the Sussex Cup tournament. Sparta had won the cup seven of the 11 previous years they played.
Newton Lenape Valley crushed High Point in the consolation round of the Sussex Cup on Sunday. NLV won 9-5 at Skylands Ice World.