MORRISTOWN, NJ – The season came to a disappointing end for Sparta Jefferson United. SJU, 11 seed, was shut out by third seed Randolph 3-0 in the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA Public A tournament.
The game represents the farthest progression into state play for Sparta, getting to the final eight. So while a loss is always tough to take the new team showed talent and the porgram shows a promising future.
The score was only part of the story. The SJU team played tough putting up 28 shots to the Rams’ 15. Randolph took advantage of their opportunities. A bad line change in the second period allowed the Randolph goalie Luc Swedlund to get an assist, feeding an unchallenged breakaway.
SJU, on the other hand was not able to find the net around Swedlund. They could not score on opportunities including a tripping penalty called on the big goaltender and lopsided control of the puck, especially in the first period.
The final goal come on a power play in the third as frustration was displayed with penalties. Both penalty boxes were busy in the last part of the third but SJU’s got crowded with up to three boys in blue waiting for the final horn to blow.
SJU finished their season in second place in the Halverson division of the Morris County Secondary School Ice Hockey League. Their overall record was 15-6-3.
The team loses 10 seniors. The JV team finished their regular season at Aspen Ice in Randolph in first place.