STOCKHOLM, NJ – It took and extra period to decide the winner of the this year's Sussex Cup.  The Sparta Jefferson United ice hockey team lost to Vernon in the final round 5-4 at Skylands Ice World on New Year’s Eve.

A hat trick by James Battaglia and 59 stops by SJU goalie Logan Hanek were not enough to bring the milk jug home.

SJU started off strong, netting two while holding the Vikings scoreless in the first period.  They got two more past the Vernon goalie but Vernon came back strong, with two in each of the second and third periods.  SJU battled but in the end it was Vernon who scored in the fourth.

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Kyle Sutton and Josh Harmel got the assists on Battaglia’s first goal.  Battaglia earned the second point unassisted.  Sutton and Matthew Francescutto teamed up for the assist on Battaglia’s third.

Alex Cohen also got on the board with the tying goal, assisted by Battaglia and Francesutto.

SJU goes up against Kinnelon on Saturday at Skylands.  The puck drops at 4 p.m.