UNION, N.J. - Summit and Chatham are two towns who are known to have a bitter sports rivalry. Though they are in different hockey conferences, both teams went into Saturday’s game knowing it would be a challenge. The game surely was head-to-head the whole way through and in the end, Summit and Chatham emerged equals in a 1-1 tie.
Summit fans packed the rink, giving the Hilltoppers lots of moral support. At the start of the game, both teams rushed to dominate the puck. They had a lot of intensity and took multiple shots on goal. It was a couple minutes in when Summit took the first major offensive opportunity.
The Hilltoppers took the punk into the Chatham zone through a fast break. After a failed opportunity on goal, the puck bounced around a bit before ending up in the possession of junior Jarrett Ross.
Ross took a shot from right in front of the blue line. He took a quick shot off a pass which soared through the air. Chatham goalie C.J Albanese was unable to see the shot dude to being blocked by other players. The shot hit the back of the net, giving the Hilltoppers 1-0 lead.
After this the first period progressed on as more of a battle for possession as did the second.
The second period was long and tiresome, as both teams players took shot after shot with no luck. The teams looked exhausted but were able to just hang on and keep up with one another.
“We had a lot of intensity during the first period and we just really wanted to keep it up for the second,” Summit junior Liam McLaughlin said. “As a team we tried our best for a lot of shots on goal and it worked out. Unfortunately Chatham wanted the puck just as badly as we did.”
The second period ended with Summit ahead 1-0.
At the end of a 15 minute intermission, both teams hit the ice with full intensity. After a break to prepare, they were a lot less tired and a lot more interested in playing another period.
The puck hit the ice and Chatham showed a lot of intensity. Taking the first offensive opportunity, they took the puck up and shot. Once again there was no luck as Summit goalie Garrett McGowen saved the opportunity. Summit played a hard defense and was able to get the puck back into the offensive zone. After a while, Chatham got an opportunity that changed the game. As the Chatham offense took the puck towards the Summit goal, there was an open opportunity. A powerful wrist shot went right into the goal, tying the game a 1-1.
The end of the third period played out just like the rest of the game. With both teams struggling for dominance. The clock stopped right when Summit’s John Burns had a fast break. The teams played evenly and it showed it in the score. The game ending with both bitter rivals only wanting to face off again.
“It is always a hard fought game against Chatham,” Summit junior James Strabely said. “We got off to a good start but they matched our aggressiveness after period.”