empty victory

February 14, 2006 on 10:16 pm | In game recap | Comments Off on empty victory

Morristown-Beard 3, Chatham 2
An empty-net goal in a tie game allowed No. 6 Morristown-Beard to escape with a 3-2 win over No. 17 Chatham Tuesday night at Mennen Arena. Chatham needed a win to earn second place in the Mennen Division, while a tie would leave the Cougars in fourth place. With the game tied 2-2 and a last-minute power play, veteran Chatham head coach Harvey Cohen pulled goalie Michael Infante for a sixth attacker with 28 seconds remaining, but Morristown-Beard’s Dan Shurts scored into an empty net to secure the victory.

Chatham had frustrated Beard all night with solid goaltending from Infante, a surprisingly effective three-line attack, and opportunistic offense. Despite being dominated in the first period, the Cougars took the lead midway through the stanza when standout defenseman Jeff Tompson, from his own blue line, banked a pass off the right boards to Jeff Chatterton at the far blue line. Chatterton, one-on-one with a defender, wound up and ripped a right-circle slap shot that beat John Yanchek inside the left post. Morristown-Beard kept up the pressure and found the tying goal with three seconds remaining inthe period when Greg Alberti crossed the blue line and beat Infante with a wrist shot to his blocker side.

Having tied the game, one might have expected Morristown-Beard to run roughshod over the Cougars in the second stanza, but instead it was Chatham getting an early opportunity when Pat Coyne rang the post just 23 seconds in. Most of the possession was in the Chatham end, but the Cougars did mix in a 1-3-1 forecheck when the puck was behind the Crimson net, and Morristown-Beard was rarely able to get stretch passes deep.

In the third period, the referees took center stage, as the teams were whistled for a combined five penalties in the first four minutes, to go along with one at the end of the second period. Chatham took advantage just one minute in, skating in a 4-on-3 situation. Tompson, set up in the left corner, landed a cross-ice pass on the tape of cutting defenseman Paul Ughetta in the high right slot. His shot was saved by Yanchek, who tried to hold on for a face-off, but Chatham’s Mario Bronzino poked the puck, apparently loose in Yanchek’s pads, into the net before the whistle blew. The Cougars held the slim lead, which would have kept them on the other side of the bracket from No. 5 Morris Knolls, until late in the period. With four minutes remaining, Chatham appeared to go to a 1-2-2 forecheck for the first time all night and quickly got burned. Crimson defenseman Pat Yannotta found Alberti behind the defense with a breakaway pass, and he deked past Infante on his backhand to bury the tying goal.

It looked like Chatham would have the best chance to win the game after a questionable slashing call with 1:14 left, but the Cougars needed a diving poke check by Pat Coyne to deny Shurts on a breakaway. Chatham then managed just one shot on the power play before pulling Infante, and Beard earned the win when Shurts found the empty net. The Crimson must regroup quickly, traveling to face Princeton Day in the NJISAA Prep B final tomorrow afternoon.

The result completes the schedule for the Mennen Cup quarterfinals, with Morristown-Beard matched up against West Morris, Randolph facing Mountain Lakes in the most intriguing matchup, and Chatham taking on Morris Hills. In the first of the four quarterfinals, Morris Knolls plays Pingry.

Morristown-Beard 3, Chatham 2


MB  1 0 2 3
Cha 1 0 1 2


MB  13  7  9 29
Cha 6  4  9 19

7:13 Cha #12 Jeff Chatterton (#36 Jeff Tompson)
14:57 MB #19 Greg Alberti (#21 Dan Shurts, #5 Matt Kruvant)
1:04 Cha (pp) #10 Mario Bronzino (#19 Paul Ughetta, #36 Jeff Tompson)
11:07 MB #19 Greg Alberti (#10 Pat Yannotta)
14:45 MB (sh, en) #21 Dan Shurts

#30 John Yanchek (MB) 19-17
#1 Michael Infante (Cha) 28-26

Power plays: MB 0-3, Cha 1-5

No Comments yet

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress with Pool theme design by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS. ^Top^