cup finals, part II

February 25, 2006 on 9:21 pm | In game recap | 1 Comment

I saw four cup championships awarded today and got scores from the others, so I’ll try to be brief:

Van Cott Cup Final: Montgomery 4, MKA 1
Heavy favorite Montgomery (20-2) rolled to the Central White championship with a 4-1 win over MKA. The private-school Cougars stayed in the game until late in the third period thanks to a standout performance from goalie Mike Grillo, who stopped 31 of 34 shots, but MKA surrendered countless odd-man rushes and did little to threaten Montgomery goalie Ian Healey.

Mike Violette scored the opening goal for Montgomery when he deflected a floating point shot. MKA tied the game with one of the day’s more unusual moments, as Mike Pierri calmly and deftly converted a penalty shot (awarded for a player covering the puck in the crease) by roofing a backhand shot. Healey stopped all 23 shots he faced from open play. Montgomery got the winning goal with 1:53 remaining in the second period, as MKA got caught when one of its defensemen was unsure on a change, leaving Jim Yetter wide open in front of the net to neatly redirect a pass from brother Mike Yetter.

Montgomery finally pulled away late in the third period when Mike Yetter popped a rebound over Grillo’s shoulder on the power play for a 3-1 lead. Mike Yetter sealed the deal with an empty-net goal as time expired.

Hoerner Cup Final: Clifton 5, Paramus Catholic 1
Reigning North Jersey Player of the Year Anthony Yelovich had his credentials on display in the second game at South Mountain, scoring a natural hat trick in the third period and assisting on two other goals in Clifton’s 5-1 demolition of Paramus Catholic.

The teams tied 1-1 in both regular season meetings and were scoreless midway through this game. But a moment of brilliance from Yelovich brought the game to life. With Yelovich posted up at the edge of the crease, Mike Garbrandt played the puck in from the left boards. Yelovich let a blind, backhand, one-time pass roll off his stick to a wide-open Brian Junda, who beat John Podesta up high just minutes after Podesta had stoned him from close range.

Still, Paramus Catholic hit the crossbar three minutes later and it was 1-0 into the third period. That’s when Yelovich really took over, scoring three goals in a span of 5:22. Each goal displayed some stickhandling brilliance, and he finished his day by setting up Junda for the Mustangs’ fifth goal at the 11:15 mark. Rob Dotto added a late consolation goal for the Paladins. Chris Donini made 22 saves in net for Clifton.

Haas Cup Final: Park Regional 4, Kinnelon 3 (OT)
I hauled you-kn0w-what over to Mennen and caught the end of a sensational Haas Cup final. I am loathe to admit it, but the Mennen Cup final took a back seat to the Haas final this year, mostly in part to the hordes of fans in attendance for the first game. More than 1,400 tickets were sold during the first two periods of the Haas Cup, compared to Mennen Arena’s total attendance for the two games of more than 2,300.

With the game 2-2 when I arrived, Kinnelon got an early power-play goal from Peter Crampton to take a 3-2 lead. Park Regional, which was 1-0-1 against Kinnelon in a hotly contested regular-season series, struggled to find the net the rest of the way but was awarded a power play with 2:28 remaining. Park capitalized with a brilliant play, as Mike Scott found Scott Greene at the back-post for a perfect one-timer to tie the game with 1:02 remaining.

With the Haas Cup final in overtime for the second time in its seven-year history, the game was unfortunately decided on the power play. Regional was whistled for too many men on the ice early in the period, and Kinnelon was later whistled for a penalty. Regional capitalized on the power play, as Scott spun around in the slot to whip a rebound of Greene’s point shot through the five-hole to give head coach Tom Levis a second consecutive title. Park Regional and Morristown have each won three Haas Cup titles, with Parsippany Hills claiming the seventh.

Mennen Cup Final: Morristown-Beard 3, Chatham 1
It had been more than 20 years since either school had won a Mennen Cup title, so we were just hoping we didn’t have to deal with co-champions. Morristown-Beard saved us the effort with a comprehensive 3-1 win over a tired and outmanned Chatham squad.

Greg Alberti opened the scoring just 1:23 into the game, scooping home the rebound after Sam Altiero hit the post from close range. Chatham had its best moments in the next five minutes, but Morristown-Beard gradually took over the game and Cougar goalie Michael Infante had to be at his best (13 saves) to keep it a 1-0 game. Beard’s John Yanchek made a big save on Chatham forward Pat Coyne with 3:40 left to keep it 1-0.

The second period lacked quality chances, for the most part, but it did include the game’s defining play, as Chatham’s Jeff Chatterton stole the puck while shorthanded and ripped a slap shot from the slot that beat Yanchek but hit the left post. It was Chatham’s best chance to tie the game.

In the third period, Chatham opened in a passive 1-1-3 forecheck, and Beard defenseman Pat Yannotta held the puck for 20 seconds behind the net before breaking out. Chatham was hurt further midway through the period when second-line forward Rob Curcio, whose goal beat Morris Knolls Thursday, received a 10-minute misconduct for arguing a minor penalty whistled against him. On the ensuing power play, Yannotta made a D-to-D pass to Jake Lewis on the right point. Infante made a blocker save on Lewis’ slap shot, but Dan Shurts was on hand to finish the rebound high into the net for a 2-0 advantage. Within a minute, Chatham fans were screaming for a penalty that was not called when Jeff Tompson was taken down, and Beard made it 3-0 when Corey Schneider redirected Yannotta’s point shot past Infante.

Chatham grabbed a consolation goal on a power-play slap shot from Tompson with 2:29 remaining, but the Cougars (playing their third game in five days) had absolutely nothing in their legs in the final minutes and could not even pull Infante. Morristown-Beard celebrated its first outright Mennnen Cup title since 1983, snapping a 10-game winless streak in the Mennen Cup final.

Other cup action
In the latter two games at South Mountain, Bridgewater-Raritan beat St. Joseph Metuchen 2-0, including an empty-netter, to claim the McInnis Cup title, and Seton Hall Prep remained unbeaten with a 5-2 win, including empty-netters, over Delbarton in the Gordon Cup final.

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  1. Good analysis of the Chatham- Beard game. The Cougars looked good early but tired quickly and the only guy, from my vantage point, who could hustle up and down the ice consistently was Chatterton. It also didn’t help that Chatham ran two offensive lines for almost the entire game; I think the checking line got in a total of two times during the entire game (but in retrospect I can’t blame Coach Cohen for keeping his best guys on, but as you said, 3 games in 5 days is a killer). Based on that, I think the final result was fitting.

    Comment by Brian — 26 February 2006 #

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