Morristown-Beard Skates Past Randolph, 5-1, in Mennen Cup Final

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MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ — Tommy Matthews was so happy to be on the receiving end of two passes from Hollis Humphries that led to goals in the final of the Mennen Cup, he just wanted to repay the favor.

Sixteen seconds after scoring, Matthews returned the favor setting up Humphries for another goal — the second of three goals in a 30 second span of the second period — sparking top-seeded Morristown-Beard to a 5-1 victory over second-seeded Randolph in the final of the 45th Mennen Cup Saturday night at Mennen Arena.

(Photo by Mark Carosiello/HockeyClan)

“It was great. I saw him cutting through I just tried to get a shot off for a rebound. I got it back and put it somewhere he could find it and he did,” Matthews, Morristown-Beard’s senior captain, said. “Cup champs — it’s amazing, I can’t even describe it right now I’m so happy.”

Matthews scored twice, Humphries collected a goal and two assists and Nick Vantassell and Jake Ochab also scored while Luke McManus made 26 saves for Morristown-Beard’s 13th Mennen Cup and first since 2017.

“We knew if we came out here and played our game we would win this game, for sure,” Humphries, a freshman, said. “We were all working hard, got pucks deep, got one in the first period but we knew we could do better than that. In the second period, we came out and put three in the net.”

(Photo by Mark Carosiello/HockeyClan)

“It was crazy. We wanted to come out and get our legs going — we’re a big offensive team — we wanted to show ’em and got it rolling early.”

Vantassell opened the scoring 6:48 into the action with an assist from Humphries as Morristown-Beard carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

Humphries went back to work in the second period setting up Matthews 2:55 in to make it 2-0 before returning the favor 16 seconds later.

The celebration was short-lived, however, as Randolph’s J.T. Zangara came back and scored for the Rams even before Humphries’ goal was announced.

“It could have gone both ways when the scored right after,” Matthews said. “It didn’t take away our confidence, though. We just kept going — it felt great to get the win.

“I love dishing out the puck, getting assists, but when I saw Tommy coming in, he threw it off the pad and it came right to me,” Humphries said. “It’s unreal. All the fans out here screaming. Everyone wants it so bad, especially the seniors. We wanted to win this game and bring it home.”

(Photo by Mark Carosiello/HockeyClan)

The triumph was the first Mennen Cup for Morristown-Beard head coach Scott Greene, in his second season at the helm.

“We had a few setbacks at the beginning of the year but it was a good reminder how much work we had to do to stay in it,” Greene said. “I give the kids a lot of credit — they really stepped it up the last few weeks. It’s a big win for everybody.”

Morristown-Beard improves to 19-4-1 — a far cry from the 10-13-1 record a year ago.

“We knew it was going to be a process, a rebuild per se, trying different strategies, a different system, trying to get guys to buy-in,” Greene said. “Last year, we tried it their way and it didn’t work. But this year they bought-in right off the bat.”

Related: Dodger Fever! Madison Captures First Mennen Cup in 2019

(Photo by Mark Carosiello/HockeyClan)

Randolph has skated for the Mennen Cup each of the last three years, but has come away with just one title in 2018. The Rams have won five Mennen Cups, but were not prepared for this one coach Rich McLaughlin said.

“We had nothing. We didn’t come with a big game and they did. They played big and scored goals when they had to,” McLaughlin said. “We got outplayed and pushed around. We have seniors that needed to step up and play like seniors and they didn’t.”

McLaughlin said Zangara’s goal 14 seconds after Humphries was an opportunity missed to build off the momentum.

“It was a big moment in the game — for them and for us,” McLaughlin said. “We had the puck at the far blue line, it was on our stick and we gave it right back to them. It turned the game around. Yeah, we got one, but we didn’t follow it up. We were getting shots but no rebounds. We got to play bigger and better. We got to play older.”

Related: Rich McLaughlin Wins #400 as Randolph Coach

(Photo by Mark Carosiello/HockeyClan)

Randolph (17-3-4) outshot Morristown-Beard 27-17.

“Mo-Beard came out hard. We came out a little flat to start,” Randolph senior defenseman Ray McNamara said. “We got scared after the first one, but I saw a lot of fight from our team. We didn’t give up right then and there. We didn’t play terribly, we just didn’t get the bounces and they did. It didn’t matter at the end, but I liked the way we fought back. We’re going to move on and focus on states right now.”

Related: Jenna Kurz of Morristown-Beard is the HockeyClan Girls State Player of the Month

(Photo by Mark Carosiello/HockeyClan)

The crown was a long time coming for Morristown-Beard senior defenseman D.J. Layden, a freshman the last time the Crimson took home the Mennen Cup.

“It’s something — words can’t explain,” Layden said. “Our first year we won it, it was the best feeling. The past couple years we didn’t get what we wanted but it just makes it so much more surreal that we won it, especially being a senior.”

Related: Zangara, Gallo, Mattson Lead Randolph to 5-0 Victory over Middletown South in NJSIAA Semifinals

(Photo by Mark Carosiello/HockeyClan)
(Photo by Mark Carosiello/HockeyClan)
(Photo by Mark Carosiello/HockeyClan)
(Photo by Mark Carosiello/HockeyClan)


1-0 MB Nick Vantassell (Hollis Humphries) 8:45-1st

2-0 MB Tommy Matthews (Hollis Humphries) 12:05-2nd

3-0 MB Hollis Humphries (Tommy Matthews) 11:49-2nd

3-1 R J.T. Zangara (unassisted) 11:35-2nd

4-1 MB Jake Ochab (Nick Vantassell, Noah Jones) 5:02-2nd

5-1 Tommy Matthews (Cam Fernandez) 12:35-3rd

Shots: 27-17 Randolph; Luke McManus, MB, 26 saves; Gavin Einfeldt, R, 12 saves



Written by John Christian Hageny  @JCCSPORTS 

Special to HockeyClan


Photos by Mark Carosiello / @SnapthePicture6




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