Chatham 2021 preview: Where do Cougars fit in crowded Mennen Division?

CHATHAM COUGARS

Head coach: Brendon Herr, 6th year. 64-50-9 career record.

Division: Mennen

Last year: Chatham went through an up-and-down season a year ago, in which it finished with an 11-10-2 overall record. It reached the semifinals of the Mennen Cup, and lost to Lakeland in the quarterfinals of the NJSIAA Public C tournament.

Key losses: Danny Mahoney, Jennifer Olnowich.

This year’s squad: Chatham returns one of the better scorers in the area in senior forward Ryan Sordillo (15 g., 15 a.), who will be the centerpiece of the Cougars’ forward group. Senior Declan Curry (7 g., 8 a.), sophomore Ronan Curry (2 g., 3 a.), junior Tommy Sennett (4 g., 1 a.), and senior Brandon Lupi (7 g., 4 a.) will all be counted on.

Defensively, Chatham will look to sophomore Doyle Curry (5 g., 3 a.), sophomore Jeffrey Burke (2 g., 2 a.), and senior Korey Kleinle .

In goal, senior Michael Park will take over as the starter this year after Jennifer Olnowich put together a solid season in net for the Cougars a year ago.

Outlook: Chatham has a lot of strong players returning from last season, which is certainly a big reason for optimism going into this season. The big question is simply, where do the Cougars fit into a crowded Mennen Division? With a Top 10 team in the state in Morristown-Beard, a state champion in Morris Knolls which returns most of its roster, an always tough Randolph (also a state champion) and a Morristown team on the upswing, the Mennen Division will be as strong as it has been in recent memory. If Chatham can get good goaltending from Park and its skaters can continue to develop, it should be as good as any team in this division.

2021 SCHEDULE

Jan. 18 — Kinnelon-Sparta-Jefferson (Mennen Arena), 10:30 a.m.

Jan. 22 — Northern Highlands (Mennen Arena), 3:45 p.m.

Jan. 26 — Morris Knolls-Hills (Mennen Arena), 6 p.m.

Jan. 30 — Randolph (Mennen Arena), 6:15 p.m.

Feb. 1 — Morristown (Mennen Arena), 4:30 p.m.

Feb. 2 — Summit (Warinanco Park), 6:35. p.m.

Feb. 6 — Morristown-Beard (Mennen Arena), 6:15 p.m.

Feb. 10 — Morris Knolls-Hills (Mennen Arena), 5:45 p.m.

Feb. 20 — Morristown (Mennen Arena), 6:15 p.m.

Feb. 23 — Montville (Mennen Arena), 3 p.m.

Feb. 24 — Randolph (Mennen Arena), 7:45 p.m.

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