INAUGURAL CHARETTE CUP
3-Bernards-Somerville-Middlesex (7-3-1) vs. 4-Newton-Lenape Valley (4-8-1)
Friday, 5:45 p.m., Mennen Arena
Previous meetings: Bernards-Somerville-Middlesex won both meetings between these teams by commanding scores of 7-0 and 6-2 back on Jan. 29 and Feb. 4, respectively.
– It has won one MCSSIHL Cup- the 2017 Haas Cup. It also won the 2013 McMullen Cup as a member of the NJIIHL.
– Previously won the McInnis Cup in 2001 and the Van Cott Cup in 2002. This is the team’s first season in the MCSSIHL.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Cameron Cherry (7 g., 5 a.), Lukas Krauklis (1 g., 4 a.), Ryan Lynch (8 g.), Matthew Murphy (2 g., 1 a.)
Goalie: Trey Kaplan
Eddie Berman (2 g., 8 a.), Jimmy Hathaway (13 g., 5 a.), Dylan Leonard (4 g., 9 a.), Ryan Leonard (7 g., 6 a.), Stephen Parisi (7 g., 4 a.), Paul Wendling (1 g., 6 a.)
Goalie: Maggie Smith (.878 sv%) or Baylyn Shankman (.901 sv%)
The Charette Cup is as wide-open of a Cup tournament as there is this year, and that was proven in the semifinals, as the third and fourth seeds knocked off the top two seeds to advance to the final.
Bernards-Somerville-Middlesex has had a very strong season in its first season in the MCSSIHL, after spending years in the Skyland Conference. It has a very deep and balanced offense, highlighted by freshmen Jimmy Hathaway, Dylan Leonard, and Ryan Leonard, which is a trio that is both the present and future of this program. It also helps that it has a pair of goaltenders that it can count on in Maggie Smith and Baylyn Shankman. Smith, a senior, is coming off a 25-save performance in the team’s semifinal win over High Point-Wallkill Valley, and figures to get the nod in the final game of the season.
Newton-Lenape Valley is proof that you are not always what your record says you are. While the 4-8-1 record is certainly something it did not want this season, the team has for the most part been very competitive this season and has gotten better towards the tail end of the year, winning three of its last five games- including a victory over top seed Morris Catholic in the semifinals. It pulled off that win thanks in large part to an outstanding goaltending performance by Trey Kaplan, which it will likely need once again to win on Friday. It will also need its top two scorers in Ryan Lynch and Cameron Cherry to come through.
And while the two meetings between these squads were lopsided victories in favor of Bernards-Somerville-Middlesex, Newton-Lenape Valley does not have to look too far into the past for inspiration. When it won its only Haas Cup title in 2017, it knocked off Vernon in the final, after dropping its previous three meetings- including an 8-1 loss just two weeks prior.