Mendham 2021-22 preview: Loaded with experience, Minutemen look to reclaim Halvorsen Cup

MENDHAM MINUTEMEN

Head coach: John Kovacs, 25th year (384-327-59 career record between Morris Knolls and Mendham)

Division: Halvorsen

Last year: Mendham finished 4-3-2, with a 4-2-2 record in the Halvorsen Division. It had won three of its final four games heading into the Halvorsen Cup, but unfortunately the program had to drop out of the Halvorsen Cup due to COVID-19-related issues.

Key losses: Tim Tamboowalla, G.

Top returners: Tristan Aikenhead, F, Sr.; Mac Goggin, D, Jr.; Griffin Jozefek, F, Sr.; Liam Lloyd, F, Sr.; Gavin Marshuetz, F, Sr.; Ian Tamboowalla, F, Jr.

Newcomers: Ian Aikenhead, F, Fr.; Gavin Thurn, G, Fr.

Outlook: There may not be a team in the entire Morris/Sussex area that has as many players returning from last year as Mendham does.

Its most significant loss to graduation was goalie Tim Tamboowalla, who will be replaced by freshman Gavin Thurn this season. Other than that- every single player who registered a point for the Minutemen during the shortened 2020-21 season will be back this season. It will also be a group that will be hungry to reclaim the Halvorsen Cup it won in 2019-20, which it did not get to defend last season due to the team having to shut down the day before the tournament was to begin.

Led up front by dynamic seniors in Tristan Aikenhead (10 g., 7 a.) and Griffin Jozefek (2 g., 10 a.), Mendham returns a very deep group of scorers. Senior Liam Lloyd (6 g., 5 a.), senior Gavin Marshuetz (3 g., 3 a.), and junior Ian Tamboowalla (2 g., 6 a.) will all be counted on to provide offense.

Defensively, look for junior Mac Goggin (5 g., 1 a.) to provide some punch offensively along with being responsible in his own end. Junior Blake Stevens, senior Brandon Weinerman, and senior Grant McClung all figure to have big roles on the blue line.

With the amount of experience and talent this team has returning, if it can get a solid year from its freshman goalie in Thurn, Mendham should be one of, if not the team to beat in the Halvorsen Division.

MILESTONE WATCH: Coach John Kovacs stands just 16 wins away from 400 for his career.

E-mail Mike Gurnis at michaelgurnis@gmail.com

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