For the first time in five seasons, the Sussex Cup will have a new home.
After Vernon had won the title every year from 2016-17 through 2020-21, Newton-Lenape Valley was able to break the streak this year. It defeated High Point-Wallkill Valley-Kittatinny, 7-3 on Monday night to clinch the title at Skylands Ice World.
This year’s tournament took on a bit of a different format than years past. With only three teams competing in Newton-Lenape Valley, Vernon, and High Point-Wallkill-Kittatinny, the schools agreed to hold a round-robin tournament where each team would play the other two teams, rather than the traditional bracket-style format with a championship game it had in previous iterations.
Newton-Lenape Valley defeated Vernon, 7-6 last Monday behind a three-goal third-period rally, before topping High Point on Monday to go 2-0 in the tournament and clinch the Cup title.
It marked the third Sussex Cup title in program history for Newton-LV, which has competed in this tournament since its inception in 2006-07. It previously won in 2013-14 and 2015-16.
Ryan Lynch led the way for Newton-Lenape Valley on Monday with a hat trick, which included two first-period goals to build a 4-0 lead early in the second period. Matthew Murphy had a goal and an assist, while David Pineda, Martin Murphy, and Anthony Piccirillo each had a goal. Aidan Urbano, Brayden Dabrowski, and Ryan Flannery-Garlick each dished out two assists. David Zappe stopped 29 of 32 shots in the victory.
Lynch, in total, tallied five goals and an assist in this tournament after posting two goals and an assist in the win over Vernon last week, including the game-winning goal in the third period. Eric Nemeth also had two goals and an assist in that win.
Newton-Lenape Valley improved to 7-7-5 overall with the win, and upped its Charette Division record to 4-1-2. It trails Bernards-Somerville-Middlesex by one point for first place, but BSM does have a game in hand on Newton-LV, which only has one league game remaining against Morris Catholic on Saturday.
High Point-Wallkill-Kittatinny fell to 4-7-2 with the loss, and 3-2-2 in the Charette.