15th Halvorsen Cup final preview: Morristown vs. Mendham

15TH HALVORSEN CUP FINAL

1-Morristown (14-4-3) vs. 2-Mendham (9-6-1)
Wednesday, 5:45 p.m. at Mennen Arena

Previous meetings: Morristown won both meetings this season by equal scores of 4-1 on Dec. 3 and Jan. 28.

CUP HISTORY
Morristown
– Morristown has won two Halvorsen Cups (2011, 2012) and five total cups (Haas in 2001, 2003, and 2004).
– This is Morristown’s first appearance in a Cup final since winning the 2012 Halvorsen Cup.

Mendham
– Mendham has won five total Cups, including four Halvorsen Cup titles (2009, 2013, 2014, 2020).

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Morristown
Patrick Bozza (7 a.), Jackson Byrne (6 g., 11 a.), Jack McKenna (5 g., 10 a.), Nick Romano (5 g., 7 a.), Harry Santen (12 g., 7 a.), Brody Toye (2 g., 9 a.), Liam Wilson (7 g., 11 a.), Francis Zaklukiewicz (10 g., 20 a.)

Goalie: Dylan Peck (10-4-3, .935 sv%)

Mendham
Tristan Aikenhead (21 g., 12 a.), Sean Caddo (2 g., 12 a.), Michael Gionco (8 g., 10 a.), E.J. Gleie (9 g., 13 a.), Mac Goggin (3 g., 14 a.), Griffin Jozefek (4 g., 17 a.), Liam Lloyd (12 g., 7 a.), Blake Stevens (3 g., 14 a.), Ian Tamboowalla (4 g., 8 a.).

Goalie: Gavin Thrun (9-6-1, .864 sv%)

THE MATCH-UP
Beating a good team three times in a season is always a difficult task, but that is the task Morristown is faced with on Wednesday night.

The Colonials put away two seemingly comfortable 4-1 wins against Mendham this season, but those have both been fairly even contests despite the scoreline. These are two relatively evenly-matched teams, and it will be a clash of Mendham’s firepower against Morristown’s strong defense.

Morristown, led by one of the top goalies in the area in Dylan Peck, does a good job in keeping the puck out of its net as evidenced by its 1.29 goals allowed per game this season. It has done a nice job defensively against a Mendham squad which has no shortage of firepower with players such as Aikenhead, Gleie, and Lloyd leading the way. It will need to do the same thing once again in order to come out with the title.

Mendham, on the other hand, would be well-served to score the first goal and put the pressure on Morristown early. If it can do that, Morristown is a team that has had its moments where it has struggled to score goals this season.

In the end though, Morristown has the mental edge after winning the first two meetings, and has a very stingy defensive group. That will be the difference in this one.

Prediction: Morristown 2, Mendham 1

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