Kevin McIntyre, as a senior who will be counted on to lead the way this season on Morristown-Beard’s youngest team in years, believes that leading by example will be key.
“I feel like leading by example is a big thing,” McIntyre said. “If you block a shot, everyone else is going to hop on the bus. If you crash the net hard, everyone’s going to crash the net. If you hit someone, everyone’s going to be hitting someone.”
He did just that, along with his linemates, to lift Morristown-Beard to its first win of the 2022-23 season.
McIntyre, who played on the third line with variations of Brendan Tartaglione, Sean Rizzo, and Jack Scordley, buried the game’s first goal in the second period and added an empty-netter later to help the Crimson secure a 3-1 win over Mendham at Mennen Arena.
It was far from Morristown-Beard’s prettiest performance, as it finished the game even in shots on goal, 25-25. It also took several penalties, one of which resulted in a power play goal from Mendham’s Brandon Eigner midway through the third period to cut the deficit to one.
“We all know we can do a lot better,” McIntyre said. “We came out with the win, but not the way we wanted to. We’re just going to keep going. We just have to get the wins rolling.”
McIntyre and his linemates had an impressive shift in the second period, in which it had Mendham hemmed in its own zone for a couple of minutes. It was unable to capitalize during that shift, but that group knew that it would break through if it continued to play that way.
“It was all momentum,” McIntyre said. “That shift, I had a wide-open one-timer that I completely missed wide. I got back to the bench and one of the guys came up to me and said ‘you’re going to get one.’ I got right out there the next shift and got one. It just feels so good.”
The game wasn’t without some controversy, though. Shortly after McIntyre gave Morristown-Beard the lead, Mendham’s Cameron Smith had a breakaway opportunity. Replays on the Morris Sussex Sports broadcast showed his shot appearing to hit the back of the net, but the goal was waved off.
Nonetheless, Morristown-Beard took the one-goal advantage into the third period.
Hollis Humphries buried his fifth goal of the season five minutes into the third to give the Crimson a 2-0 lead. Mendham pushed hard in the final minutes, as it out-shot Morristown-Beard 17-5 in the third, but Morristown-Beard goalie Casey Connor was solid throughout the night, making 24 saves.
Brendan Eigner had a big night for Mendham as well, turning aside 22 shots.
It was a win that Morristown-Beard desperately needed in the early going, after dropping its first three games. Confidence is important, especially for a young team like the Crimson, so a win- no matter how it comes- should benefit it going forward.
It is slated to take on Pingry on Thursday, before facing Seton Hall Prep and Hillsborough before the end of the year.
“I think just some more consistency with how we’ve been playing shift-to-shift,” Morristown-Beard coach Scott Greene said of what needs to improve. “We started out the game tonight pretty good in the first three or four minutes, and we kind of got away from that besides the one line. For us, I think it’s just about consistency, paying attention to the details and really working hard every shift and not losing focus of that.”
A couple of MCSSIHL teams had the opportunity to play at Prudential Center on Tuesday night.
Park Regional took down West Orange, 8-3, on the home ice of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. Chase Olszewski netted three goals and an assist, while Michael Capozzi and Mike Monahan each netted two goals.
Park improved to 3-1-1 with the win.
Bernards-Somerville-Middlesex also came away victorious, as it defeated Old Bridge, 7-4 in the night cap at Prudential Center.
Delbarton continued its undefeated start to the season, as it took down Austin Prep (Mass.), 4-2 in an out-of-state match-up.
Jack Gerne netted two goals, while Nick Faccone and Jack Fidicaro each scored. Jason Cai made 18 out of 20 saves to earn his third victory of the year for Delbarton.
E-mail Mike Gurnis at firstname.lastname@example.org
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