By Angelo Kakolyris
It took overtime, but the Junior Colonials Hockey Club captured the Morris County Youth Hockey League (MCYHL) title on Sunday in a thrilling game against #1 seeded Jefferson Township at Mennen Arena in Morris Township.
The “Squirt” team, which consists of 9-10 year old boys and girls from Morristown and the Township, took an early 2-0 lead only to see the lead change hands several times during the course of the game.
Morristown evened the score with 2:43 left in regulation and scored early in extra time to secure the championship.
“We came up short in the finals last year, so this was a real vindication for the kids and our program,” said Program Director DJ Book. “We started practicing in August, and we’re just so proud of all the work everyone put into the season.”
Morristown goals were score by JR Prestifilippo, Theo Sterz, Damien Plenderleith, Nikita Sukhonosov, Will Rempfer, Rocco Rosciolo and Cam Book, who tallied the overtime winner.
The MCYHL was founded in 1973 by several Morris County businessmen who recognized the need for organized youth winter sports. In the beginning, games were played outdoors on the many local frozen ponds that were scattered throughout our county.
Teams were assembled on the ice from each of the neighboring towns and game competition began. The games soon progressed from the original supervised “pond” hockey program, which was highly dependent on the weather, to the organized games at local rinks.
Today, more than 2,000 of the county’s youth from the ages of 5-18, participate in programs run by the association.