Starting at 6:15 tonight, fans that log on to MSGVarsity.com will get to see a double-header of fantastic cup championships when West Morris Central and Morristown skate for the Halvorsen Cup and Randolph and Morris Knolls square off for the Mennen title.
Up first in the early game, Morristown will look to continue its dominance over the Halvorsen Conference and lock up the school’s second-straight Halvorsen crown. Standing in the way is the only confernce foe to deliver the Colonials a loss during this campaign, mighty Mendham.
It’s been a mixed bag for the Minutemen this season, as they have played well in conference but stumbled in some tough out of conference games to a 12-10-1 record. It has been a month since the cross-town rivals have met and the matinee is sure to be a dandy.
While the Halvorsen promises to be an all out war, as far as public school hockey in New Jersey goes, it doesn’t get much better than Morris Knolls versus Randolph for all the marbles.
The Mennen Cup is often referred to as the most prestigious public title in the state and for good reason; it is by far the toughest to win. Top to bottom the conference boasts a litany of travel players and experienced, battle-tested coaching staffs.
The last two standing this year are Randolph and Morris Knolls, which have produced two extremely compelling hockey games already this season. In the first matchup -- which was also livecast on MSGVarsity.com -- Randolph showed why it is often considered the class of all public schools in the state as it imposed its will in a 3-0 victory back in the first week of December.
Knolls hasn’t found a way to score against Randolph’s iron curtain defense and stellar netminder Mike Pollio this year, but to be fair not many teams have.
The Rams tied for least goals allowed amongst public school teams with only 23 on the year (the other team to allow 23 was Morristown. That tie was only one of five games Randolph did not take two points from this season and the Rams dropped only one game in 2011-12.
That tie seemed to swell Morris Knolls with confidence, as it would rip off five straight wins after that meeting, including an 8-1 shellacking in the semifinals over the only team to beat Randolph this season, Kinnelon.
So what does it all mean?
We like Mo town and Randolph to prevail in our picks before these tournaments kicked off and while we would be a bit surprised if both didn’t finish the job, it’s certainly plausible to think one or even both could go down. The only thing that’s a sure thing when it comes to Mennen Arena tomorrow is that the place will be jumping and trophies will be in the building.