Montclair Kimberley Academy ice hockey gets a banner in winning NJIIHL Kelly Division Cup
It's been eight seasons since the Montclair Kimberley ice hockey team was able to get a title and put up a banner at Clary Anderson Arena.
Finally, the Cougars can now get that honor when Montclair Kimberley took care of Oratory Prep, 6-1, on Thursday night in the North Jersey Interscholastic Ice Hockey League (NJIIHL) Kelly Division tournament title at Codey Arena in West Orange. Five different MKA players scored a goal led by sophomore Nicholas Sykora who registered a pair of goals.
It was the program's first championship since taking the McInnis Cup in 2015.
The victory over Oratory Prep was a nice rebound for Montclair Kimberley (16-3-2) who missed out on winning at least a share of the Kelly Division regular season championship when they lost to Cranford, 6-2, on Feb. 3.
For the Cougars, who were a second seed in the Kelly tournament, they were expected to get a rematch against top-seeded Cranford in the Kelly Cup title game. But fourth-seeded Oratory Prep upset Cranford, 4-3, in the cup tournament semifinals. And Montclair Kimberley took care of business in their semifinal game, a 6-1 victory over third-seeded Frisch on Feb. 14.
After a scoreless first period in the Kelly Cup final,
Montclair Kimberley was stunned by Oratory Prep's Colin Reis who slipped a shot by Cougars goalie Aidan Meeker.
Montclair Kimberley found itself down 1-0 to start the second period.
But the Cougars offense would wake up as Sykora scored the first of two goals, this one a power play, 40 seconds after Oratory Prep took the lead. Junior Sam Rotella would assist on the game to tie it at one.
And it would be Rotella who three minutes later that would get a goal of his own and would eventually turn into the game-winner. Junior Jack MacEvoy assisted on the goal.