Dodger Hockey

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 The student section at the state quarter-finals against Northern Highlands hockey game!

The student section at the state quarter-finals against Northern Highlands hockey game!

Madison boys ice hockey made history this year winning the Mennen Cup, which is considered the most prestigious for public schools in the state. It is the first ever Mennen Cup for the Dodgers, and quite an epic journey from being in the Haas division just 4 years ago, the lowest in Morris County. My freshman year, we were in the Halvorsen division, working our way up to play against the big dogs like Roxbury and Sparta/Jefferson. With just a hand full of losses in the division, the team had its sights on a second division title in two years. Unfortunately, the team fell short against Roxbury 2-1 in the Halvorsen finals in 2016. Fast forward one year later, a much more vibrant offense was born. With the acquisition of David Renzulli, senior forward, from Chatham my sophomore year, along with Matt Deboer, son of NHL coach Pete Deboer, the team was hungry for more. However, the team fell in the exact same place against the exact same team, Roxbury, in the Halvorsen finals in 2017.

After falling to Roxbury two years in a row, big things were on the horizon for the Dodgers, led by seniors and former Haas Cup champions, Ryan Bagley, Kent Sanchez, and Will Scavone. On top of that, the much-needed assistance from freshmen newcomers like Aidan Niceberg, Jacoby Erickson, and Matt Gero helped push the team over the hump. The team played with a chip on their shoulder, and with returning all-star goalie and junior captain Matt Ubertaccio, the team swiftly clinched the 1st spot in the division. Madison beat West Morris Central in the Halvorsen final 5-0.

The 2018-2019 season was the pinnacle of all Madison High School hockey history. The future was bright from the very start of preseason practices, and upon hearing that one of the top forwards in the country was transferring from Avon Old Farms in Connecticut to Madison, Jason Siedem, we were on our high horses. No other team in Morris County history had ever won a cup from all three divisions, Haas, Halvorsen, and Mennen, let alone in a measly five years. As overwhelming our schedule seemed, since we were playing teams like Morristown-Beard, Chatham, Morris Knolls, and Randolph, the team showed out, out-worked, and out-hearted every single one of those teams. In the most spectacular and Dodger-like manner, the team battled through thick and thin, played selfless hockey, and beat Randolph, the defending Mennen Cup champs, 3-1. History was made, as the Dodgers steamrolled their way to becoming the best public school in the nation indisputably from kicking rocks in the Haas division. This will and should remain as one of the most inspirational stories that I cannot wait to share with my children one day.

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