Chatham Hockey Preview

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015
Hockey Photo

Over the past few seasons, the Chatham Ice Hockey team has continually been a fan favorite because of their success and intensity on the ice. This year’s Cougars, led by returning Captain Austin Pierce, look to continue their success with a different look. This is the first season under new coach, Brendon Herr. Pierce shared that “having a new coach is a new challenge that each player on the team is ready to face…our team goals haven’t changed from the years prior. Every time we lace up the skates, our goal is to compete for a Mennen Cup and state championship.” Pierce, along with fellow seniors Ryan Barnett and Mark McNally, was part of the Chatham state championship team his freshman season, and he looks to regain that title in his last season.

This season, the Cougars will rely on the senior leadership of Pierce, Barnett, and McNally along with defensemen Ben Seitz-Sitek and forwards Andrew Schmidt, Will Olson, Brian Heyl and Michael Nall. The squad this year is fairly young and will be without goalie CJ Albanese who proved pivotal in the Cougar’s success in past years. Junior goalie, Jamie Boles, will step up in net. After a successful and productive offseason for Boles, the team is confident he will be able to pick up CJ’s duties and provide a strong last line of defense.

The team started off with a nail-biting loss 4-3 to Kinnelon on Nov. 28th, but showed promise under the new systems Coach Herr and his staff are putting in place. The goal scorers were Andrew Schmidt, Austin Pierce, and sophomore Brendon Darby. Pierce states that “this loss is not going to define us. Our coach is still trying to see who meshes with who and learning what its like to be in the Mennen division.” The productive line of Pierce, Schmidt, and Darby is promsing because both seem to have a grip on the system even though Darby is only a sophomore and Andrew missed last season with injuries. The team was also without Ryan Barnett as he cannot play due to NJSIAA rules as he is still completing his senior year football season.

The home opener for the Cougars is scheduled to be Saturday Dec. 5 at 8:15 pm vs. Randolph, and the team looks forward to playing in front of the loyal Chatham 7th skater all season long.