NEWARK – Last year, Christian Brothers Academy left the ice of The Rock and walked down to the locker rooms, devastated over tying Morristown-Beard to become Non-Public Co-Champions.
On Monday night, the Colts found themselves in the same situation, only against Delbarton. After rallying from a 3-0 deficit, the Colts were in overtime – exchanging scoring chances with the Green Wave.
With over half the extra frame left, CBA’s Chris Hayes took a shot on net. It bounced off a Delbarton defenseman and trickled into the net, giving the Colts the 4-3 overtime victory.
“It was kind of just a relief because we’d been working so hard,” Hayes said. “To see everybody throw their hands up in the air, it felt great.”
The Colts erased a 3-0 deficit to defeat Delbarton for its first state championship since a 2005 overtime win against Delbarton and its seventh overall. The loss was Delbarton’s first in a state championship game since the 2005 contest.
“It’s unbelievable,” CBA coach Ryan Bogan said. “Some of the guys on the team were on the team since 2012 when we lost a heartbreaker to Delbarton 3-2 after being up 2-0.
“I think we gave it back to them a little worse. They know what heartbreak feels like. and our team has a lot of heart and character and that’s what got us through. We had 26 guys contribute this year, that’s why our whole bench was full of kids with helmets that couldn’t dress today. I’m just so proud of the guys and for the school too because the whole school top to bottom they deserve this.”
After a scoreless first, the Colts faced a 3-0 deficit in the second thanks to two Green Wave goals from defenseman Andrew Petrillo and one tally from M.J. Melillo.
“We were down a bit, there’s no doubt about it. The coaches were pleading, begging for a little heart,” Bogan said. “And we got it.”
Less than a minute after Delbarton’s third goal, CBA’s Greg Malafronte was alone in front of Delbarton’s Troy Kobryn and buried a feed for the Colts’ first of the game. Anthony Cucich scored 2:24 minutes later to make it a 3-2 game.
“All season long with our guys, and everyone in our locker room will tell you, we worked on scoring when we were tired [and] what it meant to score 5-on-5 when you just had to outwork them,” Bogan said. “And this team, we did it. All those goals were when we were tired. And it works. So that, it goes to heart it goes to dedication, it goes to teamwork but this year finally we were prepared to win.”
CBA created some scoring chances in the third as the Colts tried to tie the game, and Derek Contessa finally put the puck past Delbarton’s Troy Kobryn with 2:37 minutes left in regulation.
“It’s really incredible. … It just feels great that we were able to do it,” Hayes said. “Everybody worked really hard. The seniors knew this was their last game, they worked so hard and they’re great leaders. It made it easy to come back with them leading us.”