North downs crosstown rival South in Public B Hockey NJSIAA Tourney


Chris Nawalsky,

Luke Chrzan stopped 19 of 20 shots as second-seeded Middletown North, No. 17 in the Top 20, defeated seventh-seeded Middletown South, 5-1, in the Public B state tournament quarterfinals at Middletown Ice World

With the win, Middletown North (14-6-4) will face sixth-seeded and No. 20 Ramapo in the semifinals on Wednesday at Essex County Codey Arena. Ramapo just knocked off third-seeded and No. 11 Randolph in its quarterfinals game, 3-2.

Midd. South is now 12-10-4.

“It’s nice to win this time of year regardless of opponent,” Middletown North coach Don Wood said. “To be honest, it was nicer they were in Public A and I could root for them being in a different bracket. Coach Rosenbloom and his staff have done a great job year after year being in the mix in the postseason. I believe this was their seventh-straight trip to at least the quarterfinals.

“The atmosphere was great. I think it was filled to capacity to watch these teams battle it out for a third time this year. We were able to withstand some pressure after they cut it to 2-1 towards the end of the first period. We found our game in the second and put up some solid shots.”

Jimmy Mullarney and Ryan Cook both scored twice in the contest for the Lions while Thomas Baron finished with one goal.

“Luke made a few key saves off tips and rebounds that really helped the team settle down when we got in trouble in our zone a couple of times,” Wood said. “Overall, our effort was solid from our captains on down and everybody got involved at different points which is big in a playoff game.”