The Pack Goes Back To Back: WMC Ice Hockey Wins Haas Cup

WMC Ice Hockey team poses with trophy after winning Haas Cup (

One year ago the West Morris Central Ice Hockey team did what no one thought was possible and won The Haas Cup after having a record of 0-14-1 the prior year. To start off this season they had one goal, to go back to back. On Monday, February 13th, 2023 they did just that and won their second consecutive Haas Cup title and third outright in school history.  

The Pack faced off against Park Regional (Park), a team that they are quite familiar with. Their season opened up with a 3-3 tie to Park and at the midpoint of the season on January 12th they suffered a 2-1 loss to them. This left the Wolfpack hungry and wanting to defend their title more than ever. 

Going into the final, the Wolfpack was ranked the two seed and Park the four seed. In the Pack’s semi-final matchup they defeated Roxbury in a thrilling game that eventually ended in a shootout with the winning goal being scored by sophomore Ben Barnhill. 

With the cup looking closer than ever all they had to do was win one more game, but defeating Park would be no easy feat. Park opened up the scoring early after only five minutes into the first period. The remainder of the first period was evenly matched and the possession was back and forth between both sides, but the Pack still couldn’t find the back of the net. 

After a quick five minute break the team was ready to go for the second period. Wolfpack fans were roaring and the team used their support to come out flying. After just six minutes, Barnhill netted the first goal for the Wolfpack with the assist by Tommy Togno on the powerplay. However, Park wasn’t going to give up that easily and with five minutes remaining in the second period, Park scored, leaving the Wolfpack down 2-1 with only one period remaining.

Ben Barnhill and Michael Ferry celebrate during the Haas Cup final (Jen Sheppard)

Throughout the final period the Wolfpack had multiple opportunities on net, but were unable to capitalize. With their dreams of winning slowly fading away, Tommy Togno provided a spark to the Wolfpack offense and scored with just two minutes remaining in regulation. At the end of regulation the game was tied 2-2 and went into overtime (OT) which would be decided by a golden goal.

For the first half of OT both sides had opportunities to score, but neither were able to take advantage. However, with seven minutes remaining junior Michael Ferry found the back of the net off of a cross from Ben Barnhill which led the West Morris Central Ice Hockey team to their second consecutive Haas Cup victory. Following the game, Ferry told, “It’s something you dream about.” He added, “When you’re 10 years old playing knee hockey with your friends, scoring the game-winning goal, it’s something you just can’t put into words. I don’t even know the words for it right now.” Additionally, senior captain Jimmy Thompson noted, “Going back to back is a great accomplishment and a goal the boys and I set in the beginning of the season. To be able to put in the work and see results is a great feeling. I couldn’t have done it without this great group of guys with me.”  

The WMC Ice Hockey team celebrates after winning the Haas Cup (

Following the game Coach Togno told Morris Sussex Sports, “ It was well earned, we knew we had a target on our back. I’ve been coaching for a long time and there was a dry spot where we didn’t win for 12 or 13 years so to win back to back with my boys and kids I’ve been coaching since they were 5 or 6 is an incredible feeling.” Not only does this win mean so much to the team, but also to the community. Coach Tongo told, “It truly means a lot to this program, you’re starting to see nets in driveways now. You’re starting to see kids in the crowd wearing jerseys. The momentum that we can get off of this and the interest is starting to grow.”

Prior to the Haas Cup, the Pack didn’t have enough power points to qualify for states, however after winning the semi-final and final they are back in the running and looking to continue their momentum in the state tournament. Junior captain Nick Dargel remarked, “ We plan to use our momentum from winning the Haas to help us play fast and play like the team we know we can be. Chatham is a good squad, but when we play with tempo and like a 5 man unit we can compete with any team in the state.”

The Paw wants to congratulate the West Morris Central Ice Hockey team on winning the Haas Cup and wishes them best of luck in states!