MORRISTOWN _ Morristown-Beard more than survived the 2010-11 season without its star player, Sarah Bayersdorfer.
The Crimson went undefeated and dominated in the majority of their games.
Coming into this campaign, Morristown-Beard, of course, had some concerns after graduating key players but, once again, its depth has proven to be its greatest asset.
"We lost some good players so I'm interested in seeing how things work out," senior defender Maggie McDonagh said earlier this season. "We're having a lot of fun. Hopefully, we can keep the momentum up."
They have. The Crimson have continued their roll, outscoring their opponents, 67-5. Seven wins have been by shutout.
Junior right wing Brette Brier of Summit said that Morristown-Beard may be lacking in size a bit but that its players are extremely dedicated.
"Every day, we're on the ice trying to improve," said Brier, who began skating at 2 years old and playing competitively two years later.
She also noted that the Crimson possess many other attributes.
"We're very close," Brier said. "We pass well. No one gets upset. We don't yell at each other when someone messes up."
Laura Mead, Laura Loeser and Allie Aiello, all returnees, are Morristown-Beard's No. 1 line. The second line features Brier, Kendall Cornine and either Christina D'Alessandro, Mikhaela Schultz and Kathleeen McNamara.
Head coach Bruce Driver can't say enough about the freshmen, who have contributed mightily.
"I was drooling waiting for the day Kendall would be done with middle school," Driver said. "It seemed like she was never going to move up."
Driver values Kinnelon's Cornine, a center, for her quickness. D'Alessandro, of Bloomfield, has proven versatile, playing wing, and, if needed, defense. Although young, the have lots of experience. Cornine, for example, has been playing for nine years.
"At first, I was nervous about playing," D'Alessandro said. "I was overwhelmed at my first practice. Everyone's been so nice and that made me comfortable."
Two more freshmen, Anna Rudinsky and MacNamara, have seen plenty of action. Rudinsky, Driver said, is "big and strong and never gets beat."
"Things are going well," said Cornine, who has 10 goals. "We work together. We just go out and play."
Something that's been a bit different is that athletes from other sports are on the team. In the past, many of the players were devoted exclusively to ice hockey.
"For some of the girls, ice hockey is a second or third sport," Brier said. "Some are doing it for fun. They may not have grown up playing but they're dedicated. We all have a lot of passion for the game."
Two weeks ago, Morristown-Beard blanked Lawrenceville, 4-0, behind two goals by Aiello and individual scores by Brier and Rudinsky. Also key was the play of goalie Katherine Chester, who had 17 saves.
The win let the Crimson know they still have what it takes even though there were spots to fill.
On Monday, Feb. 6, Morristown-Beard, which has not lost a game since the 2009-10 season, is at Greenwich Academy in Connecticut. Rye (N.Y.) will be a challenge and hasn't lost a league game yet.
"We'll keep getting stronger as the season progresses," McDonagh correctly predicted. "We're going to get back to where we finished."
Latest from Sandy Seegers