Head coach Ryan Bogan lost last year’s top scorer when Bobby Hampton (33-40-73) transferred to Middletown North, but the Colts are deep enough that they remain prime contenders for the private state title. Conor Tierney (15-29-44) should lead the way offensively, with classmates Greg Malafronte (10-9-19) and Austen Tieri (2-11-13) and sophomore Derek Contessa (10-12-22) expected to take on larger roles up front. Junior Ryan Bogan (10-41-51) headlines the defensemen alongside classmates Michael Foggia (6-11-17) and James Stanger (3-6-9). Junior Michael Cernero (.931) was replaced in the first period of last year’s state final but had been strong all year and should get the majority of the minutes in 2014-15. The Colts will continue to compete in both the Gordon Conference and Shore A North Division, leaving no scheduling room for non-league games.
The target on Delbarton’s back may be slightly smaller this year after the Green Wave’s failure to win a seventh consecutive state title in 2014. Head coach Bruce Shatel does welcome back two-thirds of his top line, as juniors Tyler Kobryn (17-10-27) and Anthony DelGaizo (8-19-27) were part of a unit that topped the +60 mark last year. Shatel will also look to seniors Harrison Newman (9-8-17) and Kevin Obssuth (4-7-11) on offense, with potential spark from sophomore Steven Agriogianis and freshman Nick Siffringer. Defensively, sophomore goalie Troy Kobryn (.904) started all last season and has an experienced cast of defensemen led by senior Sean Petrie (4-13-17) and junior Andrew Petrillo (3-13-16), bolstered this year by freshman Jalen Kaplan. Delbarton will face Massachusetts powers Malden Catholic and Catholic Memorial in late December and, in addition to annual contests against Connecticut schools Brunswick, Fairfield Prep, and Hotchkiss, the Green Wave will compete in the Springfield Cathedral tournament in February.
Don Bosco Prep (16-5-3)
After beating Delbarton two times out of three, including the Gordon Cup final, the Ironmen thought last year was their chance to win their first state title, but a quarterfinal upset at the hands of St. Augustine Prep ended those dreams. Head coach Greg Toskos brings back one of the state’s top playmakers in Hunter Garlasco (8-23-31), and senior Connor Healey (2-3-5) hopes to play a full season on defense after battling injuries last year. Senior Stephen Bressi and sophomore C.J. McGee will be key on defense, while senior Michael Jordan, junior Chris Mazzella, and sophomores Ryan McLinsky and Matt Brown should all contribute on defense. Sophomore goalie Alexei Masanko split time with senior Jarred Liscio last year and went 7-2-1, winning big games at Delbarton and against CBA in the Gordon Cup semifinals. Don Bosco Prep’s schedule includes out-of-state tests against BC High and Fairfield Prep for the second straight year.
Pope John (17-6-2)
After winning the National Division last year, Pope John moves up to the state’s top division and should be plenty competitive. Head coach Ryan Brown can count on veteran leadership from the returning quartet of senior forward Donny Flynn (24-36-60), junior forward Richie Halevy (9-9-18) and senior defensemen Charlie Spetz (15-13-28) and Tyler Lapchanski (3-13-16). Freshman defenseman John Spetz brings good size and could contribute at forward or on defense. In goal, freshman George Bennett should challenge senior Zach Bernstein and junior Kailen Mahabir for the vacant starting job.
Bergen Catholic (10-13-1)
Second-year head coach Brian Monteverdi brings back several contributors from his first campaign at Bergen Catholic,
highlighted by seniors Kyle Marano (9-11-20) and Tyler Antonucci (9-7-16). Other key contributors are senior Lucas Milbank, juniors Sasha Miniouchine and Pierre LaMonica, and sophomores Bryan Hallenbeck and Diarmad DiMurro. Goaltending is a question mark, however, after Gennaro Anzevino graduated and Pete Negron transferred to Kent. Junior Sal Farruggia and sophomores Francis Forte and Tyler Savino are expected to battle for playing time.
* Coming Next: Gordon-National Preview