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New Jersey Gordon Conference Preview

GORDON – AMERICAN

CBA (23-5) – As CBA aims to replicate its three straight state championships from 1994-96, head coach Ryan Bogan (who played on the 1994 team) will build from the back, where senior goalie Michael Cernero (.915) and the coach’s son, senior defenseman Ryan Bogan (12-42-56), return along with classmates Joe Marsicano (2-11-13) and Chris Hayes (1-12-13). Up front, seniors Cristian Winters (27-21-48), Anthony Cucich (11-14-25), and James Stanger (4-8-12) and juniors Derek Contessa (16-17-33) and Corey Clifton (10-17-27) lead a deep attack.

Delbarton (23-5-1) – As if stewing all offseason about a blown lead in the state final wasn’t bad enough, two underclassmen high in the Green Wave’s forward rotation – Anthony DelGaizo and Penn State commit Steven Agriogianis – left the program for junior hockey, although DelGaizo remains enrolled. But Delbarton will still be able to score. Four productive seniors all return in in Anthony Farinacci (13-20-33), Tyler Kobryn (12-21-33), Danny Farr (12-19-31), and Jack Chatwin (11-14-25), while head coach Bruce Shatel welcomes impact freshmen John Farinacci and Jack Malone. On defense, Andrew Petrillo and promising sophomore Jalen Kaplan are joined by Taft transfer Hunter Macy in front of junior goalie Troy Kobryn, a three-year starter.

Don Bosco Prep (11-9-4) – After finishing second in the Gordon Conference American Division last year, ahead of CBA, Don Bosco Prep’s season ended abruptly, with upset losses in their first games of both the Gordon Cup and the NJSIAA private state tournament. Head coach Greg Toskos can rely on junior goalie Alexei Masanko (.903) and senior defenseman Luke Campomenosi to provide steady hands at the back, with junior Chris McGee also a returning key and freshman Nolan Barrett a big blue-line addition. The question could be up front, where Chris Mazzella (15-14-29) will need help from junior Ryan McLinsky (6-5-11), sophomore Mickey Burns (2-5-7), and freshman Tyler Sedlak.

Bryan Hallenbeck Bergen Catholic

Bryan Hallenbeck
Bergen Catholic

Giovanni Albano St. Augustine Prep

Giovanni Albano
St. Augustine Prep

Bergen Catholic (14-12-1) – After a strong finish last year, reaching the Gordon Cup final and the private state semifinals, the Crusaders will hope to build toward a similar run this year. Head coach Brian Monteverdi returns only three seniors and lost talented upperclassmen Sasha Miniouchine and Evan Wisocky to club hockey. But Bergen Catholic should get added leadership from a strong junior class led by standout defenseman Diarmad DiMurro and junior captains Jack Shannon (defense) and Bryan Hallenbeck (forward). Senior Sal Farruggia is expected to start in goal, with senior Brian Anderson on defense and senior Ryan Lopiccolo, junior Pierre La Monica, and sophomore Nicolas Arcaroli among the contributors up front.

St. Augustine Prep (9-8-4) – While the Hermits often have a more inconsistent roster than other top teams, when everybody’s on hand, they are a tough opponent and reached the Gordon Cup semifinals last year. Head coach Tim Fingerhut welcomes back good offensive production from senior Anthony DeRuchie and the junior trio of Carson Brière, Andrew Carpenter, and Matt Cassidy. Senior Caelan Brière and juniors Nikko Poulianas and Max Gravenstine lead the defense in front of junior goalie Giovanni Albano.

GORDON – NATIONAL

Bishop Eustace (14-7-1) – After winning the Gordon Conference National Division title in a photo finish with rival St. Augustine Prep, Bishop Eustace matched the best finish in school history by reaching the private semifinals before falling to Delbarton. Junior goalie Cayden Primeau (.897) returns to backstop an experienced squad. Aaron Maguyon (11-20-31) will be expected to carry much of the scoring load, supported by junior Michael Colella (7-7-14) and senior Matt Hinke (0-8-8). Senior Luke Olivo (0-5-5) and juniro Sean Lippincott (1-6-7) anchor the defense. Head coach Mike Green also welcomes three freshmen in Nick Gardyasz, Dylan Saracino, and Anthony Tropea.

Richie Halevy Pope John

Richie Halevy
Pope John

Pope John (10-12-2) – After earning just two league wins while playing in the American Division, the Lions drop down to the National Division this year and could challenge for the division title. Seniors Richie Halevy (7-7-14) and Josh Mead and sophomores John Spetz (8-4-12) and Eric Vanderhoff all return offensively for head coach Ryan Brown, allong with juniors Artem Buzoverya and Joe Rocco. On the blue line, seniors Giuseppe Ippolito and Bobby Spetz and juniors Garret LaLonde and Mykita Volubuyev will take on increased roles, aided by the addition of freshman Steven Spetz. Sophomore George Bennett and freshman Matt Schoer are both contending to start in goal.

St. Peter’s Prep (9-11-2) – With only three seniors, the Marauders will be a young squad under Mike Goodrich this year. Senior captain Chris Picinic has moved from defense to forward, while junior Matt Koziel (3-10-13), who can play both, could be the team’s top skater. Senior Scott Andreas takes over in goal, while juniors Nick (9-7-16) and Matt (0-7-7) Gallo contribute up front and on defense, respectively.

Gloucester Catholic (3-10-3) – Another team with a fluctuating roster, the Rams will hope senior defenseman Devin Joyce, sophomore forward Ryan McArthur, and senior goalie Dominik Newman can lead a young team to success this year.

Seton Hall Prep (2-19-1) – As the Pirates try to get back toward the middle of the Gordon Conference pack, first-year head coach Mike Atkinson will rely on senior Keith Bishop (7-12-19) and sophomore Stephen Buck (9-11-20) for leadership this season.

Jonathan Yardley
Jonathan Yardley has been covering high school ice hockey in New Jersey since 1996. A native of Morristown and a Delbarton alumnus, he graduated from Rice University in Houston, Texas in 2005. A radio and television broadcaster, he has called games for the 2003 NCAA championship Rice baseball team (2002-05), the 2011 Major League Soccer Eastern Conference champion Houston Dynamo (2008-11), and ESPN3 (2012-13), among other teams and outlets. He grew up watching hockey at Mennen Arena and for five seasons (1996-97 to 2000-01) wrote a weekly newsletter and ran the webpage for the MCSSIHL, the Morris County high school league. He now writes for Hockey Night in Boston in addition to website and blog maintenance.
Jonathan Yardley