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Final New Jersey Top 10: Don Bosco Finishes Off Memorable Season With State Title

New Jersey Top 10

RankTeamPR*WLT
1Don Bosco Prep12710
2Delbarton21974
3Christian Brothers Academy31871
4Gloucester Catholic910131
5Pope John41474
6Seton Hall Prep61493
7St. Peter's Prep511110
8RidgeNR1973
9SummitNR2061
10Bergen CatholicNR11142

1-Don Bosco Prep (27-1-0)  The Ironmen ended a dream season by winning their first state championship with a 3-1 victory over No. 2 Delbarton in the NJSIAA Non-Public championship. Don Bosco closed with a 23-game winning streak that also included the Gordon Cup championship and ninth straight Bergen County Tournament crown. Senior and Quinnipiac commit Liam McLinskey led the club with 76 points (30-46).

2-Delbarton (19-7-4)  The Green Wave did not lose to a New Jersey opponent this winter with the exception of top-ranked Don Bosco Prep, which it bowed to four times. Delbarton, which advanced to the Gordon Cup final, sought its fourth straight Non-Public title before falling in the final to Don Bosco. Standout senior Michael Balzarotti registered his 100th career point and closed with 65 points this winter (29-36).

3-Christian Brothers Academy (18-7-1)  The Colts’ drive to win their first Non-Public title since 2015 was thwarted with a 1-0 setback against 10th-ranked Bergen Catholic in the quarterfinal round. Still, CBA opened the winter with a 12-1 record and were the only team to beat top-ranked Don Bosco this season.

4-Gloucester Catholic (10-13-1)  The Rams, who earned an impressive victory over third-ranked CBA this campaign, delivered a hard-fought effort against No. 1 Don Bosco in the Non-Public semifinal before losing, 4-1. The South Jersey school also saw standout forward Dom Garozzo net his 31st goal this winter, surpassing the previous record of 30 held by Johnny Gaudreau since 2009.

5-Pope John (14-7-4)  The Lions rode the goaltending of senior Matt Schoer (.938 save-percentage) and finished first in the Gordon Conference National Division. The Lions dropped a 1-0 OT decision to third-ranked CBA in the Gordon Cup quarterfinal. Pope John also tied No. 2 Delbarton & defeated NJSIAA Public B champion Ridge this winter.

6-Seton Hall Prep (14-9-3) 6 Led by senior forward Thomas Colucci (21-14-35) Seton Hall finished second in the Gordon National Division and posted victories that included No. 4 Gloucester Catholic, Public C champion Summit, Public B finalist Randolph, Northern Highlands and Indian Hills.

7-St. Peter’s Prep (11-11-0)  Senior forward Matt Zdanowicz had a hat trick – including his 100th career point – in a 6-4 win over St. Joseph of Montvale in the first round of the NJSIAA Non-Public Round of 16. The Marauders lost to Delbarton in the quarterfinal and wound up finishing third in the Gordon National.

8-Ridge (19-7-3)  The Red Devils went 14-3 the final two months of the season – including a 3-1 victory over Public C champion and No. 10 Summit – and the run concluded with an impressive 4-1 victory over top-seeded Randolph in the Public B championship. Senior forward Alex Konovalov set the school scoring record with 188 points in his career.

9-Summit (20-6-1)  The Hilltoppers downed Chatham 6-2 in the Public C final to claim their third state championship – and second straight. Summit also secured its eighth Union County Cup and went to the McInnis Cup final before being edged, 6-5, by Westfield. Junior forward Tom Pryymak led the club with 55 points (25-30).

10-Bergen Catholic (11-14-2)  First-year coach and former BC standout Thomas Keough led the Crusaders to a 6-1-1 finish. Included in that impressive close were decisions over then-fourth-ranked Pope John (3-2) in the Non-Public Round of 16 followed by a win over third-ranked CBA (1-0 in the quarterfinal. The Crusaders then bowed to No. 2 Delbarton, 2-0, in the semifinal.

Paul Bruno

Paul Bruno

Paul Bruno covered college and high school ice hockey for The Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger from 1988-2012. A 1984 graduate of Seton Hall University, he played collegiate hockey for The Hall in the Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference. He also served as an intern in the New Jersey Devils public relations department during the 1983-84 season. Bruno later coached the Seton Hall University ice hockey team (1985-1987) and has covered the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils training camps as well as the ECAC ice hockey championships in Lake Placid, NY, for the Ledger. Bruno, who has been a contributing hockey writer to New Jersey Monthly Magazine, has covered hockey for Sideline Chatter for the past three seasons.
Paul Bruno
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