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Final New Jersey Top 10: Don Bosco Prep Finishes Strong To End Up At #1 Position

New Jersey Top 10

1Don Bosco Prep21021
2Gloucester Catholic11020
3Seton Hall Prep3524
5Bergen Catholic41021
6Christian Brothers Academy5732
9St. Joseph Montvale10572
10Rumson-Fair HavenNR1002

1-Don Bosco Prep (10-2-1)  After a 3-0 loss to Gloucester Catholic on Feb. 12 the Ironmen were determined that would be the last game they would lose this season. The club went 6-0 to the finish line, capped by a 5-0 win over then-No. 1. Gloucester Catholic last week in the 63rd Gordon Cup final, the third time the Bergen County squad has claimed that chalice. The Ironmen scored 18 goals while yielding just one in their three Gordon Cup contests, including consecutive shutouts over Bergen Catholic and Gloucester Catholic by Kevin Rose. The senior goalie posted a .984 save-percentage in his three Gordon Cup starts.

2-Gloucester Catholic (10-2-0) Yes, the Rams were thwarted in their bid for a first Gordon Cup and No. 1 ranking last week, but there’s no doubt the South Jersey squad put together an impressive winter campaign. Gloucester Catholic’s 5-0 setback to top-ranked Don Bosco in the Gordon Cup final stopped its nine-game winning streak, which saw it outscore the opposition 35-15. During the regular season the Rams beat Bergen Catholic, Delbarton, Don Bosco and Seton Hall Prep. Their only regular season setback came against then-No 1 CBA, 3-1, on Jan. 27.

3-Seton Hall Prep (5-2-4)  The Pirates continued their resurgence in the Gordon Conference under sixth-year coach Mike Atkinson. Seton Hall went on the road and handed then-third ranked CBA, 4-2, loss in the Gordon Cup quarterfinal round on Feb. 25. The win was Seton Hall’s first victory over CBA since 2006 and the Essex County club’s first foray into the Gordon semifinal round since 2007. Seton Hall, which also downed Delbarton for the first time since 2006, lost to Gloucester Catholic, 4-1, in the Gordon Cup semis.

4-Morristown-Beard (9-1-1)  Roman Berger hit twice, Cam Fernandez also scored and Luke McManus halted 22 shots to send Morristown-Beard to a 3-1 win over Morris Knolls/Hills in the championship of the Mennen Cup. The Cup was the 13th overall and sixth in eight years for the Crimson, who concluded the winter on an eight-game winning and nine-game unbeaten streak (8-0-1). The Crimson skated to a 3-3 draw with third-ranked Seton Hall Prep on Jan. 28.

5-Bergen Catholic (10-2-1) The Crusaders continued their rise in the Gordon Conference this winter and sought their first Gordon Cup since winning consecutive titles in 2003-04. Bergen Catholic, which beat CBA 4-3 this season, carried a nine-game unbeaten streak into the Gordon semis before suffering a 9-0 setback to Don Bosco. The loss was the Crusaders’ first since a 3-2 defeat to No. 2 Gloucester Catholic in the season-opener on Jan. 18.

6-Christian Brothers Academy (7-3-2)  The Colts sought their second straight Gordon Cup, and 10th overall, but saw that goal thwarted when they were handed a 4-2 loss by third-ranked Seton Hall Prep in the quarterfinal round on Feb. 25. The two clubs had skated to a 4-4 tie on Feb. 19. Sophomore defenseman Patrick Reilly led the Colts with 17 points (4-13). CBA remains the only team to win three consecutive Gordon Cup titles (1994, ‘95 & ‘96).

7-Delbarton (3-5-1) The Green Wave engaged top-ranked Don Bosco Prep in two hard-fought games two weeks ago but came up short in both contests. Delbarton was edged 4-2 in its regular season finale on Feb. 23. Two days later Nick Faccone scored but the Green Wave bowed to Don Bosco, 4-1, in the Gordon Cup quarterfinal. Still, Delbarton has been one of the most successful teams in Gordon history, winning eighth Cup championships since 2005 (Delbarton was co-champions St. Augustine Prep in 2011).

8-Ridge (8-1-0) The Red Devils comported themselves nicely in their season finale as Matt Balzarotti scored twice, Erik Helgeson scored once and Jack Richter made 26 saves to fuel a 3-1 victory over Hunterdon Central in the Skylands Cup championship. It was the fourth Skylands Cup title for Ridge, which finished with a six-game winning streak. The Red Devils’ lone defeat this season came against fifth-ranked Bergen Catholic, 3-1, on Feb. 6.

9-St. Joseph Montvale (5-7-2)  The Green Knights certainly performed well in their first season back in the Gordon Conference since the 1990s. St. Joe’s played fifth-ranked Bergen Catholic impressively and received a 23-save effort from Tomas Spero and a goal from Michael Angeletti before dropping a 2-1 decision in the quarterfinal round of the Gordon Cup. Junior forward Thomas Hilliard led the Green Knights in scoring this winter with 19 points (8-11).

10-Rumson (10-0-2)  The Bulldogs capped their unbeaten season with a 10-2 win over Freehold Borough on March 3. Senior forward Ryan Croddick (nine goals) and junior forward Brett Pritchard (12 goals) fueled the Rumson offense while senior goalie Ronan Hickey posted a .926 save-percentage to anchor the other end of the ice. After a 2-2 tie with Marlboro on Feb. 2 Rumson ran through a nine-game winning streak that included decisions over Westfield, Summit, Skylands Cup finalist Hunterdon Central and Mennen Cup finalist Morris Knolls/Hills.

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
- 12 hours ago