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Final New Jersey Top 10: With big title game win, Delbarton claims #1 spot

New Jersey Top 10 Poll

RankTeamPR*WLT
1Delbarton22361
2Don Bosco Prep12721
3Summit42422
4Christian Brothers61792
5Northern HighlandsNR2251
6Randolph32223
7St. John Vianney51942
8Gloucester Catholic81381
9Morristown BeardNR1672
10St. Augustine Prep710123

1-Delbarton (23-6-1):  The Green Wave closed out the season with seven straight wins on the way to their 13th state title in winning the NJSIAA Private championship with a 4-2 verdict over second-ranked Don Bosco Prep on March 5 at the Prudential Center in Newark. Pat Harrington, Jalen Kaplan, Hunter Macy and Bayard Hall all scored, and Kenny Burgess made 33 saves in the final for Delbarton, which also captured its eighth overall Gordon Cup title, and third in four years, this winter.

2-Don Bosco Prep (27-2-1):  Despite falling short in its goal to win the Gordon Cup and claim its first state championship, the Ironmen still rolled to a school-record 27-win season and claim their seventh straight Bergen County Championship. Don Bosco rolled to a 24-0-1 record before suffering its first loss, a 2-1 overtime defeat against Delbarton in the Gordon Cup final on Feb. 16. Senior forward Mickey Burns had a phenomenal winter and finished his career with 181 career points on 62 goals and 119 assists.

3-Summit (24-2-2):  The Hilltoppers closed with a seven-game winning streak and 12-game unbeaten streak, concluding with a 3-0 victory over Chatham in the Public C final on March 5 at the Prudential Center for their second state championship. Summit also won the McInnis Cup for the second straight season with a 3-1 win over Livingston on Feb. 16. The Hilltoppers came within a goal of winning their seventh overall Union County Cup when they were edged by Westfield, 3-2, on Jan. 20.

4-Christian Brothers (17-9-2):  With a young team and a campaign that was labeled as a rebuilding year, the Colts were much improved as the season progressed. CBA posted an 11-3-1 record over the finish, with all three defeats coming against top-ranked Delbarton. Senior forward Dean DiFazio led the Colts with 28 points on nine goals and 19 assists.

5-Northern Highlands (22-5-1): Few adjectives could aptly describe the season the Highlanders posted. Coach Jason Beswick’s squad, the second-seed, marched to the Public B final and edged top-seeded Randolph, 1-0, on March 5 for its first state championship. The Highlanders, who lost a tough match, 2-0, to top-ranked Delbarton on Jan. 11. From Jan. 17 until the final the Highlanders boasted a 15-2 log, one of the most impressive wins a 6-0 verdict over ninth-ranked Morristown-Beard.

6-Randolph (22-2-3): The top-seeded Rams skated into the NJSIAA Public B final but saw their chance at a ninth state championship stopped with a 1-0 loss to second-seeded Northern Highlands on March 5, which snapped their seven-game winning streak.  Still, Randolph was able to post a superb season that included an 18-game unbeaten streak (15-0-3) to start the winter and its fifth Mennen Cup with a 4-2 win over Morristown-Beard on Feb. 16.

7- St. John Vianney (19-4-2): John Gelatt (32), Brett Schneider (28) and John Gutt (21) gave the Lancers impressive production in combing for 81 goals in leading the club to the Handchen Cup with a 7-2 win over Middletown South on Feb. 15. Vianney, 11-8-4 last season, produced impressive decisions this season over Gordon Conference clubs (N. 4) CBA and St. Augustine as well as St. Joseph of Montvale in the Egan Cup final.

8-Gloucester Catholic (13-8-1):  The South Jersey school was led offensively by junior forward P.J. DeMetrio (16-2-18) and senior forwards Johnny Jackson (8-12-20) and Michael Moreira (9-7-15) in rebounding from last year’s 6-10-2 campaign. The Rams downed St. Joseph of Metuchen and St. Augustine Prep in the NJSIAA Private tournament before bowing to top-ranked Delbarton in the semifinal round.

9-Morristown-Beard (16-7-2):  Senior forward Brayden Patricia led the way with 33 points for the the Crimson, who were edged 3-2 by No. 1 Delbarton in the NJSIAA Private quarterfinal. Morristown-Beard was denied a fifth straight Mennen Cup, and sixth in eight years, when it dropped a 4-2 decision to sixth-ranked Randolph in the final on Feb. 16. The Crimson defeated Chatham in overtime, 2-1, in the Mennen Cup semifinal round and were anchored this winter by senior goalie Anthony Del Tufo, who yielded just 32 goals on 366 shots.

10-St. Augustine (10-12-3):  The Hermits came so close to advancing into the 60th Gordon Cup final, but were edged in overtime, 5-4, by then-No. 1 Don Bosco Prep on Feb. 14. St. Augustine received a solid campaign from its top line of Kyle Knight (16-11-27), Dominic Guido (8-5-13) and J.D. George (6-12-18) and earned victories this season over 4-CBA, 8-Gloucester Catholic and played to a scoreless tie against No. 1 Delbarton. The Hermits posted a 6-4-3 record in Gordon Conference play.

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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