Defending Non-Public State Champion Don Bosco is in a good position to repeat its Gordon Conference title. As usual, Delbarton will be right there in the American Division. Keep an eye on Bergen Catholic in the National Division.
DON BOSCO PREP
Home Rink: Ice Vault Arena
The defending NJSIAA Non-Public state champions (27-1-0), the school’s first-ever state title, have some key roster spots to fill after graduating some high-end senior players. But don’t expect the Ironmen to backslide far at all.
Coach Greg Toskos, in his 14th season, still has some solid production returning in the forward lines in seniors Hunter McGee (35 pts) and Robbie Greenleaf and juniors Connor Sedlak (20 pts) and Zach Hammond (20 pts). A group of impressive freshman who hope to have an impact include Ryan Fine (verbally committed to Boston University), Drew Fortescue, Salvatore Guzzo and Eric Vivinetto.
The Ironmen’s strength will be on the blue line, where Toskos feels he has several college prospects. Senior Will Fortescue (19 pts) and juniors Jake Geraci (19 pts) and Michael Rubin are the key holdovers, joined by new junior Brendan Hansen and sophomore Lukas Klemm.
In goal, it will either be junior Kevin Rose or new freshman Ethan Marich getting the call.
Home Rink: Aspen Ice
Their three-year reign as a state champion snapped last winter, the Green Wave will be on the young side this winter, but do have experience in key positions.
A solid holdover group up front returns for veteran coach Bruce Shatel (425 career wins) in senior Brendan Clark (Brown commit), senior Ben Conrod, senior Jason Strollo and senior J.R. Cagnassola, and sophomores Adam Teryek and Kai Berezniak. New senior Ryan Wicker looks to contribute, as do as many as five freshmen on the roster.
On the blue line, seniors Mark Darakjy and Armaan Rigby, junior Jack Benitez and sophomore Ray Berezniak all return. New junior Nick Monello looks for time.’
Junior Brett Cleaves is a returning starter in goal for the Green Wave.
CHRISTIAN BROTHERS ACADEMY
Home Rink: Jersey Shore Arena
Former Montgomery HS coach Andy Gojdycz returns to coach his alma mater, and plans to have his club have a solid work-ethic.
Carrying the load offensively for the Colts will be seniors Giovanni Crepaldi, Kyle Contessa and C.J. Cummings, and sophomores Evan Brown, Zachary Wagnon and Robert Setteducali, all returns from last winter’s 18-7-1 squad.
Juniors Colin Grable and Lucas Salas will be cornerstones of a defense in front of senior goaltender Nicolas Emilio.
Home Rink: Holydell Ice Arena
A strong junior class will carry the load for the Rams, according to coach Tom Bunting, who adds that the squad has the best freshman class in school history.
Key returners up front are Matt Frett (16 pts), Dylan Koski (16 pts), Zach Johnson (11 pts) and Tyler Carter (13 pts), all juniors. New junior Jason Player and freshmen Ryan Bunting, Chris Pelosi, Billy Sheridan, Brenden Boring and Casey Johnson will provide solid depth.
Senior Connor Milliken (12 pts), junior Jake Grace (14 pts) and sophomore Brogan Shea (8 pts) form the nucleus of the Gloucester Catholic defense. Three freshmen hoping to have an impact on the blue line are Nick Fascia, Mike Hoffner and Josh Player.
The Rams return a goaltender in senior Chris Liscio (2.79 gaa).
SETON HALL PREP
Home Rink: Codey Arena
The Pirates move into the American Division this winter and look to be a strong opponent. They go right into the first on opening night, taking on top-ranked and defending Non-Public state champion Don Bosco.
Forward leaders for fifth-year coach Mike Atkinson project to be senior Alex Kuhtik, junior Ryan Rodrigues, sophomore Patrick Zincone and sophomore Aidan D’Urso.
On defense, junior Harrison Rocheville and junior Oliver Grinkin will have major roles.
And in goal, sophomore Jake Schunke returns for the Pirates.
Home Rink: Ice House
The Crusaders made some big strides last winter and look to continue that trend under second-year coach Tom Keough. With some high-end talent across the board, this will be a team to keep an eye on.
A veteran cast up front features senior returners Nicholas Stoebling (22 pts), Nick Chiurazzi (16 pts), Tommy Olsen (17 pts) and Devon Kelly (21 pts) and sophomore Antonio Arcaroli. New sophomore Mick Thompson comes in highly-regarded.
Defensively, senior Jake Antonucci (10 pts) was a second team all-county choice last year. Some talented newcomers on the blue line include sophomores Nick Wallace and Bryceon Lago and freshmen Aram Minnetian and Matt Desiderio.
Senior Brendan Mccaskey will be a key man between the pipes for the Crusaders.
POPE JOHN XXIII
Home Rink: Skylands Ice World
With a lot of turnover to the roster, the key for the Lions this season will be how quickly all the new faces adapt to playing at the Gordon Conference level. The Lions did win the Gordon National Division regular season title last year.
The forward nucleus will feature seniors Alex Blaszak, Lucas Buchanan and Jon Meyers, and sophomore Lucas Buchanan. New senior Sawyer Tantleff and junior Chris Abate will contribute, while freshmen Scott Vanderhoff and Owen Lapinski hope to have an immediate impact.
Senior Drew Buchanan and junior Erik Vandemark are back on defense for coach Ryan Carter. Freshmen Jack Kelmer and Brandan Young will join the group.
In the nets, sophomore Matiss Bars is a returner. Freshman Tuler Paluzzi will press for time.
ST. PETER’S PREP
Home Rink: Barnabas Hockey House/Secaucus Ice Rink
With a young roster, the Marauders are focusing on competing each night and taking one game at a time.
Three seniors – Aidan Seborowski (16 pts), Mike Canosa and James Ryan – will need to provide leadership in the forward lines, while senior James Ashe will be a defensive cornerstone for coach Ken Such.
Two newcomers looking to pitch in are freshmen Corey Robinson and Jake Barrera.
ST. AUGUSTINE PREP
Home Rink: Igloo Ice Arena
A hard-working, blue collar work ethic will be the calling card for the Hermits this winter as they welcome a large freshman class.
Scoring production will come from guys like junior Alex Scimeca (last year’s top scorer), and seniors Harrison Dumas and Connor Callahan.
On defense, coach Tim Fingerhut will rely on senior George Genzel and junior Colin Ogborn.
The team will feature three new goaltenders in the program. Junior transfer Matt Lynch will begin the season in the starter’s role, with sophomore Ayden Adair and freshman Cody Butikis.