New Jersey HS Hockey: Gordon Conference Preview

Gary Demopouloshttp://www.hnibnews.com
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 30 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Daily Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for Mens Prep School hockey since 1988, as well as womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. for almost 20 years. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.

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New Jersey’s top circuit will once again be highly competitive. The Conference welcomes Princeton Day School as a new member this winter. PDS will play in the National Division.

AMERICAN DIVISION

BERGEN CATHOLIC

Coach: Thomas Keough

The Crusaders have been in the upper echelon of the division the past few seasons, winning the Gordon Cup title back in 2020.

Look for senior Antonio Arcaroli (19 pts) to be the catalyst on offense for coach Keough. Fellow senior Matt Hughes and sophomores John Mustard and Matt Maglio will be counted on as well. New junior Corey Robinson, a transfer from St Peter’s Prep, is ready to help out right away.

Brown University commit Bryceon Lugo (10 pts) will anchor the Crusaders defense, a group that also returns junior Matt Desiderio and sophomore Jacob Carver.

The goaltending duties should fall on returning senior Gavin Schornstein.

DELBARTON

Coach: Bruce Shatel

The Green Wave won’t have as much depth as teams in the past, so staying healthy will be a key to success.

The returning group up front has seniors Kai Berezniak and James Royse, juniors Trip Pendy, Nick Faccone and Jack Olsen, and sophomores Jack Genovese and Max Pendy. New junior Duncan Stewart will have a role.

A pair of seniors – Ray Berezniak and Billy Crutchlow – will handle the bulk of the defensive chores along with returning sophomore Dan D’Allesandro and newcomers Julian Brown (sophomore) and Dante Rodriguez (freshman).

Junior Jason Cai and senior Austin Kramer both return between the pipes.

DON BOSCO PREP

Coach: Greg Toskos

The defending Gordon Cup champions need to reload after losing three players to the US National Development Program, as well as All State Forward Connor Sedlak. Scoring will be a key for the Ironmen, who will have a young but skilled blue line and strong goaltending.

Up front, Toskos will look to four-year varsity player Matt Imbriano (17 pts), the team captain, along with junior Ty Oller (16 pts) and sophomores Dean Toskos (12 pts) and Matthew Bossolina to be leaders. New junior Kristofer Krummins should step right in, while a pair of freshmen to keep an eye on are Cooper Snee and Matthew Shpungin.

The defense will revolve around returning junior Liam St. Pierre and sophomores Lukas Peterson and Kenny Kalman. New junior Jeremy Gagnon will have a role.

Junior Ethan Marsh and sophomore James Tarabocchia form a solid tandem between the pipes.

CHRISTIAN BROTHERS ACADEMY

Coach: Andy Gojdycz

After being ousted in the quarterfinal round of the Gordon Cup last winter, the Colts are determined to be a serious threat in the conference this year. They do return some good numbers.

Up front, senior Zach Wagnon (14 pts), junior Leighton Biesiadecki (15 pts) and sophomore Christian Chouha (13 pts) look to continue their solid play from a year ago. Also returning and ready to step up are seniors Ray Cartigiano and Aidan Guinnessey, juniors Antonion Donohue and Will Thygeson, and sophomores Sean Guinnessey and Thomas Mantellino

The anchor on defense will be junior Pat Reilly (17 pts), a Princeton University commitment. Seniors Jason Andreyev and Tom Atanacio and junior Mike Gravina also return to what should be a solid blue line.

Senior Joe Cartigiano returns after playing the bulk of the minutes in goal last winter for coach Gojdycz. Senior Jake Donohue is back as well.

GLOUCESTER CATHOLIC

Coach: Tom Bunting

Strong goaltending and a solid junior class will be keys to success for the Rams, as coach Bunting enters his fourth season behind the dasher.

Lots of experience returns in the forward ranks in junior Billy Sheridan (11 pts), junior Casey Johnson (8 pts), senior Ryan Talorico (7 pts), senior Matt Klinewski (7 pts) and junior Ryder Wicken (7 pts). Newcomers to watch up front are senior Robby Rassel and sophomore Nash McArthur.

Junior Mike Hoffner will backbone the GC defensive unit. New senior Brogan Shea will have a key spot in the lineup. Freshman Joe Campanella looks to crack the lineup.

In the nets, senior Zach McErlain had nine wins in last winter’s shortened campaign. He is joined in the rotation by sophomore Billy Stuski.

SETON HALL PREP

Coach: Mike Atkinson

There will be a lot of new faces in the lineup for the Pirates, but nevertheless, they still look to compete for both a Gordon and state championship, building off the success of last year’s squad.

The plan is for offensive to be generated by a group of returning varsity forward, made up of juniors Will Underwood and Nick Schneider, and sophomores Daniel Kelly and and Chris McIntyre.

Senior Max Toomey will be a defensive anchor, with juniors Owen Waivada and Hudson Gorski, and sophomore Hudson Rocheville all return as well.

A starting goalie was to be developed in pre-season workouts.

NATIONAL DIVISION

POPE JOHN XXIII

Coach: Ryan Brown

Can the Lions be in the Northern Conference mix? Brown, now in his 16th year, thinks so. “We will rely on a solid defensive core this season,” he said. “Our challenge will be playing a difficult schedule as always. Our junior class has some experience with a strong sophomore class behind them. Our season’s success will be predicated on how well those juniors and sophomores develop into their top-minute roles.

Key returning forwards include juniors Nathan Meola (9 pts), Emporia Ienciu (7 pts) and Owen Lapinski, and sophomores Matt Hughes and Robbie Myshkoff.  Freshman brothers Luke and Jack Jarosiewicz hope to contribute.

On the blue line, juniors Jack Kelmer and Brandan Young and sophomores Jake Stevens and Declan Murphy form a solid quartet, joined by freshman Magnuss Bars.

In goal, the Lions will turn to junior Tyler Paluzzi and sophomore Soren Torlucci, both of whom saw varsity time last season.

PRINCETON DAY SCHOOL

Coach: Scott Bertoli

The Panthers make their Gordon Conference debut this season and look to hit the ground running.

“We are hoping to prove ourselves as an annual challenger for the Gordon Cup,” coach Bertoli said. “We expect to be very solid on the back end this winter.”

In the offensive zone, PDS graduated three of its top four scorers, so it will lean on returning players like senior Adam Teryek, juniors Ryan Vandal and Oliver Hall, and sophomore Riley Schmidt to increase production. New transfers – sophomore Liam Jackson (Manalapan), junior Roshean Nissangaratchie (Delbarton) and junior Ace Ewanchyna (Lawrenceville) – will look for key roles.

There is experience on defense with the return of senior Chris Babecki, junior Will Brown and sophomores Connor Stratton and Han Shin. Senior Tim Miller is back between the pipes.

ST. JOSEPH REGIONAL

Coach: Larry Mahurter

Defense looks to be a strength for the Green Knights, who will need to develop goal scoring from a balanced forward group.

Ryan Tobin
St. Joseph Regional

Senior tri-captains Thomas Hillard and Thomas Bayer will be offensive catalysts. Fellow seniors Matt Freitas, Garrett Kata and Finn Sweeney return as well. That group will be joined by newcomers including junior transfer Michael Chang, sophomore transfer Carmin Coiro, sophomore Frank Perrone and freshmen Shane Tobin, Logan Hughes and Paul Giblin.

Tri-captain Dylan Stiles,  senior alternate captains Ryan Tobin and Brian Atwell and junior Matt Dicarlo will anchor a veteran defensive unit.

In goal, junior Nick Wronski saw some varsity time last year.

ST. PETER’S PREP

Coach: Brendan Roche

The Marauders should have one of their deepest teams in the last few years, but need to develop some solid goaltending after graduating both of last year’s netminders.

A group of core seniors – Bryan Arrendondo, Christopher Benkovitz, Michael Benkovitz and Jack Fischer – will be key offensive players for first-year head coach Roche. Senior Tige Mauseth looks to have a big role.

Two more seniors – Simon Hidas and Ryan Lawler – will be cornerstones of the St. Peter’s blue line corps.

Roche will look to find a starting netminder out of the group of Michael Lemanowicz, Santo Petrocelli and Bryan Van Alstyne, all up from the JV program.

** St. Augustine Prep, coached by Tim Fingerhut will also be in the mix in the Gordon Conference National Division.

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