New Jersey HS Hockey – Shore Conference Preview: Brick Has Plenty Of Offense; Lot Of New Faces At Middletown North

Gary Demopoulos
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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A total of 20 teams broken up into three divisions will participate in Shore Conference play this season. Here is a look at the field:

CENTRAL DIVISION

BRICK (18-4-1)

New to the Central Division this season, Brick is looking to build off the success it achieved last season.

A bright side for coach James Murphy is the return of plenty of production up front with senior Jake Toye (38 pts), senior Aidan Rozell (27 pts), junior Peter Morris (31 pts) and sophomore Brody Acropolis (24 pts) all back. They will be joined up front by senior Tyler Oliviera, junior Donovan Iannarone and sophomores TJ Brower and Gavin Majors. Freshman Matt Morris looks to it in.

Three sophomores – Max Larson, Brayden Acropolis and Logan Vitale – join senior David Moniz to be defensive leaders. A newcomer is freshman James Sammarco.

WALL (11-10-0)

This hard-working group has set its sights on being a big factor in the Shore Central race. “This could be an exciting team to watch if it all comes together,” said coach Mike Dianora.

The offensive braintrust for the Knights will be a group of four juniors consisting of returners Mike Hoarle, Emmett Auch, James Byrnes and Danny Fialetta. Looking to contribute on the score sheet are sophomores Carson Erbe and Jack Findley.

On defense. look for senior Carter Jolly and juniors Luke Lozano and Anthony Cailano to log serious ice time. Sophomore Dom Golda hopes to join the regular rotation.

Senior Ethan Rotante is back in goal.

SOUTHERN REGIONAL (6-10-3)

Expecting a strong defensive group, coach Graham Borg is hoping his offense can find a way to score more goals.

Senior Thomas Giaccio (15 pts) and junior Andrew Buda (21 pts) will be cornerstones on offense for the Rams. New freshman Sonny Vilardi will add to the mix.

Junior Aidan Ruiz (12 pts) anchors the blue line. A freshman to watch is Lucas Krapf.

In goal, senior Aidan Rowland is an experienced varsity netminder.

The Howell HS braintrust for 23-24. Matt Gresko, Bill Daley Nico Calandra and Bill Thurman.

HOWELL/MATAWAN (13-6-5)

With talent at each position and some great depth, this could be a magical season for the Rebels. Both the program and coach Bill Daley need four wins to reach 200 victories overall.

A potentially powerful offense features senior captains Matt Gresko (47 pts) and Nico Calandra (38 pts), and senior Tony Brandl (41 pts). Also back are an impressive sophomore group of Aidan Garced (17 pts), Steve LaRosa, Travis Kimball and Larry Merrill. As many as five freshmen could see time up front.

Four skaters – senior captain Will Daley, senior Morgan Wilkes, sophomore Ryan Mackey (12 pts) and junior captain Bill Thurman – form the core of the defensive group. New sophomore Matt Cartigiano and freshman Liam Daley look to crack the group.

Howell returns both goalies as well in senior Robert Petillo (2.61 gaa) and junior Jack Elias (2.53 gaa).

MANASQUAN (10-10-1)

New head coach John Costello comes in looking for the Warriors to build on the success of last season.

“We will need to commit to playing as a team and moving the puck in order to be successful,” Costello said. “We have a good mix of talented returning players with scoring ability to make up our team.”

Colin Costello Manasquan

The team has a host of producers up front in seniors Sam Ianella (28 pts), Brendan Shaughnessy (21 pts), senior Connor Kelly (20 pts) and Jack Buonato (20 pts), and junior Dylan Vowteras (25 pts). Junior Giovanni Scaglia and freshmen Strider Carhart and Connor Keelan add to the offensive mix.

Returning on the blue line are junior Chris Carhart and sophomore Shay Jardine, both expected to see a lot of time. Newcomer Colin Costello, a junior, should be an immediate contributor.

In the net, junior Tommy Reynolds returns and will be challenged by two incoming goaltenders in senior Aidan DiStefano and sophomore James Fogarty.

OCEAN TOWNSHIP (15-5-3)

Two prolific scorers have graduated, but coach Mike Ryan expects to have more depth at his disposal.

Juniors Liam Forster (29 pts) and Chris Browning (21 pts) are key offensive players back, as is sophomore Leo Labush (12 pts). A couple of freshmen added to the lineup are Ryder Grigoli (Red Bank Generals) and Mason Ansell (Jersey Shore Wildcats).

A good nucleus on defense features senior Owen Mumm (34 pts) and juniors Gio Tritto (23 pts) and Sam Strano. Freshman Mario Carloni will help out as well.

Sophomore Roman Leonardi returns after playing every game last winter as a ninth-grader.

** Marlboro is also in the Central Division. No information was available as of post-time.

SOUTH DIVISION

RED BANK REGIONAL (2-20-0)

The Bucs struggled a bit last season, winning just a pair of games. They look to improve this season in the competitive Shore Conference.

Seniors Patrick Riddle, Lucas Nijnens and Lars Wilson, junior Will Ogden and sophomores Nate Bracken and Cole Hawthorn will be leaders up front for coach Connor Keating.

Junior Jack Smith and sohomore Mike Holzapfel are returning defensemen. Two goalies also return for the Bucs in senior Gus Filippelli and sophomore Owen Montgomery.

Newcomers hoping to make a splash are junior Brayden Sonato, sophomore Caden Brown and freshman Coratto DiFiore.

LACEY (9-12-0)

With some solid senior leadership, the Lions are looking to be a serious challenger in the South Division.

In the forward ranks, junior Connor Simonson (27 pts), and sophomores Cole Sturman (23 goals) and Eric Connors (13 pts) are put up some good points a year ago for coach Chris DiMicco.

Senior book-ends on the blue line are EJ Simonson and Cole Stacensky. Freshman Jake Sturman is in from the New Jersey Rockets program.

In goal, senior Danny Sicknick got some valuable minutes in net last season and will be ready to go.

FREEHOLD/COLTS NECK/RARITAN (7-13-0)

The Colonials will look to be competitive as they battle their Shore Conference schedule.

Forwards Aidan Doherty, Ryan O’Donnell and Evan Wholstetter, and defenseman Ryan Kerber will be key players for coach Marc Moskowitz.

TOMS RIVER SOUTH/EAST (18-6-0)

A Public C tournament quarterfinalist a year ago, this year’s version of Toms River South-East will be on the young side, but talented. Maturing quickly will be key.

The team should possess two of the Shore Conference’s top two forwards in junior Joe Taliercio (33 pts) and sophomore Brady Verdon (40 pts). Looking to pay immediate dividends are sophomores Jack Decaprio and Nate Danyo, and freshman John Schmitt.

Defensively, coach Jason Verdon will rely on the play of junior Alex Fortunato and sophomore Liam Magovern. A new freshman is Jacob Letts.

Freshman goalie David Gawolis will fight for time between the pipes.

CENTRAL REGIONAL (9-11-5)

The Golden Eagles will be a young squad this winter, but will compete in the South Division.

Returning sophomore Kyle Maguire (27 pts) set the school’s freshman scoring record last winter and will be a key cog up front, along with junior Evan Sult and sophomore Allan O’Connor. A freshman looking to mesh into the lineup is Tucker Powderly.

On defense, sophomore Noel Acevedo (10 pts) and sophomore Pelaja Jensen will have key roles.

Senior goaltender Rylan O’Brien returns after getting some good time between the pipes last winter.

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP/POINT BORO (11-10-1)

Looking to build on the success they achieved last season, the Patriots expect to be strong on defense and in goal. “This team is young and ready to take the next step,” said coach Ian Fahy.

Returning seniors Lucas Palm and James Caldwell, along with sophomore Hayden Nubile, are key components in the forward ranks.

Senior Tyler Palm and junior Ryan Schiffner will man the blue line in front of sophomore goalie Jason Maietta.

Trace Woziak, Tyler LeShack, Colton Stecchini and Thomas Carbone are all new to the program and look to have an impact.

TOMS RIVER NORTH (3-10-2)

With a small roster, staying healthy will be of the utmost importance for the Mariners.

Sophomore Matt Butch (15 pts) will key the offense for coach Christian Cranston. A freshman looking to help out is Jackson Homyak.

Senior Ty Schneider (27 pts) will be a workhorse on the blue line. Freshman Colton Mangual looks to make a splash.

Seniors Joey Bonelli and William Rieth will take care of the goaltending.

NORTH DIVISION

MIDDLETOWN SOUTH (12-10-4)

Despite some key losses to graduation, the Eagles return a solid core and will utilize their depth in the rugged North Division.

Senior Justin Forlanti (45 pts) will be one of the league’s top forwards and will guide a group that also features seniors Brendan Cavendish (14 pts), Ryan Nicholson, Jason Sassano (injured last year) and Shane Gutt, and sophomore Joseph Santiago. Looking for increased offensive roles are seniors Evan Smith and Jake Greenwald, junior Griffin Koske and sophomores Joe Campanella and Timmy Gorlenko. CBA transfer Matt Hrehowsik hopes to find a key role.

On the blue line, senior Owen Oglevee (13 pts) is a two-time All Division selection. Senior Mickey Voitle and sophomores Dante Deluca and Eli Villacis are back as well for coach Andrew Rosenbloom.

After splitting time in net last season, senior Aedan Miller takes over full-time this winter.

MIDDLETOWN NORTH (16-8-1)

The Lions waved good-bye to 10 seniors from last season’s solid group, so some new faces will have to contribute. “We will have to rely on playing team defense every shift, using our speed in all three zones,” said coach Don Wood. “We will be counting on guys who were on the team last year to step into bigger roles.”

A decent group of seniors will be expected to provide ample scoring, including Ryan Cook, Joseph Wall, Jack Turner, Matthew Turrisi, Chris Imbriale, Nick Chaknis, Brady Gottchalk and Hayden Mattos. Sophomore Brendan Constello is also back. New sophomores Lucas Laranjiero and Landon Hopwood hope to have an impact.

Defensive leaders will be Shane Harrison, Timothy Cherney, Gavin Eremus and Drew Scalice, all seniors.

Goaltending minutes will be covered by returning seniors Michael Carmody and Tyler Armagan, and sophomore John Galo.

RUMSON FAIR HAVEN (11-7-6)

The Bulldogs will be a senior-heavy outfit and those players will help lead the squad in what should be a tough decision.

Senior Nik Doumas (38 pts) will be an offensive sparkplug for coach Eric Zullo, as will seniors Andy Croddick (24 pts), Cole Dorworth (10 pts) and Owen Hogan, and junior Grayson Goldin.

Defensive leaders for Rumson Fair Haven will be returners Jack Riva (senior – 10 pts), Sal Iorio (junior) and senior Sawyer Turozci. Senior goalie Alex Baret played in 15 games last winter.

Coach Zullo is looking for bigger impacts from juniors Fabian Froberg and Mychal Walker, and sophomore Jacen Doumas.

ST. ROSE/RED BANK/DONOVAN CATHOLIC (2-15-1)

Second-year coach Stephen Flego is excited about this program moving forward. He says that in addition to the returners, the team should have a solid group of freshment to add depth.

Senior captain Connor Harms (13 pts) will be a go-to guy up front, with seniors Jack Farlekas and Matt Noonan, and junior Sonny Vanesko chipping in as well. New junior Joe Seib will fit in.

Defensively, seniors Rob Armstrong and Ross Inderwies, and sophomore Ryan Crooker will cover things.

A starting goalie will be determined after pre-season workouts.

ST. JOHN VIANNEY (17-6-1)

Expect SJV to field another strong club this winter that will look to make some noise in the non-public tournament.

Two seniors – Danny Greenhall and Blaise Lucosky -, and two juniors – Matt Doherty and Nick Kasich – will drive the offense for coach Kyle Earley.

A deep defense features seniors Dakota Vastola and Adriano Bongiorno, junior James Lucosky and sophomore Joe Calabria. Senior Tommy Kelly and junior Brendan Allen are back between the pipes.

Newcomers looking to challenge for spots are Damir Lapegin, junior AJ Marrone, sophomore Thomas Tesfu and freshman Anthony Scarfone.

MANALAPAN (12-6-3)

After a pair of successful seasons in the Central Division, the Braves move up to the North. Coach Matt Inzirillo says that although his team is not the favorite, the pieces are in place to compete.

The forward group features three complete lines of experience forwards, led by senior Michael Schmelzer (45 pts) and Joshua Kushnir (41 pts). Senior Alfred Piscino (20 pts), junior Samuel Gankin (19 pts) and sophomore Thomas Lena (12 pts) will be involved heavily.

Daniel Yakub Manalapan

Manalapan’s defense is paced by seniors Daniel Yakub (16 pts) and James Stevens (10 pts).

New junior Christian Esposito will get the call in goal for the Braves.

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