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Six-time defending State Champion No. 1 Delbarton (8-2-2) suffered its first in-state regular-season loss in five years on Thursday, the end of a 78-game unbeaten streak (73-0-5). The loss, 6-3 to division foe Bergen Catholic, came despite Delbarton’s 61-20 edge in shots. The Green Wave then needed a goal from senior Chad Otterman (13-6-19) with 8.3 seconds remaining to tie CBA 2-2 on Saturday. Delbarton has allowed as many goals in its last three games (12) as it had in the first nine games of the season but remains No. 1, just barely, on the strength of its 3-1 win over Don Bosco Prep back on Jan. 12. The teams will square off again on Feb. 4.
With Delbarton in a rare dry patch, No. 2 Don Bosco Prep (9-2-2) has been flourishing, going unbeaten in its last five games en route to a third consecutive Bergen County Tournament title and solid results against out-of-state foes Fairfield Prep, Conn. (2-2 tie while missing four top players) and Suffern, N.Y. (2-1 win). The slick passing of junior forward Hunter Garlasco (5-14-19) inspired a closer-than-it-looks 4-1 win over Ramsey in the BCT final on Thursday, with senior forward Chris Moreira (6-3-9) scoring twice (including the game-winner on the power play) and senior defenseman Cody Calcagno (4-7-11) earning the tournament’s MVP award.
No. 3 CBA (12-3-2) bounced back from a surprising 2-1 loss to Howell with a comfortable 5-2 win over Pope John and the 2-2 tie earned on the road against Delbarton thanks to 26 saves from Connor Silverstein. Outstanding sophomore Bobby Hampton (23-23-46) has picked up at least one point in six of seven Gordon Conference games, while junior Conor Tierney (13-20-33) has also provided consistent offense. The return of senior Brendan van Riemsdyk (9-11-20), who missed much of December, will help CBA down the stretch. Sophomore Ryan Bogan (9-26-35) continues to lead the defense corps.
No. 4 Ramsey (17-2-0) impressed in its biggest test of the season in the Bergen County Tournament final against Don Bosco Prep, leading 1-0 and seeing a 1-1 game broken open by a mid-third-period penalty. While junior forward Alex Whelan (25-21-46) remains the one to watch, Ramsey skated three lines comfortably against a top Gordon Conference team and has a solid backstop in sophomore Tyler Harmon (28 saves against Don Bosco). A 3-0 semifinal win against Glen Rock on Jan. 19 looks even better at the moment, and Ramsey will get another chance at Public A favorite Randolph on Feb. 5.
No. 5 Glen Rock (16-2-0) mustered only 15 shots in that surprisingly lopsided 3-0 loss to Ramsey but rebounded with an impressive 5-2 win over Randolph last Friday. Despite being outshot, Glen Rock was much sharper in front of goal, getting two goals apiece from senior Matt Roy (24-24-48) and junior Peter Tatigian (11-12-23) and taking advantage of 35 saves from sophomore Matt Rosario to break a 12-game Randolph winning streak against non-Mennen Division public schools. Senior Mike Buckel (18-17-35), freshman Jake Kinney (11-18-29), junior Brandon Rosario (7-13-20), and senior defenseman Matt Jorgensen (10-25-35) have all been critical to Glen Rock’s success.
Despite their 3-1 loss to Morristown-Beard on Jan. 17, No. 6 Chatham (11-2-3) remains in pole position for the regular-season title in the ultra-competitive Mennen Division.
No. 7 Randolph (9-3-2) has been a very average 3-3-1 in their last seven games, including just one division win, and faces a big test in their penultimate division game against Morristown-Beard on Wednesday.
No. 8 Morristown-Beard (13-3-1), winners in six of seven and the top seed in the upcoming NJISAA Prep B Tournament, seems like a contender in the private-school ranks but was upset by Morris Knolls 2-1 back on Jan. 20.
No. 9 Bergen Catholic’s (8-8-0) senior goalie Gennaro Anzevino has been sensational of late, stopping 135 of his last 140 shots faced, including 58 of 61 in the Crusaders’ landmark upset of Delbarton on Thursday night. Junior Kyle Marano struck for a hat trick in that game, backed up by four assists from senior Joseph Brown and two goals and two assists from junior Tyler Antonucci.
No. 10 Pope John (12-2-1) lost 5-2 to CBA and still has league games remaining with Delbarton and Don Bosco Prep, but their Friday game against Bergen Catholic could determine the fourth seed in the upcoming Gordon Cup playoffs and have an impact on seeding in the private state tournament.