|1||Don Bosco Prep||12||3||3|
|9||St. Augustine Prep||9||6||1|
|10||St. Peter's Prep||9||6||2|
Don Bosco Prep (12-3-3) unseated six-time defending private state champion Delbarton as the state’s top-ranked team last week, then promptly suffered a letdown three days later. Still, Don Bosco Prep moves up to No. 1 after an emotional 4-1 road win over Delbarton last Tuesday. The Ironmen trailed 1-0 after the first period but rallied with three power-play
goals to earn their first win over the Green Wave since 2006. Dylan Healey scored twice, Greg Jandoli had three assists, and freshman Alexei Masanko, usually the No. 2 goalie, made 25 saves in the win. The honeymoon was short-lived, however, as Don Bosco Prep fell to St. Augustine Prep 6-3 on Friday despite a 37-26 shot advantage. The loss means Don Bosco is likely to finish second in the American Division of the Gordon Conference despite its dominating 6-0 win over Pope John on Sunday.
Losing two games to New Jersey opponents in the same season is not something Delbarton (13-3-3) is accustomed to, but the Green Wave bounced back from the loss to Don Bosco Prep with solid wins over Gloucester Catholic and Morristown-Beard and should still be the top seed for the upcoming Gordon Cup. For a physical team, staying out of the penalty box will be important down the stretch, and the Green Wave face tests against out-of-state foes Brunswick, Fairfield Prep, and Hill before the postseason begins.
CBA (15-3-3) cruised to a pair of wins last week against overmatched Shore Conference public schools but faces a much tougher test on Monday in surging St. Augustine Prep, likely to be CBA’s last game before the Gordon Cup begins.
There were no problems last week for Ramsey (20-2-0) as the Rams downed Indian Hills and Wayne Valley to complete a perfect 16-0 campaign in the Big North Conference Green Division. Snow wiped out the scheduled Ramsey-Randolph battle that was supposed to pit the favorites in Public B and Public A against each other. No make-up date has been scheduled, but Ramsey did add a game against Bridgewater-Raritan for Tuesday.
Although Morristown-Beard (15-4-1) lost to Delbarton on Saturday – the Crimson have not beaten their crosstown foe in 20 years – they did so by a respectable 4-2 margin and remain a contender for a high seed in the private state tournament. The Prep B championship game against Princeton Day has been rescheduled several times due to power outages on the Princeton campus but is now set for Feb. 18, two days before Morristown-Beard begins play in the Mennen Cup tournament.
Chatham (15-2-3) beat Morristown 5-2 in a Saturday make-up game to clinch the Mennen Division regular-season title, their first in 26 years of competition since the merger of Chatham Boro and Chatham Township. A Monday test against Robbinsville/Allentown leaves a nine-day layoff before the Cougars are scheduled to play in the Mennen Cup semifinals.
Glen Rock (19-2-0) clinched the Silver Division regular-season title with a 3-0 win over second-place St. Joseph Montvale on Sunday night. Matt Roy, Mike Buckel, and Tom LaMacchia scored, with Jake Kinney picking up two assists and Matt Rosario making 20 saves in the win. Glen Rock has one league game remaining before the postseason.
Pope John (14-4-2) got through a week of tough games with its ranking intact. Pope John tied St. Augustine Prep on Tuesday, a result that looked only so-so until the Hermits knocked off Don Bosco Prep later in the week. Pope John then edged tough Mercer County school Notre Dame 3-2 on Friday before falling, as expected, 6-0 to Don Bosco Prep on Sunday. Pope John still has something to prove to the state tournament seeding committee in its final two games, Monday against Gloucester Catholic and Friday against St. Peter’s Prep.
St. Augustine Prep (9-6-1) The Hermits have quietly put together a very effective 2014, and they came out of their shell with that 6-3 win over Don Bosco Prep . Senior Ryan Conlin scored four goals and added an assist, senior Dean DiSimone had a goal and three assists, and senior Sam Fitzpatrick made 34 saves in the win. Wins over Notre Dame and St. Peter’s Prep are among St. Augustine’s good results this season, although a Jan. 31 loss to Gloucester Catholic was a troubling sign; the Hermits will have a chance to avenge that in a non-league contest on Tuesday.
A rising tide lifts all boats, and St. Peter’s Prep (9-6-2) joins the National Division party in the Top 10 mostly because its resume looks a whole lot better after St. Augustine Prep’s upset. The Marauders did beat Bishop Eustace in league play last week but face several tests this week, including Don Bosco Prep on Monday, Gloucester Catholic on Wednesday, and Pope John on Friday.
State Tournament Qualification Extended
On Monday, NJSIAA assistant director Jack DuBois confirmed that the state’s governing body is extending the state tournament cutoff (the date by which teams must have a record of at least .500 to qualify automatically) from today to Wednesday, February 12, a move that has happened in at least one prior year due to heavy snow. This will likely lead to several teams adding games on Tuesday and Wednesday in an effort to reach the .500 mark. If past precedent is any indication, teams that reach .500 on Monday but drop below with a loss on Tuesday or Wednesday will still qualify for the tournament.
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