Home / High School Hockey / NJ HS Hockey – NJIIHL Team Previews: 3-Time State Champ Summit Ready To Go; Verona-Glen Ridge Moves To McInnis Division

NJ HS Hockey – NJIIHL Team Previews: 3-Time State Champ Summit Ready To Go; Verona-Glen Ridge Moves To McInnis Division

The North Jersey Interscholastic Ice Hockey League will again have three divisions, with a total of 20 teams dispersed in the Kelly, McInnis and McMullen divisions.

KELLY DIVISION

MONTCLAIR KIMBERLEY

The Cougars are coming off a down season and have a focus on getting better this winter.

Forwards back with a year of varsity experience under their belts include Adam Zidlicky, Ethan Potash, Justin Vasilopoulos, Aron Dyadyuk, Danny D’Angelo and Michael Bronstein. Newcomers looking to contribute are Sam Rotella, Gary Hu and Henry Sun.

Matthew McCann and Anthony Zhang return on the blue line for coach Tim Cook. Added to the defensive unit are Jack MacEvoy and Geoff Valana.

GOVERNOR LIVINGSTON

Coach Michael Criscitello is optimistic his club can be a serious competitor for the Kelly Cup, which the team did win following the 16-17 campaign.

Up front, sophomore Brian Kramer is coming off a solid 34-point freshman campaign and will be an offensive leader for GL, along with sophomore Brandon Cuccaro (23 pts) and seniors Jack Norton (15 pts) and Thomas Hoy (14 pts). Look for freshman Brad Silverman to be in the mix.

Senior Drew Skotarczak (19 pts) is an adept two-way blueliner and will lead the blue line group. Junior goaltender Shane Cook played in every game last season.

Jake Icklan
Cranford

CRANFORD

The Cougars will be on the young side this winter, with a big group of freshmen hopefuls joining the program. Consistency will be a key for success, according to coach Michael Ozolnieks.

Key forwards in the lineup project to be Jack DeSimone, Chris Kube, Matteo Wilde and Patrick Tuohy.

Jake Icklan and Christian Wilde will be intregal on the blue line.

Luke Jacobello
Oratory Prep

ORATORY PREP

Playing with passion, energy and pace will dictate how successful the Rams will be in this shortened season.

Senior William Moran brings his 18 goals back to lead things offensively, ably helped by senior Luke Jacobello (11 pts), junior Tyler Gobel, and Gerard Fargiano and Michael Crapser (13 pts).

Holding down the fort on defense are juniors Matt Deangelis, Matt Clark and Andrew Moran.

MCINNIS DIVISION

WEST ESSEX/JCHS

With just a six-game league schedule, each league game will mean that much more this winter, and the Knights will be ready.

A solid returning nucleus at forward features sophomores Justin Bergman (19 pts), Joe Namyatov (11 pts) and Clayton Prial (13 pts), junior Rocco Garcia (11 pts) and senior Antonio Dimeola. A trio of new forwards – juniors Michael Coyle and Liam Hanley and sophomore Joe Castellano – will look for minutes.

Junior Gil Prial will captain the squad this winter for coach Marc Gregory. Senior Eric Antonian and juniors Ty Vastola, Tommy O’Hern and Alex Kierepka are back as well.

In goal, junior Zach Jewett saw some decent time last season. Junior netminder Louis Fantasia also returns, while new sophomore Rachel Pavlovich will press for time.

Jack Lonsinger
Verona-Glen Ridge

Rowan Brennan
Verona-Glen Ridge

Zach Gold
Verona-Glen Ridge

VERONA/GLEN RIDGE

It will be a new home this season for VGR, moving up to the McInnis Division. They fully expect to compete right away and look forward to the challenge.

Coach Ken Lilien is looking for another big offensive year from sophomore Rowan Brennan (22 goals). Also ready to contribute up front are junior Dominick Pandiscia, sophomore Will Benson and Vincent Eremita, who could also see time on the blue line. Two new sophomores to watch are Andrew Eremita and James Kostas.

Junior rearguard Zach Gold, a co-captain, put up an impressive 35 points last year en route to a first team All Conference selection.  Senior Jack Lonsinger, also a co-captain,  is back as well. New sophomore Ryan Weissman will help out.

Senior Keith Juros brings some solid experience between the pipes.

WESTFIELD

The top priority for the Blue Devils is to stay safe and healthy and get to play as many games as they can. “Any wins are a bonus,” said coach Joe Bertucci.

Catalysts in the forward ranks will be senior Dan McDonald (20 pts), junior Matt Beke (24 pts) and sophomore Matteo Mancheno (19 pts).  Junior Jake Watson looks to be a presence on defense, coming off an injury-plagued season.

SUMMIT

Second-year coach Ian Bell is focusing on having his club be prepared for whatever it might face this winter. Summit has won three straight New England Public C state titles.

The Hilltoppers offensvive nucleus will find returning seniors Drew McLaughlin, Kyle Graham, Aidan Cass and Michael Bonomo, and sophomores Jake Lowry, Teddy Mallgrave and Dylan Goldfarb. Two new juniors – Matt Riggin and Will Kein – will add to the group.

On defense, seniors Matt Vigliotta and Gavin Ruschmeier and junior Jordan Lowry will get the job done on Summit’s blue line.

GLEN ROCK

Aiming to finish above. 500 and vie for the league title, the Panthers will be tough to play against.

Senior Anthony Maurice (24 pts), senior Ryan Leblanc (19 pts), junior Eric Braz (11 pts) and sophomore Braden VanSickle (12 pts) will pace the offensive attack for coach Dean Portas.. Two freshmen looking to contribute are Brady Peck and Parker Dupois.

A young defense will feature sophomores Colin Redmond (8 pts) and Finn Whalen (7 pts) and junior Andrew Brassil. Senior goalie Mack Alvino returns with a 93% save percentage.

LIVINGSTON

With a condensed schedule in a short period of time, staying healthy will be a key for the Lancers.

A veteran braintrust leading the way in the offensive zone will include seniors Michael Mumm, Cade Prendergast and Tyler Schultz, and junior Austin Vecchio.

Defensively, coach Dave Conklin will lean of the junior tandem of Jace Dockx and Andrew Qian, and sophomore Brett Conklin. Junior Zach Turbin is a returning goaltender.

MCMULLEN DIVISION

FRISCH

The Cougars will be in the mix again this season with a good group of returners that produced in a big way last winter.

Sophomore Aiden Sholomon put up 28 points a year ago and headlines the returners along with junior Ezra Csillag (13 pts), senior Gabe Rosenblatt (8 pts) and junior Jake Weisman (8 pts).

Defenseman Judah Volodarsky, a junior, is also heavily involved offensively for coach Ralph Abecassis, as witness by his 41-point campaign.  Junior Jack Fisher (13 pts) is another solid blue liner.

Senior Ezzy Wachsstock and sophomore Eitan Rosenblatt both are back as goalies.

Three new players to the program looking to help out are Max Levy, David Rosen and Aaron Lieberman.

Gary Demopoulos
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.
Gary Demopoulos
- 2 hours ago
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