This season the Shore Conference is broken up into three divisions: North, Central and South, comprising a total of 23 teams.
Former assistant Andrew Rosenbloom takes over as head coach for the Eagles and inherits a team that should contend in the Shore Conference right away.
Up front, plenty of production returns, with seniors Michael Volpi (27 pts), Nick Piscopo (17 pts) and Dan Trachtenberg, and juniors Nate Block (35 pts), Michael Ferlanti (21 pts), Aiden Cavendish (13 pts), Luke Finn and Marcus Franco all back.
Junior blueliner Andreas Forand (21 pts) leads a veteran group of defensemen that also features senior Dylan Fallon, juniors Kevin Bitterle, Luke Rohrmann and Ben Gottlieb, and sophomore Lucas Campos.
Last year’s back-up, junior Jack Collings, projects to take over between the pipes.
RUMSON FAIR HAVEN
Last year’s Handchen Cup champions have some holes to fill up front, but are confident that will be case. The Bulldogs are experienced on the blue line and in goal.
Senior Ryan Croddick (25 pts) is the top returning scorer for second-year coach Eric Zullo. Senior Michael Kuras and juniors Brett Pritchard and Charles Tallman are back. A pair of sophomores looking to contribute are Aiden Ban and Dominic Panke.
On defense, senior Andrew Schmidt (16 pts), will be a team captain; he is going to play D1 baseball at Monmouth. Juniors Casey Freeman and Spencer Lee and sophomore Spencer Hobson are three more key returners on the back end.
The Bulldogs also return a starter in the nets in senior Ronan Hickey (1.17 gaa.).
Some solid depth could be a big factor in the success of Middletown North, which will need to play some good defense as well.
A young but experienced group of forwards leading the way up front are senior Jesse Dickinson (17 pts), juniors Zach Brady, John Betz and Colin Delanzo, and sophomores Jimmy Mullaney and Andrew Gross (14 pts). Two sophomores ready to contribute are Thomas Baron and Michael Botti.
On the blue line, coach Don Wood will look to senior Jon Miranda (19 pts), senior Bob Fitzgerald (9 goals) and senior Aidan Cook to do the job defensively in front of senior goalie Justin Dickinson, who saw some decent time a year ago.
The Warriors will focus this season on getting everyone some solid action on the ice, to gain some normalcy at this given time.
Forward leaders for coach Adam Houli include seniors Michael Farinacci, Tyler Watts and Mark Rudo, juniors Braden Ryan and Vincent Ferraro and sophomore James Farinacci. The group welcomes in four new forwards in seniors Jonathan Vogel and Patrick Ertle, and juniors Dean Myklebust and Matthew Barth.
A quintet of defensemen return in seniors Chris Farinacci, Trevor Walls and Chris Dec, and juniors Brendan Kearney and Shay Keating.
In the nets, returning junior Conall Dougherty will be joined by new junior Ryan Mather.
This co-op consisting of players from St. Rose, Donovan Catholic and Red Bank Catholic will look to compete hard, with roster depth being a key component.
Offfensively, new head coach Bob Gialanella will lean on production from returning guys like junior Aidan Grant (30 pts), seniro Tim Reegan (23 pts) and seniro Chris Lordi (12 pts). Newcomers hoping to have an impact are freshmen Matthew Noonan, Connor Harms and Christopher Bourlokas.
On defense, junior Jack Foote (9 pts) and sophomore Ryan Butcko will have key roles. Freshman Brendan Shaughnessy will add depth, as will Ross Inderwies. Returning senior goaltender Jack Bilancione had a .912 save percentage last winter.
ST. JOHN VIANNEY
The Lancers have lost a bunch of scoring due to graduation, so this could be a year to reload. Coach Mick Messemer says he will have a young and hungry squad.
The team have some senior leadership up front with the return of Colin Gartz, S.J. LeComte, Nick Colao and Ryan Kulaszewski. New sophomores Mike Reed, Nic Viola and Pat Haines, and junior Luc Barnett will help out.
Alex Osher, a junior, will be a key on the blue line. A junior, Dan Shallcross, will look for serious time in the Lancers’ cage.
New head coach Ben Bugge looks to build this co-op program.
Junior forward Ethan Gelman (12 pts) will be a key building block, as will junior goaltender Dmitri Kapranov.
A great 2019-20 campaign ended in a state Private School championship a year ago. This year, the Colts will have to settle vying for a Gordon Cup title. “Staying mentally focused in this shortened season” will be a key according to coach Andy Gojdycz.
Assistant captain Robert Setteducati headlines a host of returning forwards that includes fellow seniors Greg Findeisen, Justin Lidonici and Ryan Howard, juniors Zach Wagnon, Ray Cartigiano and Aidan Guinnessey and sophomore Leighton Biesadecki. Youngsters looking to make their mark are sophomores Antonio Donahue and William Thygeson and freshmen Michael Schmelzer and Christian Chouha.
A veteran defensive unit features senior captain Colin Grable, senior assistant captain Lucas Salas, senior Matt Romano, junior Thomas Atanacio and sophomores Patrick Reilly and Michael Gravina. New junior Jason Andreyev adds to the talented mix.
And in goal, the Colts return the NJ Player of the Year in junior John Donohoe, as well as junior Joseph Cartigiano.
Looking to be in the mix in the conference’s Central Division, the Braves will give extra focus this winter to defensive zone coverage.
As far as offense goes, catalysts project to be seniors Dylan Stein (12 goals) and Ryan Bechutsky (23 pts).
Defensively, coach Matt Inzerillo will rely on junior Richie Williams to be a leader. Manalapan returns a pair of goalies in senior Pat McCarthy and junior John Fox.
It looks like it will be a rebuilding year for the Patriots.
Up front, junior captain Payton Forbes leads a group that also consists of seniors Nick Traina and Dylan Jacobi, junior Jackson Lehman and James Williams and sophomore Michael Craft. Look for coach Michael Celano’s defensive leaders to be sophomore Jake Butler, junior Zack Neron, seophomore Josh Scheck and senior Eliza Slinin. A senior goalie returning is Karina Vang.
Three freshmen who hope to have an impact are James Caldwell, Lucas Palm and Tyler Palm.
TOMS RIVER NORTH
Success for the Mariners will directly correlate with the players’ commitment to systems.
In senior Cole Schneider, TRN has one of the state’s top forward. He is nine points shy of 200 for his career. Anthony DeFalco is another senior forward returning. Newcomer JoJo Frattaroli will contribute.
In the defensive zone, senior Justin Ervelli and sophomores Jake Bennert and Chris Weaver will have key roles for coach Christian Cranson. Louis Mancuso is a new netminder with the club.
RED BANK REGIONAL
The Buccaneers are looking forward to another competitive season in B South. They have a nice nucleus returning from last winter’s outfit.
Up front, coach Connor Keating welcomes back senior Ethan Cormish, juniors Sam Almasy, Nate Cooper and Owen Dabb, and sophomores Anthony Pinto, Henry Spencer, Chris Greenlow and Tristan Molinari. Freshmen looking to grab a regular spot are Elly O’Scanlan and Natalie Clark.
Senior Gordon Odgen, a Jacksonville University lacrosse commit, quarterbacks the RBR blueline. He led the team in scoring a year ago from his defenseman position. Junior Bryce Fernandes and sophomore Shamus Murphy are back as well. New freshman goaltender Gus Filippelli will compete for time in the nets.
A small roster looms this winter for the Spartans, who move into B South for the year. “Our small roster will require contributions from everyone, and that each player be well conditioned and prepared,” said veteran coach Dave Smith.
There is some firepower in the forward lines with sophomore Alex Haar (39 pts), junior Patrick Olenski (33 pts) and junior Vlad Gorelov (26 pts) all back. Seniors Laszlow Simon and Dylan Bennett, junior Landon Bennett and sophomore Aiden Mumm return as well. Providing depth will be new senior Biagio Pugliano and sophomore Dylan Lazar.
Anchoring the defense will be senior Ryan Convery and junior P.J. Schwarz. Freshman Owen Mumm looks for a big role.
Ocean Township does return a goaltender as well in junior Tony Macaluso.
If the Dragons can put in the necessary work, they will have ample opportunity to surprise some teams this year.
Coach James Murphy returns a host of players up front, including seniors Robbie Blair and Christian Kuhl, juniors Ryan Panuska, Mike Pfeister, Ty Nicol, Ethan Schmidt and Ryan Gorman, and sophomores Coty Deturo and Thomas Johnston.
Senior Dylan Jannarone, junior Shane O’Neil and sophomore Logan Donnelly are return on defense. The Dragons also return a pair of goalies in junior Joey Scmardella and sophomore Kevin Toye.
Freshmen Jake Toye and Aidan Rozell hope to have an impact.
Longtime coach James Bruce reports that his club’s focus in this unique season will be on strong, positional play, and relying on a total team effort and team play.
Seniors Trent Burton (16 pts) and Chris Clayton (11 pts) are the Mustangs’ top two returning scorers. Also in the returning group of forwards are seniors Aiden Lewis and Aiden Purcell, juniors Daniel Aulisi and Andrew Vella and sophomore Belle Wurmser.
Sophomore Nick Barroqueiro and junior Joe Kearney are a pair of defensemen back. Freshman Tyler Oliveria is looking to contribute on the blue line.
Junior Cooper Reilly is a holdover between the pipes. Freshman Sam Stulic will press for time.
The defending B South champions expect a battle this winter with what should be a very competitive division.
Senior Trevor Coltenback, juniors Joey Klutkowski, Dom Competello and Mark Competello and sophomore Tom Waitrowski are key returners up front for coach Joe Pellicio. Two new forwards to keep an eye on are Max Agnello and Owen Gancy.
At defense, senior Brady Stellar will be a cornerstone for the Eagles. Senior Nick Bilinski is back between the pipes.
Now in year five of a varsity program, the Lions are looking to be a darkhorse in the South Division.
Catalysts up front for coach Chris Dimicco will be senior Donald Kirk (18 pts) and senior Frank Hubscher (16 pts). New freshman Cole Stracenski will have an impact.
Senior Quinn Waters (10 pts) anchors the defense. Joining the blue line crew is new freshman Aiden Devaney. Junior Jacob Turrin is back between the pipes. He has over 1,000 saves in his career already with the Lions.