With the Shore Conference Ice Hockey season upon us, here are ten teams that will be sure to make some noise this upcoming season.
Last season the Colts won the NJSIAA Non-Public bracket after defeating Delbarton in overtime. This season, the Colts return quite a few from that state championship winning roster. Scoring should not be an issue for this team. Expect guys like Dean DiFaszio to contribute to a team that has many options when it comes to their forwards. Christian Winters and Anthony Cucich have also proven to be viable scoring options. DiFazio was credited with the game winning goal that was able to propel the Colts to a state title.
Michael Cernero will be taking over in net following the graduation of Brett Farell. Defensively, the Colts will have top defenseman Ryan Bogan back as well as James Stanger and Chris Hayes. Defense is an area that should certainly be a strength for this team. To go with many talented lines that the Colts will put on the ice this season, they also come in with a coach with 166 career wins on his resume in Ryan Bogan Sr.
Although the Caseys found themselves on the short end to Morristown-Beard, they certainly have the personnel to make an impact once again in the Shore Conference. Last season, the Caseys captured their second consecutive SCT title. This was after they defeated Saint John Vianney 8-0 at Middletown Ice World. Much like CBA, RBC comes into the season with high expectations. The Caseys also have a coach in Ken Carlson whose 165 victories put experience in his game plan.
The Caseys return two of their top scorers from last season with Alec Mintz and Evan Hoey. These two can be lethal from many positions on the ice as they combined for 52 goals last season. Robert Goehring will also be a contributing member of RBC’s offense with the graduation of Todd Goehring.
Defensively, expect Cole Kirchner to be a major leader and force on the ice this season. Matt Benjamin will be taking over in net following the graduation of Brandon Rozzi.
Saint John Vianney
Last season the Lancers took the Shore by storm as they rebounded from a sub par year in 2014. Making the Shore Conference Finals, they were able to finish the season with a 16-6 record. Although the Lancers lose a few big goal scorers in Matt Kidney and Mike Gelatt, SJV should be a fun team to watch this season. They come in with a new goaltender in Jeremy Connor, and three freshman will look to make an impact. One of those three includes defenseman John Kennedy who has been regarded as very skilled with great awareness on the ice. If Vianney can get production from some of the younger guys this season, they should be able to duplicate their 2015 success and make some noise in A-central this season.
The Lions were able to make a run to a state championship last season due to their timely scoring and defense late in games. One of the most successful players in the Shore Conference returns for the Lions this season in Bobby Hampton. Hampton had quite the 2015 season as he netted two goals in the Non-Public B Final. Offense should be a bright side for this team in the 2015-2016 season as Hampton, Khristian Acosta, and Vincient Tomassetti all return as goal scoring leaders for this Lions team. The defense should also be a strength for this team. Goaltender Anthony Manfredi will be in net for the Lions as he came away with two shutouts during the playoffs. He was big in the Lions run last season and could prove to be an asset once again.
St Rose is team that could suprise in 2015-2016. Competing in a tough A-central, the Roses have some viable scoring options. For St.Rose Alex Phipps will be huge talent. As a freshman him and Connor Cassidy were two of the top goal scorers for the Roses. The Roses have formed a Co-op with Donovan Catholic this season. Joining the Roses from DC will be Jake Mulvaney and Tommy Swanson as two more powerful forwards that will lead the Forwards for this team. Seniors Kyle Dickert and Steve Wallace should prove to be the Backbone of this defensive unit. Goaltending will be an interesting battle for this team with multiple options coming back from last season. Although Andrew Vinca had a solid year taking over last season, it will be interesting to see if he starts the regular season as this teams starting goaltender.
Lat season, the Panthers fared quite well in A-central posting an 11-7 mark. They eventually fell to Ramsey in Public B and St. John Vianney in the Shore Conference tournament. The Panthers graduated some key scorers last season in Owen Herrington , Lance Nelson, and Ryan Patterson. This season, that first line will be key to having a successful season. Ryan Carr Defensively, the Panther defense will be relied upon heavily with Daniel Herrington and Matt Kimak patrolling the blue line as senior leadership. Others include Sophomore Jake Toner and Freshman Ryan McCabe and Tyler Griffin will look to install themselves into the Panther Defense this season as well. Chris Belman will be the goaltender for the Panthers this season as he took over the goal tending for Pt.Boro two years ago showing quickness and great ability to see the puck.
Southern turned out to be quite the story in 2014. Coach Matt Hayes was able to lead this team on a run as they fell to Howell in the state semi-finals. After graduating some dominant seasons last season, the rams will have a bit of a different look to them this upcoming season. Seniors Matt Scalvino and Gavin Witt should be big for this team up front. This team should be able to blend quite well as they feature a Forward unit of mostly seniors and sophomores. Nick Englebert and Jack Conrad are two Juniors that should be productive for the Rams as well this season. Defensively the Rams were solid last season and look to continue that pattern to win games this season. Tommi Rossi should be a key D-man this season as he returns as one of the anchors for this team.
The Patriots were one of the Solid teams to come out of A North least season. Loosing to Howell last season in the quarters of the Shore Conference Tournament may have felt like an early exit for a team that has quite a bit of talent on its roster. To start, coach Mike Celano has all the experience to lead his team on a deep run this season. For many teams, I normally start by commenting on the Offense. However, I will start by addressing Freehold Township’s defense. Returning for the Patriots is Julian Kislan, who recently committed to play Division One hockey for Northeastern. He along with Ryan Ford and Eric Borshchevsky will round out the Patriot Defenseman. Nick Railola had one of the top save percentages in the shore last season as he will be the teams starting goaltender this season. If there is a point of emphasis for this team this season, it would be their youth. Expect the Patriots to be in the mix all season and very capable of making a postseason run in either the SCT or the State Tournament.
One again Howell returns with some spotlight on them. Although they graduate Kyle Haullbauer, the states leading scorer a year ago; the Rebels will be centered around their defense and goaltender to keep them in games this season. Tim Clifton will be a key Newcomers this season transferring from CBA. Joining the newcomers this season will be Jason Musselman and Tyler Russel. Bobby Dovenero will return as he close to the 50 win milestone with 38 victories up to date. Anthony Gallicchio will come into this season as determined as ever as he is closing in the 100 point milestone. This team is filled with youth and experience so expect this club to be eager to make a deep playoff run in 2016. Head coaching will also be a strength for the Rebels as Bill Daley will enter his eighth year with the program.