Hockey’s preseason ice hockey Top 20: Teams 6-10 hope to claim elite status in 2021

We’re now just a day away from the opening of the 2021 season.

NJ Advance Media has already rolled out 10 of the squads that have made the preseason Top 20 and now it’s time for five more.

Scroll down below to check out the teams ranked 6th to 10th before the start of the new season.

Pingry goalie Kevin Parnham congratulates Peter Korn (13) ad Korn scored the game tying goal during the Skyland Cup boys ice hockey finals between Pingry and Hunterdon Central at ProTec Ponds in Somerset, NJ on 2-15-20. Jared Kordonsky scored :15 into overtime for the 3-2 win for PingryScott Faytok | For NJ Advance Media


Last season: 14-3-3; Reached Non-Public quarterfinals

Last season’s final ranking: No. 11

Coach: Scott Garrow

What we’re thinking: This team enters the 2021 season having won back-to-back Skyland Cups and it hopes to have a shot at making it a three-peat. Most of the team comes back and it has experience and consistency throughout the top of its lineup. Kevin Parnham had a fantastic junior season in goal, finishing it with a .916 save percentage. The rest of the senior core includes defenseman Peter Korn and forwards Jared Kordonsky and Eric Bush. Those three accounted for 43 of the team’s 90 goals from last season. Pingry is one of the many teams that will wait to start its season because of coronavirus.


  • 1/21 vs. Watchung Hills
  • 1/23 at Watchung Hills
  • 1/26 vs. Ridge
Boys Ice Hockey: Summit defeats Montclair 7-3.

Summit’s Dylan Goldfarb (16) fires a shot on target against Montclair during the boys ice hockey game at Clary Anderson Arena on 2/3/20.Tom Horak | For NJ Advance Media


Last season: 22-3-2; Public C champions

Last season’s final ranking: No. 9

Coach: Ian Bell

What we’re thinking: While the Hilltoppers lose four key pieces from its recent state championship run, it brings back nine seniors. These veterans will make sure leadership isn’t in short supply and the players have been through numerous deep-season runs to Prudential Center, so they know what it takes to win. Starting in goal, Grant McCormack is a breakout player candidate who will take over after Nikita Pryymak graduated. Defensively, Matt Vigliotta, Gavin Ruschmeier and Aidan Cass are more-than-capable of running the show. Up front, Jake Lowry and Dylan Goldfarb will be counted on to help replace some of the 79 goals Summit lost in the offseason.


  • 1/15 vs. Westfield
  • 1/18 at Morris Knolls-Hills
  • 1/22 vs. Johnson
Boys Ice Hockey: St. Joseph (Mont) defeats Paramus 3-0 in the first round of the Bergen County Tournament

St. Joes (Mont)’s Thor Hansen (34) waits for the puck to be dropped against Paramus during the first round of the Bergen County Tournament at The Ice Vault on 1/17/20Tom Horak | For NJ Advance Media

8-St. Joseph (Mont.)

Last season: 21-2-1; Reached Non-Public first round

Last season’s final ranking: No. 10

Coach: Larry Mahurter

What we’re thinking: St. Joseph (Mont.) is making the leap out of the Big North Conference and into the Gordon Conference. It might be better described as a massive jump. They’ll slot into the National Division with Pope John, Seton Hall Prep, St. Augustine and St. Peter’s Prep. The hope is to fit in like a glove. Tomas Spero saw action in five of the first 16 games last season but then played in seven of the last eight, posting a .924 save percentage in the process. Justin Hughes, Thor Hansen and Michael Angeletti are the big senior leaders this season and will help younger players like juniors Thomas Hilliard, Logan May and Dylan Stiles develop after great sophomore seasons. St. Joseph will be one of the more intriguing teams to watch this season in its brand new conference. The Green Knights are also out to start the season because of the pandemic.


  • 1/29 at Pope John
  • 2/1 at Paul VI
  • 2/3 at St. Joseph (Met.)
Boys Ice Hockey: Don Bosco defeats Seton Hall Prep 5-1 in the Non-Public Semifinal.

Seton Hall Prep’s Patrick Zincone (12) passes the puck to Seton Hall Prep’s Brendan Waivada (27) against Don Bosco during the NJSIAA Non-Public Semifinal at Mennen Arena on 3/4/20.Tom Horak | For NJ Advance Media

7-Seton Hall Prep

Last season: 11-13-2; Reached Non-Public semifinals

Last season’s final ranking: No. 8

Coach: Mike Atkinson

What we’re thinking: Seton Hall Prep is another team sidelined for the start of the 2021 season because of COVID-19. Once it comes back, it’ll be a squad that came just short against Don Bosco in the Non-Public semifinals a season ago looking to charge ahead. It’ll be a challenge with Jack Schneider, Alex Kuhtik, Kyle Bishop, Sal Betro, and Tim O’Connell gone, though. Ryan Rodrigues, Will Schneider and Brendan Waivada take over as the senior leaders offensively, while Patrick Zincone, Aidan D’Urso and Thomas Klochov will add some extra punch. Senior Harrison Rocheville can be relied upon to eat plenty of minutes on the blue line as well.


  • 1/29 at St. Augustine
  • 2/1 at Princeton Day
  • 2/3 at Morristown-Beard
Boys Ice Hockey: Morristown-Beard vs. Randolph

Andrew Low (17) of Morristown-Beard celebrates their fourth goal of the game to put his team up 4-1 and it would be the eventual game winning goal after hanging on for a 4-3 win during the boys ice hockey game between Morristown-Beard and Randolph at Mennen Arena in Morristown, NJ on 12-27-19. Morristown-Beard won 4-3.Scott Faytok | For NJ Advance Media


Last season: 20-5-1; Reached Non-Public quarterfinals

Last season’s final ranking: No. 6

Coach: Scott Greene

What we’re thinking: The Crimson held its own in the quarterfinals against Christian Brothers last season, eventually falling 3-1. The core belief of the group returning is that this team has what it takes to be in the discussion for best in the state. Seniors Seth Kaplan and Cam Fernandez are two great players up front and combined for 83 points last winter. The junior class behind those two are just as strong, led by Hollis Humphries, Nick Vantassell, Andrew Low, Noah Jones and Jake Ochab. Kareem Alazem, an out-of-state transfer who’s committed to play at RPI (D1) in college, will bolster the defense. This team has plenty of size, speed, skill and discipline to repeat as Mennen Cup Champions. The Crimson will have a chance to claim a spot as one of the state’s elite with several tough out-of-conference games against the likes of Bergen Catholic, Don Bosco, Delbarton and Seton Hall Prep.


  • 1/22 vs. Morristown
  • 1/25 at Bergen Catholic
  • 1/28 at Randolph

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Brian Bobal may be reached at [email protected]. Follow Brian on Twitter @BrianBobalHS.

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