I waited a bit hoping the picture would clear up – it didn’t – but two weeks into the season it’s time for Shore Sports Network’s first ice hockey top 10. .
It had been a while since I had been on the hockey beat, so I wanted to have the lay of the land outside of the obvious top teams. This was largely a futile plan due to the constant but totally expected disruptions due to COVID-19. Nearly half of the Shore’s 23 ice hockey programs have been closed for two weeks due to exposure to the virus and every team has been affected at least once due to a cancellation or postponement game.
Three programs, Wall, Jackson Liberty / Memorial / Point Boro and St. Rose / Donovan Catholic / Red Bank Catholic, have yet to play game. Rumson-Fair Haven only has one game under his belt and has been closed twice so far. The cancellations of his opponents also limited Howell to a single game this season. Middletown North and Ocean are also in the only group played. You see the picture.
On the rankings.
The only certainty is that Christian Brothers Academy is the Shore’s No.1 team. They are the # 1 team in defense in New Jersey and still hold that distinction according to our friends rank at NJ Advance Media. The Colts are considered a Gordon Conference team much more than they are considered a Shore team, but they are officially in the Shore Conference and lined up in the North Division, so our rankings will reflect that.
Then that’s where it gets interesting. Forgetting the ABCs for a while, the North Division is bestial on paper with St. John Vianney, Rumson-Fair Haven, Manasquan, Middletown North and Middletown South, St. Rose and Marlboro. There were only three divisions games played so far, however, so many big games (hopefully) stay.
Toms River North is currently the central division leader with an overall score of 3-0, but this division is also proving to be very competitive. Central Regional (5-0) and Red Bank Regional (2-0) are both undefeated and appear on a collision course in the South Division.
Shore Sports Network Top 10 Ice Hockey
1. CBA (4-0-1)
As mentioned above, the Colts are the reigning No.1 team in the state and haven’t relinquished that status through five games this season. It looked like there could be a change at the top on Sunday when the ABC dragged Don Bosco Prep 3-1 into the third period, but goals from Zach Wagnon and Colin Grable along with some good goalkeepers of Joseph Cartigiano helped the Colts rally for a 3- 3 tie. The ABC also had victories against St. Peter’s Prep (8-1), Manasquan (4-0), St. Augustine (4-1) and Gloucester Catholic (3-1). The attack was balanced with second Leighton Biesiadecki (2b, 5a), rookie Christian Chouha (4b, 3a) and second defender Patrick Reilly (7a) tied for the team lead with seven points. Wagnon (2g, 4a) and Grable (2g, 4a) are just behind them. Coming up: Wednesday 2/3 against Pope John; Thursday 2/4 at # 6 Middletown North; Monday 2/8 against Delbarton.
2. St. John Vianney (3-0-1)
The Lancers are undefeated with wins over Old Bridge (8-0), Saint-Joseph (Metuchen) (5-2) and Monroe (7-1) and could be 4-0 without the goalkeeper’s 45-save effort. Marlboro. Dmitrii Kapranov in a 3-3 draw against the Mustangs. It was a good start for the group of head coach Mick Messemer, who absorbed the graduation of several outstanding players over the past two years. Junior forward Rob Calice is the team manager in points with eight (4g, 4a) while seniors Ryan Kulaszewski (3g, 3a) and SJ LeComte (3g, 3a) and junior Luc Barnett (4g, 2a) also led a balanced score. . Junior goaltender Dan Shallcross was excellent with a .928 save percentage. Coming up: Thursday 2/4 at Don Bosco Prep; Friday 2/5 at No.3 Middletown South.
3. Middletown South (2-0)
The Eagles have been shut down for two weeks due to COVID-19 exposure and have yet to play a game since a 3-0 win over Marlboro on Jan.20. They also have a 6-1 win over Southern. The sample size is small, but Middletown South is clearly in contention to be the best team in the unnamed CBA Shore Conference. Junior forward Michael Ferlanti has four assists in two games, junior forward Luke Finn scored two goals and junior goaltender Jack Collings was nearly perfect with a .979 save percentage and shutout. The eagles’ highly anticipated comeback arrives this week with a pair of marquees games. Upcoming: Thursday 2/4 at Hunterdon Central; Friday 2/5 vs No. 2 St. John Vianney
4. Rumson-Fair Haven (0-0-1)
It was essentially a draw as Rumson and Manasquan skated 2-2 for the Bulldogs only. game so this season I went with RFH because I would have ranked them ahead of Manasquan in any form of pre-season ranking. The season has been extremely difficult so far for Rumson, who has been closed twice and only been able to play one game. The Bulldogs have had a breakout season in 2020 and have fired most of their best players this season, but have yet to have a chance to feature it all. They are due to return to play on February 8. Coming soon: Monday 2/8 against Westfield.
5. Manasquan (0-1-1)
The Warriors lost a lot of firepower due to graduation and also saw peerless defenseman Anthony Dowd depart for the USHL, so the question is how quickly they can reload and remain a team in the game. elite in the Shore Conference. A 4-0 loss to ABC in the season opener is what it is, but a 2-2 draw with No.4 Rumson-Fair Haven is very encouraging given that Manasquan rallied with two goals in the last five minutes to win the draw. Mike Farinacci’s goal with 28 seconds left was the equalizer. Like most teams in the North Division, the heavy lifting is yet to come for Manasquan. Next step: Warriors don’t have one games scheduled until February 10 against St. John Vianney.
6. Middletown North (1-0)
The Lions are another team that entered the 2021 season with pretty good expectations but haven’t managed to tackle any of their goals yet. Middletown North is the only game of the season returned on Jan. 19, a 6-2 win over Manalapan. Lions were then shut down by exposure to COVID-19 and had to postpone or cancel games against Jackson Liberty, Rumson-Fair Haven, St. Rose and Manasquan. They are expected to return on Thursday, but will be greeted by the top tier CBA. Next stage: Thursday 2/4 against n ° 1 of the ABC; Monday 2/8 vs No. 7 St. Rose.
7. Regional center (5-0)
The Golden Eagles play straightforward, north-south hockey and it has worked out well for them so far in 2021. Central is undefeated with wins over Howell (3-0), Brick (6-3), Brick Memorial (10- 2)), Toms River East (3-0) and Lacey (12-1) and currently leads the South Division. Senior forward Trevor Coltenback leads the Shore with seven goals and 10 assists while Domenick Competello (4g, 9a), Mark Anthony Competello (7b, 2a), Joey Klutoski (4g, 8a), Corey van den Berg (5b, 5a ), Dom Wiatrowski (4b, 3a) and Brady Steller (6a) contributed to an attack that even received a score from both lines. Between pipes, Nick Bilinski was excellent with a save percentage of .957 and two shutouts. Next meeting: Friday 2/5 at Freehold Township.
8. Toms River North (3-0)
Three games, three wins for the Mariners, who own wins over Freehold Township (7-3), Freehold (4-2) and Brick (4-2) in the first two weeks. Senior forward Cole Schneider is one of the Shore’s top scorers with nine goals and three assists and became the first player in program history to reach the 200 point mark. The Toms River North top line consisting of Schneider, Anthony DeFalco (4g, 6a) and Joe Frattaroli (2g, 3a) was lethal, but Catch 22 is it was the only line to light the lamp until present. Toms River North will need to find a secondary score, whether it’s to break the top line or get the second line to begin. On goal, rookie Louis Mancuso has a save percentage of .904 out of three games. Coming up: Wednesday 2/3 vs. No.9 Jackson Liberty; Friday 2/5 in the south; Monday 2/8 at Lacey.
9. Jackson Liberty (0-0)
The Lions were very good last season with a 16-6-1 record and add Jackson Memorial to the co-op with Point Boro to form the Shore’s most recent tri-op. Liberty has not yet played a game this season, however, so it’s only a screening until the team hits the ice. The team could certainly make a big jump in the standings but for now we are putting the teams that have played games higher on the list. Coming up: Wednesday 2/3 at # 8 Toms River North; Friday 2/5 against Manalapan.
10. Saint Rose (0-0)
Purple roses have yet to play a game it is therefore more a projection than anything else. The St. Rose / Donovan Catholic / Red Bank Catholic tri-op was 9-6-6 last season. The team is set to get back to action this week: Upcoming: Friday 2/5 at Marlboro; Monday 2/8 at No.6 Middletown North.
On the bubble:
Red Bank (2-0)
Full ownership (1-1)
East Toms River (3-2)
Editor-in-Chief Bob Badders can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. As Shore sports network sure Facebook and subscribe to our Youtube channel for all the latest video highlights.
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