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High School Hockey Preview: Matchups Between Top 20 Teams On Tap

by Anthony Smith / New Jersey Devils
As the regular season reaches its final weeks, many teams will be playing very important games in the next few days. Let’s take a look at what is coming up:

St. Joseph (Metuchen) vs. Don Bosco Prep

Led on offense by seniors Nathaniel Welsh and Michael Soper, and junior Felipe Rodriguez, 13th ranked St. Joseph of Metuchen will bring their 11-2-2 record to face third-ranked Don Bosco Prep fresh off of their Bergen County championship on February 4. Don Bosco is currently 11-6. They are led on offense by junior Robert Marsanico and in goal by Jarred Liscio, who boasts an impressive .932 save percentage.

Delbarton vs. Gloucester Catholic

Fourth-ranked Gloucester Catholic will take on top-ranked Delbarton on February 4. Delbarton is currently 11-2-4 and led by John Baiocco, Alex Haggarty, and Josh Melnick, who have 42, 35, and 40 points respectively. Gloucester Catholic is a team that doesn’t have any standout players, but rather a team built of equal talent.

Ridgewood vs. Fair Lawn

In a battle between two of the top teams in the Big North Conference Gold Division, Ridgewood faces Fair Lawn on February 4. Both teams were defeated in the quarterfinals of the Bergen County Tournament. Ridgewood is 12-7 and led by 22 goal scorer Alex Linton and Zach Kinkella, who has found the back of the net 20 times this season. 12-6-1 Fair Lawn is led by the trio of Kevin Carney, Justin Ritter and Mark Williams.

Ramsey vs. Randolph

In what is yet another matchup of Top 20 teams, number seven Ramsey takes on number 12 Randolph on February 6. Ramsey, who is 15-1-2 on the year, is led by Alex Whelan, who has amassed 43 points on the season, and goalie Justin Larkin, who has posted a .926 save percentage. The 8-6-2 Randolph squad is built without a standout player, but has a talent level that is consistent throughout their roster, and that helps them find a way to win games. 

Delbarton vs. St. Augustine

Delbarton will be faced with yet another tough game later in the week as they are matched up against 15th-ranked St. Augustine on February 8. At 4-8-1, St. Augustine’s record may not be impressive, but because they are playing in the tough Gordon Conference, their record doesn’t reflect the ability they possess. St. Augustine has the talent to compete with the best.

Morristown Beard vs. Randolph

Randolph is right back at it on February 8, two days after their game with Ramsey, as they will be matched up with 17th-ranked Morristown Beard. At 6-9-3, Morristown Beard is in a similar situation as St. Augustine, as their record may not be extraordinary, but they have the talent to win.

Wayne Hills vs. Ramapo

Fresh off of their Passaic County Tournament title, Wayne Hills takes on Ramapo on February 8 in a divisional matchup of two teams with identical records at 10-5-2. Ramapo is led on offense by senior Kevin Kazlow, who has 20 goals and 41 points on the season. Wayne Hills is led on offense by Danny Reidel, who has scored 10 times this season.

Montclair Kimberley Academy vs. Morristown

In yet another Top 20 battle, 14th-ranked Montclair Kimberly encounters number nine Morristown on February 8. Montclair Kimberly has worked their way to an 11-1-3 record behind 18 goals from junior Robert Jaworski and a .905 save percentage by goalie Ike Osbun. 13-4-3 Morristown has been led by phenomenal goaltending. Goalie Shane Brown has allowed a mere 16 goals on 318 shots against him, for a phenomenal .950 save percentage.

All rankings and stats are courtesy of The Star-Ledger.

For more, head to NJ Youth Hockey Central.
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