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Puck drops on 50th season of scholastic hockey in New Jersey

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils – The puck drops Monday on the 50th season of scholastic ice hockey in the state of New Jersey, as Livingston and West Orange open the 2008-09 campaign at Richard J. Codey Arena in South Mountain.

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Hockey League features more than 150 high schools, and has added teams in Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Marlboro, Manalapan and Howell.

Last year's champions were crowned for the first time at Prudential Center, marking the 10th season that the Devils hosted the NJSIAA High School Ice Hockey Championships.

Delbarton defeated St. Augustine for the Non-Public title, while Kinnelon topped Jefferson Township (Public "B") and Ridge beat Watchung Hills Regional (Public "A") in the Public title games.

As part of their commitment to high school hockey, the Devils continue to honor top student-athletes throughout the state of New Jersey with their High School Player of the Month/Year program. Each month from December through February, six high school hockey players from different conferences are selected as recipients of the award.

Three All-Tournament Teams are then selected in March. An overall boys and girls High School Player of the Year is chosen at the conclusion of the season. Winners are based on nominations received from varsity coaches throughout the state.

There are several NJSIAA rule modifications for the upcoming season, including:

Rule 6-38 - Tied Games
There shall be no overtime periods except in league playoffs, regular season tournaments, the NJSIAA state tournament or when playing out of state. For games that require a team to advance, a 15-minute overtime and shootout procedure must be used. For final or championship games, a 15-minute overtime must be used. A shootout shall not be allowed.

Rule 6-37-3 - Time of Game
Upon completion of the second period or, at any time during the third period, if there is a 10-goal differential, the game shall end immediately and will be considered complete.

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