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Road To The Rock: NJSIAA Semifinal Contests Up Next

by Anthony Smith / New Jersey Devils
2012 Public A Champion Randolph and 2012 Non-Public Champion Delbarton remain among the top seeds remaining in this year's tournament. (Photos/New Jersey Devils)

The NJSIAA State Ice Hockey Tournament picture became a bit clearer over the weekend, as the tournament that began with 84 teams played its way down to 12.

Public A Bracket

An unlikely result saw nine-seed Livingston knock off top-seed Morris Knolls by a score of 5-2 behind a complete team effort, including goals from Seth Crockett, Joe Lillen, Jonny Garfinkel, David Reiter, and Tal Finberg. Brian Lillen also added 22 saves in the victory.

Livingston will face a Bridgewater-Raritan squad that defeated Westfield 3-2 in double-overtime on Saturday. Bridgewater-Raritan goalie Bobby Esposito made 44 saves in the triumph.

On the other side of the bracket, second-seed and defending champion Randolph defeated tenth-seeded Robbinsville 3-2 in overtime on Saturday on a goal from Christopher Holowko. They will play third-seed Ridge, which defeated six-seed Brick 6-5 on a four-goal effort from Kyle Leddy.

Public B Bracket

The journey of the tournament’s unlikely success story came to an end on Sunday, as 25th-seeded Red Bank fell to top-seed Ramsey 4-0 despite 43 saves from goalie A.J. Ostrander. Ramsey received goals from Connor Edwards, Anthony Pedulla, Frank Steffe, and Alex Whelan in the victory.

Ramsey will face fifth-seed Chatham in the semifinal round, which defeated four-seed Mendham on Saturday by a score of 6-2. Teddy Simson netted two goals for Chatham in the victory.

The bracket’s other side saw third-seed Morristown defeat six-seed Summit 1-0 behind a third period goal from Cam Szary. Morristown will face off against two-seed Kinnelon in the semifinals, which defeated tenth-seed Ramapo 5-0 two goals from Matt Civil.

Non-Public Bracket

In the only Non-Public Quarterfinal match to be played to this point, two-seed Christian Brothers Academy defeated seven-seed Morristown Beard 3-2 on Saturday behind an overtime goals from Conor Tierney. CBA will play third-seed Don Bosco Prep, which defeated six-seed St. Joseph (Metuchen) 5-2 on Saturday.

Top-seed Delbarton defeated eight-seed St. Augustine 4-0 on Monday behind four goals from Josh Melnick and 21 saves from goaltender Brian Forness. They will face off against twelve-seed Paramus Catholic, who defeated fourth-seed Gloucester Catholic behind a 35-save effort from goaltender Thomas Pyrka.

Following the completion of the semifinal round, the NJSIAA State Ice Hockey Tournament Championships will be played at Prudential Center on Saturday, March 9.

Game statistics courtesy of The Star-Ledger.

For more, head to NJ Youth Hockey Central.

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