All about the big video board

January 28, 2006 on 10:32 pm | In game recap | 1 Comment

Seton Hall Prep 5, Delbarton 2
No. 1 Seton Hall Prep took a big step toward an undefeated season Saturday with a 5-2 win over No. 3 Delbarton (8-5-1) in front of a standing-room crowd of 2,569 at South Mountain. Seton Hall Prep (14-0-2) is trying to become the first team since St. Joseph Montvale in 1984 to complete an undefeated season. Delbarton was unbeaten against New Jersey teams in the 2001 and 1989 seasons, and Bergen Catholic finished 21-1-2 in 2003.

The 2006 versions of the state’s premier programs took the ice for warm-ups a full 35 minutes before the scheduled 5:30 face-off. The game had three ice cuts, a jumbo video board, a red-carpet national anthem, and (eventually) plenty of fans. The game started around 5:25, and the Pirates needed just 15 seconds to stamp their authority on the game. First-line forwards Mike Cacciotti and Rem Vanderbeek worked a perfect give-and-go, with Cacciotti deking to his backhand to score past Delbarton starter Jeff Leone.
When Seton Hall Prep went on the power play three minutes later, it looked like the rout was on. But Delbarton forward Matt Schillings intercepted a D-to-D pass and took off with a breakaway. Although he was tied up by a defenseman, he got off a one-handed shot, and when Pirate goalie Zach Truesdell could not find the rebound, Dan Pressl was on hand to fire it into an open net and tie the game. Delbarton had a 6-1 shot advantage at that point, but Seton Hall Prep outshot the Green Wave 11-1 over the rest of the period, finally beating Leone on a point shot from Tim Margiotta at the 9:03 mark.

Trailing 2-1, Delbarton got two early power plays in the second period, and Truesdell had to be at his best to maintain the lead. But Seton Hall Prep was back on the attack and had almost continuous pressure for the rest of the period, thanks in part to three power plays. The Pirates finally cashed in at 12:22, when Cacciotti found a loose puck near the goal line and snapped it by Leone before he could react. The goal came just one second after a power play expired.

In the third period, Delbarton got back in the game almost immediately, when Alex Smigelski’s point shot deflected off a Seton Hall Prep stick to a wide-open Pressl in the lower left circle, who once again had no trouble finishing into an open net. The game’s intensity picked up, with several after-the-whistle skirmishes, but Delbarton never created any serious chances to tie the game. Seton Hall Prep essentially iced the contest on a power-play goal at the 8:06 mark. With most of the nine players on the ice clogged on the left side of Seton Hall’s offensive zone, Chris Preziosi won the puck and made a smart feed to Cacciotti in the right circle, who whistled a high wrist shot past Leone.
With the teams skating four-on-four late in the period and Delbarton pushing up, Cacciotti and Vanderbeek missed consecutive breakaways before Vanderbeek got another chance and beat Leone through his legs to truly seal the game.

Seton Hall Prep clinched its third Gordon Conference regular-season title in four seasons and faces St. John Vianney, St. Peter’s Prep, and Connecticut power Fairfield Prep in its quest for an unbeaten regular season. Delbarton dropped into a second-place tie with Don Bosco Prep and faces St. Peter’s Prep twice and Pope John in leaugue play down the stretch. Don Bosco will face Bergen Catholic, St. Peter’s Prep, and St. John Vianney as the pair vie for a first-round bye in the Gordon Cup tournament.

Seton Hall Prep 5, Delbarton 2


Del 1 0 1 2
SHP 2 1 2 5


Del 7 6 8 21
SHP 12 18 10 40

0:15 SHP #11 Mike Cacciotti (#17 Rem Vanderbeek)
3:31 Del (sh) #17 Dan Pressl (#8 Matt Schillings)
9:03 SHP #6 Tim Margiotta (#15 Jim Mahoney)
12:22 SHP #11 Mike Cacciotti (#15 Jim Mahoney)
0:18 Del #17 Dan Pressl (#9 Alex Smigelski)
8:06 SHP (pp) #11 Mike Cacciotti (#12 Chris Preziosi, #26 John Passantino)
13:19 SHP (4-4) #17 Rem Vanderbeek (unassisted)

#35 Jeff Leone (Del) 40-35
#30 Zach Truesdell (SHP) 21-19

Power plays: Del 0-4, SHP 1-7

At Mennen Arena, Chatham outshot Morris Knolls 34-18 but came away with only a 2-2 tie after 32 saves from Josh Ofner. Donnie Nichols and Dan Duda gave Knolls a 2-0 second-period lead before goals from Jeff Tompson and Jeff Chatterton pulled the Cougars level. In the second game, Mendham beat Jefferson 9-4.
The nightcap matched Halvorsen Division leaders Mountain Lakes and West Morris. The Lakers (9-6-1) clinched a Mennen Cup playoff berth with a 6-4 win over the Wolf Pack (7-8) behind Jacob Sutker (2 g, 1 a) and Dan Lio (1 g, 3 a). Lakes rotated seven forwards, with Lio’s second line making the difference. West Morris’ top line scored both even-strength goals through standout Kenny Hunt, while Todd DeVoid scored twice on the power play. The Lakers can clinch the division title and promotion to the Mennen Division with a win or a tie against Mendham Feb. 6.

1 Comment

  1. Yeah, that video board was very impressive.

    Comment by p1rate — 30 January 2006 #

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