view from down South

March 21, 2006 on 11:41 pm | In analysis | No Comments

Sup, y’all. Before I write a bit about the state tournaments and the season, I want to take a second to thank all the people who took the time to drop me a line, either by commenting on this site or by sending me an email, wishing me luck. There are ups and downs associated with every and any move, and I’ve had plenty of both already, but those emails made dealing with the downs a bit easier. I really missed being around for the culmination of the hockey season, and although I kept informed – writers and coaches called me and I listened to some of the Continental games online – it could not top the excitement of actually being there. It’s safe to say I already miss New Jersey high school hockey and all the people that are a part of it.

That said, a big shout-out to newspapers around the state for their coverage of the end of the state tournament. Everybody in the hockey community laments the lack of space given to hockey during the season in favor of basketball and wrestling and the other winter sports (bowling, really?), but I thought coverage of the state tournament was very good. In particular, props to Mike Morreale and Paul Bruno, colleagues and friends, for their hard work. Trying to cover four games in one day and two late games in another – while dealing with deadlines and editors – is pretty out of control and deserves some respect. And one more shout-out to the Ledger for getting the job done by sending two additional writers and by posting video highlights (that just happened to be lifesaving for those of us who have to write about games we haven’t seen).

My final Top 20s are posted, and while I’m sure they will not be without controversy, I hope they are consistent with the style and system I used all season. I’m not going to recap the final few games here – they’ve been well covered already and I didn’t even see them. A few notes, however: You have to love the irony of Morris County sweeping the titles in the name of Aspen Ice, not Mennen Arena; Pope John became only the second coed private school to reach the semifinals; Randolph has reached the public final in four of the last five years and gone 2-2 in those games; never bet against Tenafly or Fair Lawn in the state tournament; Chris Volonnino is a beast around the net; and both championship goalies appeared to sport playoff beards, if I saw things correctly.

Embarrassing Note of the Week: When submitting my Top 20 to HNIB this morning, I noted that I totally overlooked Ridge’s state tournament performance when doing the rankings, so the Red Devils are in there where they belong, and adjustments made accordingly. Careless mistake on my part, so my apologies to all.

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