Shore Conference gets it (mostly) right

January 29, 2008 on 3:37 pm | In analysis, breaking news | No Comments

The much-maligned Shore Conference has heeded the advice of ice hockey coaches and administrators and scrapped its plans to have one tournament. Instead, there will be a six-team Shore A tournament four-team Shore B tournament. Regulations for the tournament, always an interesting read, can be found here.

My only beef with the set-up is the following lines: “Division winners are granted an automatic entry to their respective tournaments. The seeding committee will determine the remaining entries and all seeds.”

I am still mirky on the criteria that will determine “division winners” and how that fits in with the private school requirement standard to most Shore tournaments. More importantly, what’s the point of all these¬†league games if seeding is not going to be determined by league standings. All the Shore B teams are playing each other twice; take the best four records from those games? Or count the Shore A games, for all I care, but let the seeding be determined by standings, as in the other leagues, and not by subjective seeding.

Otherwise, a big thumbs up. Any chance Paul McInnis and the NJIHL will sell off the Handchen Cup and Dowd Cup trophies to the Shore Conference?

A big thanks to all the Shore Conference coaches and administrators who pushed for this.

late night blues

January 26, 2008 on 3:29 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments

If it’s 2:20 a.m. in Texas, it must be hella late on the East Coast.

I was so late getting home from work tonight that I ran through scores without responding to very many e-mails, so I apologize to those people who submitted scores on Friday but did not hear back from me. I thank you for the help.

That being said, we’re still missing a ton. What the heck? How am I missing a Gordon score six hours after the game ended? So shoot me an e-mail and correct that.

Couple other things … The Shore Conference has apparently reversed itself and will hold a Shore A and Shore B tournament. I’m not posting any more than that until somebody I trust faxes or e-mails me the brackets, because it sure doesn’t seem like anybody knows what’s going on down there. … Princeton Day is playing in the Mercer County Tournament for the first time in forever – seems there’s no requirement that teams play a percentage of their games against Mercer County opposition to qualify for the tournament. Mercer publics have to be happy that Princeton Day, Pennington, and Notre Dame ended up in the same quarter of the draw. … Fair Lawn’s win over Northern Highlands tonight sure was big – I heard about it from at least four different sources. I also heard from three different sources about the Westfield-Hunterdon Central game. Now if some of those people would just report on Old Bridge, we’d be all set.

Oh, there’s an ice cups page hiding on my site. I haven’t made time to link to it yet, but here it is. Do people want each cup to have its own page, as I did for the holiday tournaments?

Have a great weekend … GO GIANTS!

(Yes, I know the Super Bowl’s next weekend, but Pat Verney and I, among others, are pumped for the Giants anyway.)

Other Monday action

January 22, 2008 on 1:50 am | In analysis | No Comments

Okay, what do I know? Watchung Hills did not take advantage of its mulligan, losing 3-0 to Cranford on Monday. I know Cranford has a decent team this year, but the Cougars did just lose to Summit. The Central White is turning into an interesting race. If I could get Paul VI to report its scores, we might even find out who finishes in first!

Ramsey also slipped up, tying Mahwah 3-3 just a few days after beating the Thunderbirds. St. Joseph Metuchen had a chance for revenge against Hillsborough but could only come away with a 3-3 tie. And Notre Dame got whipped 7-0 by St. Augustine Prep. That one really wasn’t too much of a surprise, but it just adds to a poor performance from yesterday’s Top 20.

Moral of the story is … the Central Conference and NBIAL are pretty darn unpredictable, and ranking their teams is next to impossible.

Delbarton vs. Hill-Murray updates

January 21, 2008 on 4:34 pm | In breaking news, game recap | No Comments

Yes, it’s a scrimmage, but we all want to know who wins when Delbarton takes on Minnesota power Hill-Murray this afternoon in the Great White North. Thanks to an enterprising Delbarton parent, I am privy to a few updates this afternoon, so here’s what’s happening:

1st half: Delbarton 2, Hill-Murray 2. I’m told Hill-Murray has twice taken the lead, only for Delbarton to tie the score. The first Green Wave goal came on a point shot deflected off of a Hill-Murray stick. Delbarton’s second goal came from Mike Smigelski, assisted by Andy Bell. Delbarton is rolling four lines so far, I hear, and Infante has played well in goal. Hill-Murray with a 14-13 shot advantage.

2nd half: Hill-Murray 6, Delbarton 2 (cumulative). Sounds like it actually was a scrimmage. The teams tried some special-teams situations in the second “half” and rotated most of their players in. The play continued to be very physical, particularly toward the end. Sounds like Delbarton definitely held its own.

Rankings, Vers. 4.0 (Jan. 20)

January 21, 2008 on 1:10 am | In analysis | 3 Comments

I’ve been putting off these rankings for a while. And I don’t think I did myself any favors. These were really hard to come up with, and I’m sure some people (Northern Conference, Shore Conference) won’t like them a whole lot. That’s the nature of the beast.
I’m putting these out there for discussion and debate, not because I think they’re infallible or because I’m particularly attached to any comparisons. I’m also splitting public schools into their Public A and Public B classifications, as we will for the state tournament.

Read on for the njhockey.org Top 10s:

Continue reading Rankings, Vers. 4.0 (Jan. 20)…

Shore Conference playoffs

January 20, 2008 on 1:14 pm | In breaking news | 5 Comments

I had the Shore Conference hockey playoff system explained to me Saturday. It took about 20 minutes. I have been told by a local that Shore Conference rules may appear to the unfamiliar to be “quirky.”

He was putting it mildly.

While there may be changes in the future, I’m being told the first Shore Conference tournament (Shore Cup? Jim Dowd Cup? I don’t know if there’s a name yet) will be conducted by Shore Conference by-laws. Which means an 8-team tournament featuring:

  • Shore A North public team with best divisional record
  • Shore A South public team with best divisional record
  • Shore B North public team with best divisional record
  • Shore B South public team with best divisional record
  • private school (not sure how they will choose)
  • at-large
  • at-large
  • at-large

Is that bizarre or what? I’ve got so many rants and raves about this, I don’t know where to begin.

At-large teams will be chosen by committee. Let’s look at it slowly and figure out how this will play out.

1. Wall / Middletown North (Shore A North public)
2. Brick Memorial / Brick (Shore A South public)
3. RFH / RBR (Shore B North public)
4. TRS / Jackson (Shore B South public)
5. St. John Vianney (private)
6. Red Bank Catholic (at-large 1)
7. Monsignor Donovan (at-large 2)
8. the other Brick school (at-large 3)

Not an awful tournament. Assuming seeding is subjective, you have 1-SJV vs. 8-TRS, 2-MD vs. 7-RFH, 3-RBC vs. 6-Brick; 4-Wall vs. 5-Brick Mem. … or something like that. Semifinal matchups would be SJV-Wall, MD-RBC. But there’s not much of a level playing field or incentive for Shore B teams.

Now, to my questions:

Why are Shore teams forced to schedule 17-19 games within the conference if only 6-8 of those count for postseason seeding?
Why are the private schools treated differently for purposes of the postseason tournament but not the regular season? That screws over teams that have to play four division games against private schools.
Why does the Shore B schedule make all Shore B teams play all other ones twice?
What the heck will happen when CBA comes in next year?

But I guess it really boils down to this: Why does the conference mandate that its teams play all these games that have no bearing on the conference postseason?

first-win shout-outs continue

January 20, 2008 on 1:54 am | In breaking news, game recap | No Comments

Edison picked up its first win in school history by beating West Orange 5-2 on Saturday. Congrats to the Eagles! And I think I forgot to give Dayton some love for its win over Old Bridge on Thursday. We’re still looking for Old Bridge and West Morris to garner victories, but they’ve had winning seasons before. Hats off to Edison – that first win is always special.

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