big Friday night winners

January 19, 2008 on 9:52 am | In game recap | Comments Off on big Friday night winners

There was plenty of big Friday night action this week, but I think the game everybody was talking about was Delbarton’s first game on its Minnesota trip. Boosted by pregame speeches from George Parros and 1980 Olympic gold medalist Rob McClanahan and by feeling like an underdog, Delbarton came away with a 5-2 win. I like the story from the Daily Record, although I think calling Breck the ninth-ranked team in the state may be a little off. True to form, Delbarton got goals from four different players in the win, including two from Pingry transfer Mike Ambrosia, who really seems to be making an impact.

Other big winners Friday … Watchung Hills beat Ridge 2-1 less than a month after losing to the state’s top-ranked public in a shootout. This could really screw up the rankings, since Watchung Hills just lost to Johnson … Paul VI rallied with two late goals to beat Westfield and remain unbeaten in the Central White … Hunterdon Central was missing several players but rallied to beat Summit 5-4 … Randolph bounced back from its loss to Northern Highlands with an emphatic 5-1 win over Morris Knolls … Wayne Valley knocked off Paramus 3-1 … Bergen Catholic edged Bishop Eustace 3-2 … Northern Highlands got past Indian Hills 5-4 in a big battle of Public B teams … Wall and Brick played to an exciting 2-2 tie … and last but certainly not least, my second-favorite result of the night: Hudson Catholic 6, Hackettstown 5 to bring Hudson Catholic to 1-13 and break a 27-game losing streak.

And this isn’t about hockey, but what a match between Roger Federer and Janko Tipsarevic in the Australian Open last night. Unbelievable. I watched half of it last night and the other half this morning (the miracle of DVR). Federer went down two sets to one, which is shocking enough for a player who has a 43-match Grand Slam hard-court winning streak. Federer won the fourth set, 6-1, and the two then battled through an epic fifth set (remember, no tiebreakers). Tipsarevic had to work SO hard to hold every serve, while Federer held serve pretty easily. Finally, after trailing love-40, Federer broke serve at 8-8 and went on to serve out the match for a 6-7, 7-6, 5-7, 6-1, 10-8 win in a match that took four hours, 27 minutes. Ridiculously entertaining.

NJ HS hockey makes the Uni Watch Blog

January 18, 2008 on 9:48 am | In breaking news | 2 Comments

If you’re an online blog junkie like I and some of my friends, you may be well aware of the Uni Watch blog, which occasionally turns into a Uni Watch Column on’s Page 2.

Well, the Uni Watch blog in this post linked to a slideshow of the high school hockey jerseys hanging at the Prudential Center – which I think is really awesome, by the way – and so you should all check out this post. Maybe if enough people follow links from my blog, the Uni Watch will link back to mine!

Also, if you missed it, Rick Nash scored a ridiculous game-winning goal in the final minute that was SportsCenter’s top play of the night last night – still waiting for a YouTube link.

Tuesday rundown

January 15, 2008 on 11:58 am | In analysis | 2 Comments

Nice work by Paul and J.C. at the Star-Ledger in today’s notebook: check it out here. A few things beg for a comment from yours truly, however.

Madison I’m glad somebody up there finally hopped on this story and got answers straight from the mouths of the coach and athletic director. However, the Ledger was not clear about the consequences. The article never states what rule Madison violated in the process. My real question is: has Madison been precluded from the state tournament for exceeding the limit on game disqualifications or because it refused to complete an athletic contest? The former seems the more likely, since I do not know of any NJSIAA statute that prevents teams from forfeiting games.

Shootouts Anyone who has talked to me about this issue knows how strongly I feel. But let me quote the article, which quoted the inimitable Paul McInnis:

“For teams that took part in a game-deciding shootout in a tournament this season, Paul McInnis, the NJSIAA state tournament director and ice hockey rules interpreter, has a message: Don’t count it as a tie. ‘Those teams in holiday tournaments that went to a shootout and advanced should count it as a win, and the team that didn’t should count that as a loss,’ he said. ‘In our meeting in April we’ll address this issue more clearly.’

This is lunacy. Whether you agree with the decision or not (and clearly, I don’t), the NJSIAA cannot continue to make decisions mid-season and inform coaches and athletic directors of them at the last minute or, in this case, after the fact. Teams have been playing overtimes and shootouts in holiday tournaments for years, but this year, with almost no warning, the NJSIAA decided to crack down on overtimes and force teams to go straight to shootouts. From everything I heard, that was a last-minute decision not everybody was aware of. But how can you rule that a shootout result should stand when (a) you admit you need to address the issue more clearly after the season, (b) even the NHL doesn’t count a shootout as a loss and (c) teams have already played shootouts, expecting the game itself to count as a tie. For the record, shootouts will continue to be listed as ties in my book.

Three games in a row So the Ledger reported that Don Bosco Prep will forfeit one of its wins in the Maine High School Hockey Invitational because the Ironmen played three games in three days. They would have had to forfeit the third one instead, but they lost that game anyway. This is in keeping with the NJSIAA’s precedent on violators of this rule (Delbarton, 1989 being the most well known case) but seems an odd penalty. What if the team lost all three games? How would the NJSIAA determine which game it should forfeit?
I have not heard if the NJSIAA will enforce similar penalties on Dumont (Dec. 21-23), Hudson Catholic (Jan. 4-6) or J.P. Stevens (Jan. 12-14), all of which played three games in three days. Dumont did not actually play the third game due to a forfeit, and the other two teams lost all three games.
In the Don Bosco Prep situation, I happen to know that the original schedule called for DBP to play three games in four days, but the tournament changed the schedule at the last minute due to other cancellations. Don Bosco had little choice in the matter and self-reported the violation upon its return to New Jersey.

So while the Ledger’s article didn’t answer every question, in my opinion, you have to like any report that brings up that many different storylines and gets that much space.

St. Rose I do have to give a shout-out to St. Rose for beating East Side 14-5 yesterday. I’m not quite sure how Peter O’Neill’s troops engineered a 10-goal turnaround from the teams’ first meeting, a 5-4 East Side win, but it’s good to see the Purple Roses get off the schneid. And I can now start wearing my East Side hockey shirt again. Seriously. Other teams still looking for a win include Hudson Catholic, Dayton, Old Bridge, Edison, West Morris and Middletown South … I’m rooting for each one to get at least one ‘W.’

Missing scores Game scores I’m missing … Jan. 12 Dem-OT; Jan. 12 MH-Reg; Jan. 14 Liv-SJHam.

At-large bids I received a question about at-large bids for Public B teams in competitive conferences (e.g. Verona, West Essex). To the best of my knowledge, the at-large process will be exactly the same as in the past: teams must finish within four games of .500 at the Feb. 11 cutoff date to apply for one of three public and two private at-large bids. Only three total public at-large bids will be awarded, and teams from both classes are eligible.

Trivia In preparation for next year, I’ve been wondering how to refer to John F. Kennedy Memorial High School in Iselin. What do the Mustangs they prefer? JFK Iselin? Iselin Kennedy? Kennedy (Iselin)? Kennedy Memorial? I have no idea. … It seems Jackson Liberty and Jackson Memorial have the same colors. Bizarre. … The itinerary for Delbarton’s trip to Minnesota is just freaking awesome. In addition to the three games, the Green Wave will see old friend George Parros (pictured with the trademark snarl of a Delbarton and Princeton graduate, at right) play in an NHL game, check out the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships (always a great photo in Sports Illustrated) and tour the University of Minnesota. Way better than our trips to Middlebury I went on in 1999 and 2000. … If you haven’t done so, check out this page on the Devils’ site – I like it a lot. … Finally, VOTE FOR DALE!

NFL playoffs digression

January 14, 2008 on 12:06 am | In breaking news, Uncategorized | Comments Off on NFL playoffs digression

Let me talk football for a moment. What a series of games the NFL had this weekend! Between my high school sports coverage, my Sunday soccer league and my occasional social life, I haven’t watched a ton of football this year. But I managed to watch three of the four games this weekend, and they were all terrific. The fourth one – Green Bay’s win on Saturday – was played in one of the crazier snowstorms in NFL history. Quite a weekend!

Tonight, I had arranged to DVR the Giants-Cowboys game and watch it later this evening with one of my old roommates, a Cowboys fan. Driving into my apartment complex, I caught a glimpse of a neighbor’s TV and thought I saw somebody in white being interviewed. So I spent the whole game thinking the Giants were going to lose, only to see them pull it out in the end! Holy crap! I still can’t believe the Giants won that game after being completely unable to stop the Cowboys for most of the game.

Having been in Texas Stadium when the Giants beat the Cowboys in the fall of 2006, I can appreciate just how quiet that place got and how big it was for the Giants to win a game in that rivalry. I’ve hated the Cowboys since I was a little kid and they got the best of the Giants every year, it seemed, after Super Bowl XXV. So it’s nice to be on the other side of that.

Now I just wish I could be at Lambeau on Sunday.

« Previous Page

Powered by WordPress with Pool theme design by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS. ^Top^