Game of the Year tonight!

January 8, 2012 on 11:39 am | In breaking news | No Comments

The early candidate for regular-season Game of the Year in New Jersey takes place tonight when unbeaten No. 2 Don Bosco Prep (13-0) takes aim at top-ranked four-time defending private state champion Delbarton (8-1) at the Ice Vault.

It’s a little bit unusual to have the state’s top two teams meet only once during the regular season, but with Don Bosco Prep left in the National Division of the Gordon Conference and Delbarton in the American Division, Sunday’s matchup is their lone head-to-head meeting, which makes it even bigger.

We almost got to Sunday with both teams unbeaten, but Delbarton dropped its first game of the year during the week, falling 2-0 to Connecticut prep power Hotchkiss. The Green Wave still have a 32-game unbeaten streak (31-0-1) against New Jersey teams, dating back to the 2010 Gordon Cup semifinals. Going farther back, Delbarton is 64-1-1 against New Jersey teams since losing to CBA in January 2009, with both losses coming in the postseason against St. Augustine Prep. Over the last four-plus seasons, Delbarton’s in-state record is a remarkable 91-4-2. However, despite huge shot advantages in the last two games, the Green Wave were held to two goals against Morristown-Beard and were shut out against Hotchkiss, so they will need to find their scoring touch.

They will have to do so against one of the state’s top goalies, sophomore Jarred Liscio, who has been a big part of Don Bosco’s torrid start. The Ironmen survived two scares of their own this week, rallying late to beat St. Peter’s Prep 3-2 on a last-minute goal and then holding off Bishop Eustace 1-0 despite missing a few players. Despite the gaudy record, St. Peter’s Prep and Bergen Catholic (6-1 W) are the two highest-ranked teams Don Bosco has played this year, so Sunday’s game will be a different challenge altogether.

I’m excited to make the drive up from Philadephia to Wayne for this one, and I hear just about every hockey reporter in the northern part of the state and, more importantly, a ton of college hockey coaches will be cramming into the Ice Vault, so I advise arriving early for the 6:15 p.m. face-off. It is the very definition of a must-see game.

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