The New Jersey hockey season starts tomorrow with an official November face-off for the first time ever! Princeton and Hightstown play at 3 p.m. to get us started, one of 25 games on the state docket tomorrow.
I’m waist-deep in free-lance soccer and football at the moment, which is a good but exhausting feeling. So instead of original thoughts, I’m going to share the top 10 from my Hockey Night in Boston preview, which is due to hit rinks around the state on December 5! Be sure to check it out.
PRESEASON TOP 10
1. Delbarton (29-1)
2. CBA (19-5-5)
3. Don Bosco Prep (23-4-1)
4. St. Augustine Prep (7-10-4)
5. Morristown-Beard (15-8-4)
6. Gloucester Catholic (7-12-2)
7. MKA (19-5)
8. Morris Knolls (19-5-3)
9. Bergen Catholic (7-12)
10. Morristown (22-5)
St. Augustine vs. Morristown-Beard (Nos. 4 vs. 5) meet on opening day, and CBA is set to host Delbarton on December 5! I don’t think Delbarton – which is very inexperienced on defense and could see some of its record streaks threatened this year – is very happy about playing its top challenger that early in the season. We’ll see how this version of the Green Wave handles it.
Please note an addition to my standings and division by division pages – I will be attempting to track the standings of the Independence League this year, as both Hun and Pennington compete alongside six Pennsylvania prep schools.
Elsewhere, High Point has added Wallkill Valley as a co-op, which moves the Wildcats to Public A and drops Middletown North into Public B. In related news, the NJSIAA has thoughtfully (but ineptly) posted its Public A / Public B breakdown for the 2012-13 season (tournament regulations, page 10). The initial version was just ridiculous – it was based on last season’s enrollment figures and listed a mish-mash of schools that included Vineland High School. Whoops. There have been changes since then, but there are still a few mistakes:
1. The new co-op of High Point / Wallkill Valley is not listed; instead, Wallkill Valley is listed alone with its own enrollment. Likewise, Park Regional is listed under Hanover Park’s enrollment in Public B. Once those co-ops are factored in, both teams should be in Public A, and both Middletown North and Mount Olive should drop to Public B.
2. The list omits Manalapan (A), Jackson Liberty (B), Jackson Memorial (A), and Sparta (B) altogether. Having managed to miss two teams from each group, this does not affect the cutoff point.
3. Roxbury is erroneously listed with an enrollment figure of 1,172 rather than the proper 1,082, which makes Roxbury the smallest school to stay in Public A.
4. In the list of private teams, new program Gill St. Bernard’s is not included.
According to the Bergen Record, the rink at Mackay Park in Englewood – home to Tenafly and Old Tappan – will not open in 2012-13 after Hurricane Sandy caused damage to the recently renovated facility’s roof. The whole article, written by Rebecca Baker, is available here.
Although there had been a delay in issuing schedules for both schools, due to the offseason renovations, most games had recently been announced, with Old Tappan scheduling seven home games and Tenafly five, with another two still to come.
As far as other New Jersey rinks go, I have not heard of damages to any specific facilities. The Red Bank Armory website says it is closed until further notice but does list scheduled events as soon as Tuesday, November 6; the Ice House website says it will be closed Nov. 2-4 at a minimum.
Of course, thoughts are with everybody trying to recover from the disaster, and we hope the hockey community continues to help wherever there is a need.