With practices underway and the 2014-15 New Jersey hockey season set to start on November 29, here’s a look at what’s new on the hockey scene this fall.
In: Oratory Prep
Out: DePaul Catholic, Hudson Catholic, Dumont, Hackensack, Hightstown
New Name: Donovan Catholic (formerly Monsignor Donovan)
New Division Names: Big North Patriot, Freedom, Liberty replacing Gold, Silver, Green.
- Old Tappan / Demarest / Hasbrouck Heights (I will be referring to them as Northern Valley / Hasbrouck Heights)
- Paramus / Lyndhurst / Hackensack
- West Windsor-Plainsboro North / Ewing
- Lawrence / Hightstown
- Red Bank Regional / Henry Hudson Regional
- Marlboro / Holmdel
- Mount Olive / Hopatcong
All this shuffling means there should be 99 public-school programs in 2014-15, with Scotch Plains-Fanwood (enrollment figure 1,152) now the bubble team and Morristown (enrollment figure 1,139) EDIT: now definitely in Public B, by my calculations.
the bubble team that could be assigned to either Public A or Public B. The defending Public B champion Colonials have appeared in three consecutive public finals (Public A in 2012, Public B in 2013-14).
There are surely more coaching changes, but these are the ones I’ve heard about so far:
- Dave McKenna (Bayonne)
- Kyle Weise (Jackson Liberty)
- Bryan Klimchak (Johnson)
- Jim Dowd (Manasquan / Point Pleasant Beach)
- Tony Nemati (Middletown South)
- Andy Gojdycz (Montgomery)
- Bill Bredin (Rumson-Fair Haven)
- Mick Messemer (St. John Vianney)
- Matt Hayes (Southern Regional)
- Anthony Zipfel (Toms River East)
- Justin Liscio (Wayne Valley)
- Joe Bertucci (Westfield)
With the addition of an eighth team, Union County will split into two divisions for a 10-game league schedule (3 division opponents x2, 4 crossovers x1). One division will include Cranford, Johnson, Summit, and Westfield, while the other will consist of Dayton / Brearley, Governor Livingston, Oratory Prep, and Scotch Plains-Fanwood.
The Shore Conference’s biannual realignment resulted in three Shore A divisions (North, Central, South) and one Shore B division. Yes, CBA still plays a full Shore schedule.
Around the state, teams switching divisions include:
- Pope John switch with Gloucester Catholic (Gordon American/National)
- Montville switch with Sparta (MCSSIHL Halvorsen/Haas)
- High Point / Wallkill Valley switch with Par Hills / Parsippany (MCSSIHL Haas/Charette)
- Freehold Boro / Raritan switch with Middletown South (Shore A North/Shore B)
- Manasquan / Point Pleasant Beach switch with Red Bank / Henry Hudson (Shore A Central/Shore B)
- Donovan Catholic switch with Ocean Township / Shore Regional (Shore A Central/B)
- Four of the top non-Gordon private schools will play an in-season tournament called the Egan Cup, named in honor of former Mercer Chiefs player Nick Egan. Notre Dame started the tournament and is joined by Montclair Kimberley, Red Bank Catholic, and St. Joseph Metuchen. The teams will play an in-season round-robin before pairing off into 1st vs. 2nd and 3rd vs. 4th matchups on Jan. 9.
- Bergen Catholic will play in a late-December tournament in Bridgeport, Connecticut, opening against Notre Dame (Fairfield). I haven’t figured out the Day 2 matchups.
- Delbarton will play an end-of-regular-season tournament in West Springfield, Massachusetts, opening against Rhode Island’s Bishop Hendricken. Springfield Cathedral is the host, but I haven’t figured out the fourth team yet.
OK, so not all of these are new. But they are always handy links to have:
- 2014-15 Ice Hockey Classification (as of Oct. 16; needs revision)
- NFHS rule changes
- NJSIAA overtime clarification
- NJSIAA Tournament regulations
What’d I miss? Plenty, I’m sure. Let me know what else is new in 2014-15 in the comments section or on Twitter.
Happy hockey season!