Jonathan Yardley, webmaster
Its always a little difficult to rank the lower-division teams who hope just to reach the second round of the NJSIAA tournament. But its still exciting, and this year was no exception. As expected, the Southern White was by far the most competitive division, and individual powerhouses stood out in all other divisions, such as Vernon and West Milford in the north, Verona in the central, Old Bridge in the Southern Blue, Morris Hills and Mountain Lakes in Morris County, Steinert and Princeton in the CVC, and the NBIAL trio of Indian Hills, Fair Lawn, and Ramsey.
The separation of the NBIAL really hurt White/Blue hockey, limiting non-league opportunities and preventing some really entertaining matchups. The leagues parity made it tough for any teams other than the aforementioned three to make a name for themselves. Finally, Morris County was extremely weak below the top two Halvorsen teams, as seen by the failure of the dominant Haas team, Roxbury, to win its cup title. Realignment both in the MCSSIHL and elsewhere should make things a little different next year.
Top 20 (final records)
1 Red Bank Catholic (21-6, ,9-3 Southern White) Last Poll 1
Dowd Cup: defeated Toms River North 3-1 for championship
NJSIAA tournament: lost to Seton Hall Prep 5-0 in private first round
Caseys came through in the clutch but state tourney result was a bit disappointing.
2 Toms River North (17-4-1, 10-1-1 Southern White) Last Poll 3
Dowd Cup: lost to Red Bank Catholic 3-1 in championship
NJSIAA tournament: ineligible due to player disqualifications
Strong all year in the Southern White, Mariners couldnt win their only shot at a title.
3 Princeton (19-5-1, 8-4-1 CVC Valley) Last Poll 9
Mercer County Tournament: defeated Notre Dame 3-2 in overtime for championship
NJSIAA tournament: lost to Chatham 5-0 in public round of 16
Little Tigers finished second to Steinert in division but was at its best in the MCT.
4 Monsignor Donovan (15-6-1, 8-4 Southern White) Last Poll 7
Dowd Cup: lost to Red Bank Catholic 5-2 in semifinals
NJSIAA tournament: lost to CBA 8-1 in private first round
Griffins always ran into a better private school.
5 Old Bridge (20-3-2, 10-0 Southern Blue) Last Poll 2
Southern Blue championship: tied Manasquan 3-3 in semifinals, eliminated in shootout
NJSIAA tournament: lost to Middletown North 6-4 in public round of 16
Knights stuck in a weak division but boast seven wins over White Division teams and two over Red squads.
6 South Brunswick (10-9-2, 6-5-1 Southern White) Last Poll 6
Dowd Cup: lost to Toms River North 5-1 in semifinals
NJSIAA tournament: lost to Hopewell Valley in public first round
Vikings started slowly but won last five division games.
7 Steinert (15-8-2, 9-3-1 CVC Valley) Last Poll 8
Mercer County Tournament: lost to Notre Dame 4-1 in semifinals
NJSIAA tournament: lost to Old Bridge 5-1 in public first round
Valley Division champs solid all season but South Brunswick, Montgomery results cost them.
8 Rumson/Fair Haven (11-13-3, 3-8-1 Southern White) Last Poll 14
Dowd Cup: lost to South Brunswick 4-3 in overtime in first round
NJSIAA tournament: lost to Bayonne 3-2 in public first round
Brutal division record but good non-league showings against Middletown South, Brick, etc.
9 Morris Hills (13-11-1, 6-6-1 MCSSIHL Halvorsen) Last Poll 4
Mennen Cup: lost to Randolph 8-2 in quarterfinals
NJSIAA tournament: lost to Princeton 6-5 in overtime in public first round
Halvorsen title a major accomplishment for Scarlet Knights, but they should stay right there.
10 Mountain Lakes (11-11-4, 5-7-1 MCSSIHL Halvorsen) Last Poll 5
Mennen Cup: lost to Morristown-Beard 4-1 in quarterfinals
NJSIAA tournament: lost to Randolph 7-2 in public round of 16
Lakers had big non-league wins but couldnt take care of business in MCSSIHL play.
11 Vernon (21-5-1, 11-1 Northern White) Last Poll 10
McMullen Cup: defeated Ridgewood 5-3 for championship
NJSIAA tournament: lost to Middletown South 6-2 in public round of 16
Vikings very impressive in first season in NJIHL and should be a threat in the Red Division next year.
12 Indian Hills (16-3-7, 11-0-7 NBIAL) Last Poll 12
NBIAL Division II tournament: defeated Northern Highlands 4-2 for championship
NJSIAA tournament: lost to Mountain Lakes 4-2 in public first round
Gotta respect the Braves for risking unbeaten record to play good teams late in the season.
13 Fair Lawn (18-6-4, 12-2-4 NBIAL) Last Poll 13
NBIAL Division I tournament: lost to Ramapo 8-5 in semifinals
NJSIAA tournament: lost to Bridgewater-Raritan 6-4 in public first round
Cutters were up and down all year and similarly inconsistent on the defensive end.
14 Ramsey (18-4-4, 12-2-4 NBIAL) Last Poll 15
NBIAL Division II tournament: lost to Northern Highlands 4-2 in semifinals
NJSIAA tournament: lost to Clifton 6-3 in public first round
Rams had most successful season ever but was one of many teams hampered by 18-game NBIAL schedule.
15 West Milford (10-7-4, 7-2-3 Northern White) Last Poll 11
McMullen Cup: lost to Ridgewood 5-3 in semifinals
NJSIAA tournament: lost to Vernon 6-1 in public first round
What was the seeding committee doing pairing West Milly and Vernon in the first round? Just awful.
16 Ridgewood (15-8-4, 7-3-2 Northern White) Last Poll 18
McMullen Cup: lost to Vernon 5-3 in championship
NJSIAA tournament: Middletown South 10-1 in public first round
Maroons consistently mediocre but competitive and proved it by reaching the cup final.
17 River Dell (12-10-2, 6-4-2 Northern White) Last Poll NR
McMullen Cup: lost to Wayne Valley 5-2 in first round
NJSIAA tournament: lost to Morris Knolls 9-1 in public first round
Have to rank them this high after impressive 5-0 demolition of Westfield in preliminary round.
18 Verona (19-6-2, 11-0-1 Central White) Last Poll 18
Van Cott Cup: tied Westfield 2-2 in championship
NJSIAA tournament: lost to Middletown North 6-2 in public first roun
Hillbillies had a phenomenal season, but co-championships just dont cut it.
19 Summit (12-13, 9-3 Central White) Last Poll 17
Van Cott Cup: lost to Westfield 5-4 in overtime
NJSIAA tournament: lost to Chatham 4-1 in public first round
Hilltoppers played very difficult schedule and made it one game farther than Westfield for a reason.
20 Westfield (13-8-5, 7-3-2 Central White) Last Poll NR
Van Cott Cup: tied Verona 2-2 in championship
NJSIAA tournament: lost to River Dell 5-0 in public preliminary round
Blue Devils came from third place to tie for the Van Cott cup championship behind hot goaltending.
No. 19 Roxbury (14-9-1, 12-0-1 MCSSIHL Haas)
No. 20 Mahwah (11-11-2, 7-9-2 NBIAL)