Don Bosco Ice Hockey
Don Bosco advanced to the 2024 NJSIAA Non-Public State Championship game after topping Christian Brothers Academy. (JSN file photo by Christopher Shannon)

Non-Public Hockey State Semifinals Recap

Codey Arena played host to this year's Non-Public State Semifinals and holy toledo, there were some great matchups on hand. A rematch of last year's final Delbarton and St. Augustine, and Don Bosco taking on Christion Brothers Academy. 

Delbarton vs. St Augustine

A rematch of last year’s state final started the day off with Delbarton looking for revenge on the Hermits. The Green Wave came into the game leading the season series 2-1, which included a Semi-Final victory over St. Augustine in the Gordon Cup Semis.

After a scoreless 1st period, Sophomore Dale Curtis got the Hermits on the board first, netting his 6th goal on the year and 2nd against Delby. The Green Wave were able to kill a penalty to end the 2nd period, setting up a thrilling 3rd.

Less than two minutes into the 3rd period, Lucas Riccardi found the back of the net off a smooth dime from Nathan King, giving the Hermits a 2-0 lead. With their backs now against the wall, Delbarton responded quickly, with star Forward Max Pendy getting one by Hermits Goalie Bobby Kennedy to cut it to 2-1. 

St. Augustine countered with a Kalib Capecci goal to go back two goals at 3-1. Capecci sniped a beautiful wrister past Delbarton Goalie George Cote, igniting the Hermits bench and crowd. Liam Donnelly knocked home a power play goal late in the period, but Cameron DeLeo’s empty netter sealed the deal for the Hermits. 

St. Augustine heads back to the Prudential Center, trying to make it back-to-back state titles. 

Don Bosco vs. Christian Brothers Academy 

Game number two at Codey saw top-ranked Don Bosco square up against fourth-seeded Christian Brother Academy. CBA came into the game winless against the Ironmen, going 0-2-1 in their first three meetings. 

The Colts struck first, going up 1-0 on a power play goal scored by Nicholas Desiderio. After a 4-4 earlier in the period, the Ironmen had a 2nd man sent to the sin-bin, giving the CBA the early lead. 

Don Bosco came into the 2nd period trailing 1-0 against a motivated Colts team and needed to even up the score to kill the momentum. Don Bosco Goalie James Tarabocchia made some big saves early in the period to hold the deficit at just one goal.

The Ironmen finally broke through off a tip-in goal by Eric Wrynn after chaos ensued in front of CBA’s net. The Bosco goal tied it up at 1-1, heading into the 3rd period with a trip to Newark on the line. 

The Colts came out firing in the 3rd period, controlling the puck in their offensive zone, but Tarabocchia went to work. The Senior stood tall and turned away every puck that was thrown at him. 

The Ironment captured the lead off a beautiful feed from Dean Toskos to Matt Shpungin out in front. Shpungin knocked home the game-winning goal, sending the Ironmen to the Prudential Center for the first time since 2020.

State Final Tale of the Tape:

Don Bosco goes into the State Final looking for revenge against the team that bounced them in the Semis last year. An Overtime goal by the Hermits sent the Ironmen home, while St. Augustine went on to win the State Championship. Folks, we are in for a treat on Monday as two of the state's best hockey teams square up trying to reach NJ hockey immortality 

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