Strong A North Highlights Shore Conference Ice Hockey Season By John Sorce


One of the top ice hockey divisions in not just the Shore Conference, but in the entire state was the Shore Conference A North. 

Middletown North won the extremely competitive division, going 13-6-2 overall and 7-1-1 in the division. The Lions were led by sophomore forward Chris Repman, who tallied 40 points (21 goals, 19 assists) on the season. They were upset in the first round of both the Shore Conference Tournament to Jackson Liberty and to Princeton in the Public B tournament. 

St. John Vianney, winners of the Handchen Cup, went 19-4-2, 6-1-1 to finish second in A North. Junior forward John Gelatt led the Lancers with 32 goals and 74 points, while senior forward John Gutt paced the Lancers with 51 assists. The Lancers fell to Pope John in overtime in the Non-Public Round of 16.

Wall came in third despite winning 20 games, finishing 20-4-2, 4-1-2 and having one of the top offenses in the entire state. Senior forward Zach Tarantino, who was named Shore Conference Player of the Year by, led the entire state with 94 points (43 goals, 51 assists). Ryan Burns (29 goals, 57 assists) and Larry Hooper (26 goals, 52 assists) also recorded at least 78 points. Wall advanced to the semifinals in the Public C tournament, where it lost to Chatham, 6-1. 

Middletown South finished fourth at 16-6-2, 5-2-2. They were led by senior forwards Deven Ralph (32 goals, 24 points, 56 points) and Nick Lioudakis (21 goals, 31 assists, 52 points). Senior forward Mike Racioppi led the team with 33 assists. The Eagles lost to the Lancers in the Handchen Cup and in the Public B quarterfinal to Livingston. 

Manasquan claimed the regular season title in A Central with a record of 15-3-1, 8-0-1, and defeated Wall to claim the Dowd Cup. Freehold Township (12-7-2, 6-1-1) and Marlboro (11-3-6, 5-1-2) also were very competitive in A Central. 

Michael Farinacci led Manasquan with 29 points, junior Aidan Tolnai led with 20 goals, and junior James Conte led with 17 assists. The Warriors fell to Mahwah in the Round of 16 of the Public C tournament. Junior forwards Tyler Sanborn (16 goals, 10 assists) and Kyle Nestepny (11 goals, 15 assists) led Freehold Township with 26 points. The Patriots fell to South Brunswick in the Round of 16 of the Public A tournament. Sophomore forward Anthony Galante led Marlboro with 28 goals and 45 points. The Mustangs fell in overtime to Colonia in the semifinals of the Public A tournament. 

It was a two-team race in A South, with Jackson Memorial (15-6-1, 7-0) claiming the regular-season title. Point Boro (12-9-1, 7-1) was a close second. Junior forward Nick Swain led Jackson Memorial in goals (25), assists (17), and points (42). The Jaguars fell to Morris Knolls in the Round of 16 of the Public B tournament. Point Boro was led by senior forward Eric Dahl with 24 goals and 30 points. Senior forward John Callander also had 30 points and led Point Boro with 16 assists. The Panthers fell to Middletown South in the Round of 16 in the Public B tournament. 

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