2018-19 Kinnelon team preview
LAST SEASON: It was a tough year for Kinnelon, as it finished with a 2-15-2 overall record and did not qualify for the Public C state tournament. It lost, 5-4 to Sparta-Jefferson in the first round of the Halvorsen Cup.
HEAD COACH: Jeff Myrhen, 13th year. 153-119-29 career record.
CONFERENCE AND CLASSIFICATION: MCSSIHL-Halvorsen Division; NJSIAA Public C.
KEY PLAYERS GRADUATED: Kinnelon lost six seniors to graduation, most notably defenseman and leading scorer Jameson Dugan (14 g., 9 a.). John Loch (5 g., 10 a.) was the team's second leading scorer, and he also graduated.
FORWARDS: Senior Craig Smith (5 g., 2 a.) and junior Tim Hausler (5 g., 5 a.) will be counted on to lead the way for a seasoned group of forwards that all received a good amount of playing time during a rebuilding 2017-18 season. Senior Anthony Fanelli (2 g.) is also a returner that should be in store for a nice year, while sophomore Joey Arnold will look to make an impact this year as well.
DEFENSE: Junior Jared Fatzer enters this year as the team's top threat from the blue line, after posting 11 points (7 g., 4 a.) as a sophomore in 2017-18. Chris Kosco, another junior, also showed off some skill last season after tallying six points last year (1 g., 5 a.). Defense will certainly be key to Kinnelon's improvement this year, as it was outscored 108-50 last season.
GOALTENDING: Brett Lewis was Kinnelon's starter last season as a freshman and heads into his sophomore year with a good amount of experience. He certainly faced a lot of action in his rookie year, as he faced 731 shots and turned aside 643 of them (.873 sv%). He even helped out the players in front of him as he was credited with three assists. If Lewis builds upon his freshman year and has another solid year, Kinnelon should be in good shape.
OUTLOOK: Last season marked the first time in a long time that Kinnelon played in the Halvorsen Division, after spending many years in the Mennen Division. It was a tough season for a young and rebuilding team, but the hope here is that with the majority of its young lineup back- including a pair of strong juniors on the blue line and a sophomore goalie- that this year's team will be more seasoned and matured. If this group is able to build off of those growing pains from a year ago, it should be in line for a good amount of improvement and should have a much stronger season in the Halvorsen Division.