Haas Cup final preview: Mountain Lakes-Boonton vs. Gill St. Bernard's
HAAS CUP FINAL
2-Mountain Lakes-Boonton vs. 4-Gill St. Bernard's
Friday, 5:45 p.m. at Mennen Arena
Previous meetings: The teams met twice this season, and neither of those games produced a winner. They skated to a 2-2 tie on Dec. 11, before a 1-1 tie on Jan. 13.
No cup titles- runner-up in Halvorsen Cup in 2010 and 2011 First Haas Cup final appearance.
Gill St. Bernard's
First Haas Cup final appearance.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Cameron Egan (14 g., 21 a.), Caz Kotsen (8 g., 11 a.), John Lane (13 g., 9 a.), Griffin O'Shaughnessy (15 g., 6 a.), Aiden Reidy (11 g., 20 a.)
Goalie: Ben Polizzi (.934 sv%)
Gill St. Bernard's
Matthew Bloomenthal (8 g., 13 a.), Liam Jones (6 g., 17 a.), Brenen Lavoie (31 g., 14 a.), Edward McCarthy (18 g., 18 a.), Christian Mote (16 g., 11 a.), Logan Mote (7 g., 11 a.)
Goalie: Matt Cooper (.875 sv%) or Alex Steinberg (.906 sv%)
One of these teams will be raising a Cup for the first time on Friday night.
And rightfully so, as these two teams have been in the top four teams in the division all season long. Mountain Lakes-Boonton held the top spot for most of the season before giving way to Park Regional late.
Mountain Lakes-Boonton has been a consistent team all season that gets a good amount of offensive production, to go along with a strong defensive core, which just shut out the highest scoring team in the division in Mount Olive-Hopatcong-Hackettstown in the semifinals.
Gill St. Bernard's, on the other hand, is looking to cap off the ultimate turnaround. Just as recently as 2017, Gill St. Bernard's was mired in a two-year long losing streak before snapping it that season, before making its first state tournament appearance a year ago. Now, it has the chance to bring home some hardware for the first time on Friday.
Gill St. Bernard's has the offense to compete with just about anyone, led by one of the top scorers in the division in Lavoie. Breaking through that Mountain Lakes defense will be tough, and if the Knights are to win this game, it will likely have to be a low-scoring battle.
Expect a tight, down to the wire-type of game, one that may even go to overtime based off the previous two meetings. But Mountain Lakes-Boonton has been at or near the top of the division all season long, and will find a way to break through on Friday night.
Mountain Lakes-Boonton 2, Gill St. Bernard's 1