Mount Olive-Hopatcong-Hackettstown 2021 preview
Updated: Jan 15
Head coach: Greg Sanchez and Steve Peirano, first year
Last year: Finished with a 14-8-2 overall record, and reached the semifinals of the Haas Cup where it fell to Mountain Lakes-Boonton. It then lost to Fair Lawn in the preliminary round of the Public A tournament.
Key losses: Ryan Tomkievicz, Ian Deiling.
This year's squad: Mount Olive-Hopatcong-Hackettstown returns a very talented trio of players, which includes brothers in junior Thomas Cioce (25 g., 30 a.) and sophomore Nicholas Cioce (20 g., 27 a.), as well as senior Evan Parr (24 g., 31 a.). This was the second-highest scoring team in the Haas Division a year ago, and these three made up the bulk of that and this team should be in that mix once again.
Promising players up front include sophomore Christian Hertzig (10 g., 3 a.), sophomore Liam Murphy (6 g., 8 a.), sophomore Frank DiLoreto (4 g., 4 a.), sophomore Ethan Tillery (4 g., 8 a.), and junior Sean Pederson (6 g., 6 a.). Freshmen Sebastian Slawinski and Veronica Pankowski both figure to be involved as well.
Defensively, it will be led by two-way threat Jason Bonante (5 g., 13 a.). Junior Logan Carr, sophomore Ryan Twist, sophomore Tyler Dean, sophomore Dylan Ciborski, sophomore Braden Ensinger, and sophomore Jacob Kulyeshie all figure to have an impact as well. Freshman Sofia Kelesovska also should see some time.
In goal, sophomore Zach Bahammou returns after seeing the majority of the starts last season, but sophomore Nick Gargiulo and senior Dante Duteau also figure to see time as well.
Outlook: The Haas Division, as previously mentioned, figures to be as competitive as it has been in recent memory. This Mount Olive team should be right in the mix for the Haas Cup title with the amount of talent it has up front. Most importantly, a good chunk of the players it will be relying on are sophomores who already proved they can perform last season, and should only be getting better.
Jan. 16 -- Park Regional (Mennen Arena), 8:15 p.m.
Jan. 18 -- Mountain Lakes-Boonton (Mennen Arena), 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 23 -- Vernon (Skylands Ice World), 8 p.m.
Jan. 30 -- Gill St. Bernard's (Mennen Arena), 4:15 p.m.
Feb. 3 -- West Morris (Mennen Arena), 7:45 p.m.
Feb. 6 -- Mountain Lakes-Boonton (Mennen Arena), 4:15 p.m.
Feb. 10 -- Park Regional (Mennen Arena), 4 p.m.
Feb. 17 -- Vernon (Mennen Arena), 4 p.m.
Feb. 20 -- West Morris (Mennen Arena), 4:15 p.m.
Feb. 22 -- Gill St. Bernard's (Mennen Arena), 8:30 p.m.