22nd Haas Cup final preview- Mountain Lakes-Boonton vs. Mount Olive-Hopatcong-Hackettstown

22ND HAAS CUP

1-Mountain Lakes-Boonton (10-2) vs. 3-Mount Olive-Hopatcong-Hackettstown (7-3-1)

Friday, 7:45 p.m. at Mennen Arena

Previous meetings: Mountain Lakes-Boonton opened up Haas Division play with a 5-2 win over Mount Olive on Jan. 18, before picking up a 3-1 win on Feb. 6.

CUP HISTORY

Mountain Lakes-Boonton

– Won its first-ever Haas Cup last season

– Fourth total Cup final appearance (Reached Halvorsen Cup final in 2010 and 2011)

Mount Olive-Hopatcong-Hackettstown

– Won its only Haas Cup in 2014

– Fourth total Cup final appearance (Reached Mennen Cup final in 1985 and 1986)

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Mountain Lakes-Boonton

Andy Barrasso (5 g., 7 a.), Cameron Egan (11 g., 11 a.), Griffen O’Shaughnessy (2 g., 12 a.), Aiden Reidy (9 g., 11 a.), Tyler Shaloub (10 g., 7 a.)

Goalie: Cullen Fagan (.925 sv%)

Mount Olive-Hopatcong-Hackettstown

Jason Bonante (2 g., 5 a.), Nicholas Cioce (6 g., 5 a.), Thomas Cioce (4 g., 8 a.), Christian Hertzig (5 g., 1 a.), J.L. O’Toole (4 g., 2 a.), Evan Parr (4 g., 5 a.)

Goalie: Dante Duteau

THE MATCH-UP

Mountain Lakes-Boonton has made its way through the 2021 season in a very business-like manner, finishing with a perfect 9-0 record, and was clearly the favorite going into this tournament.

But Mount Olive-Hopatcong-Hackettstown and it’s vaunted “Law Firm line” will have something to say about that.

Mount Olive has put together a strong year of its own, and has given Mountain Lakes-Boonton a pair of competitive battles- most recently, a 3-1 defeat on Feb. 6. The aforementioned top line of Nicholas Cioce, Thomas Cioce, and Evan Parr has certainly made a name for itself this season, and if that line find a way to break through against a very strong defensive team in Mountain Lakes-Boonton, it may very well be lifting the Haas Cup on Friday night.

Mountain Lakes-Boonton is the top seed in this tournament for a reason, though. It has a very deep and balanced scoring attack, led by standout forwards Cameron Egan, Aiden Reidy, and Tyler Shaloub, along with a great two-way defenseman in Griffen O’Shaughnessy and an excellent goaltender in Cullen Fagan. It has certainly proven itself worthy of a potential move up to the Halvorsen Division next season, but for now, it will look to be the first team to be back-to-back Haas Cup champions since Park Regional’s three-peat from 2011-13.

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