Delbarton preview 2021-22: Green Wave look to bounce back


Head coach: Bruce Shatel, 22nd season. 441-79-45 career record.

Division: Gordon Conference- American Division

Last year: Delbarton finished 3-5-1 in limited action. It fell to Don Bosco Prep, 4-1, in the first round of the Gordon Cup.

Key losses: Brett Cleaves, G. Jack Benitez, D. Grady Burke, D/F. Chase Pirtle, F.

Top returners: Trip Pendy, F., Jr.; Ray Berezniak, D., Sr.; Dan D’Alessandro, D., So.; Julian Brown, D., So.; Billy Crutchlow, D., Sr.; Jason Cai, G., Jr.

Newcomers: Duncan Stewart, F., Jr.; Daunte Rodriguez, D., Fr.

Outlook: Delbarton has uncharacteristically gone through a couple of down years in 2019-20 and 2020-21, finishing as a .500 team two seasons ago, before finishing below .500 last year- which is virtually unheard of for this program.

The Gordon Conference will always present challenges, and this year figures to be no different. There are certainly quite a few question marks for this team- specifically up front- but a very strong core of defenders should provide a fair amount of promise. It’s a group that certainly will be motivated to bring Delbarton back to the state’s elite, and for a program that seemingly always finds a way to reload- it should do just that.

Delbarton will be led up front by junior Trip Pendy (5 g., 1 a.), who was taken in the sixth round of USHL Phase I draft in May by the Sioux City Musketeers after earning Gordon Conference Honorable Mention recognition last season. Transfer Duncan Stewart also figures to play a big role at forward.

Defense should be the strong suit for this team though, with senior Ray Berezniak (4 a.) set to return to lead the way on the blue line. Sophomores Dan D’Alessandro and Julian Brown, along with senior Billy Crutchlow will make for a solid top-four. Freshman Daunte Rodriguez is also expected to have an impact.

The Green Wave will have big shoes to fill in goal after the graduation of Brett Cleaves, but junior Jason Cai- who saw some time last season- is expected to step into the full-time role this year.

Overall, this is still a pretty young team. But Delbarton always seems to be at its best late in the season- especially the postseason- under Shatel, so expect this team to grow throughout the year.

E-mail Mike Gurnis at

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