PARK REGIONAL (Hanover Park/Whippany Park)
Head coach: Tom Levis, 27th season (288 career wins)
Last year: Park Regional finished with a 3-6-2 overall record and a 2-5-2 record in the Haas Division. It won its last two games of the season before it was forced to shut down in the last week of the season and was therefore unable to participate in the Haas Cup.
Key losses: Angelo DePinto, F.
Top returners: Michael Monahan, F, Jr.; Anthony Spagnoletti, F, So.; Stanley Gelman, F, Jr.; Jason Cirillo, F, Sr.; Eddie Karpinski, D, Sr.; Wyatt Lieto, D, Jr.; A.J. Schauder, G, Sr.
Newcomers: Matthew McDermott, Fr.
Outlook: Park Regional has been a mainstay in the Haas Division and is consistently in the mix as one of the top teams in the division on a yearly basis.
Last season, despite a 3-6-2 record, the team was very competitive in most games with four of its six losses coming by one or two goals. It was starting to round into form late in the season, as it picked up back-to-back shutout wins over West Morris and Gill St. Bernard’s. Unfortunately, it wasn’t allowed to continue its good stretch of hockey, as it had to shut down due to COVID-19 concerns for the final two weeks, taking it out of the Haas Cup. There’s no way of knowing what this team could have done in the final week of the regular season and the postseason if it wasn’t dealt that tough break.
The good news is, it has a very solid group of players coming back. It graduated an outstanding forward in Angelo DePinto, but brings back First Team All-Haas pick Eddie Karpinski (4 g., 6 a.) on defense, who was the team’s leading scorer last season. Him, along with standout senior goalie A.J. Schauder (.931 sv%, also First Team All-Haas), will be the team’s two top players that will be counted on to lead the way for this program.
Also look for forward Mike Monahan (4 g., 2 a.) and senior defenseman Jason Cirillo (3 g., 1 a.) to play major roles.
Overall, with the players it has coming back, Park Regional should be a team to keep an eye on in the Haas Division. The division as a whole figures to be very competitive this season, but this team proved last year that it can compete with some of the better teams in the division and with most of its core back- it should be even better this year.
MILESTONE WATCH: Coach Tom Levis needs just 12 wins to get to 300 for his career, which could very well be a possibility this season.
E-mail Mike Gurnis at firstname.lastname@example.org