Head coach: Clint McDonough, fifth year (42-27-11 career record).
Last year: Mountain Lakes-Boonton claimed its second-straight Haas Cup, as it defeated Mount Olive-Hopatcong-Hackettstown 3-2 in overtime in the final. It finished with an 11-2 overall record, with a perfect 9-0 mark in the Haas Division.
Key losses: Emre Andican, F; Finn Daggy, F; Cam Egan, F; Griffen O’Shaughnessy, D; Tyler Shaloub, F.
Top returners: Kieran Christy, D, Jr.; Cullen Fagan, G, Sr.; Daniel Fazandeiro, F, Sr.; Jack Fitch, F, So.; Benji Forman, F, So.; Jonathan Garibaldi, F, So.; Cole Groeneveld, F, Sr.; Jimmy Holda, F, Sr.; Caz Kotsen, F, Sr.; John Lane, F, Sr.; Owen Pirolo, F, Sr.; Logan Przestrzelski, D, Jr.; Aiden Reidy, F, Sr.; A.J. Wenzel, F, So.
Newcomers: Tristan Forrest, F, Fr.; Matt Sentowski, F, Fr.
Outlook: After back-to-back Haas Cup championships and a first-place regular season finish in the Haas last year, Mountain Lakes-Boonton earned the right to move up to the Halvorsen Division for this season.
While it graduated some important seniors from last year, such as Cameron Egan (Haas Division MVP) and Griffen O’Shaughnessy (First Team All-Haas), Mountain Lakes-Boonton will be led by a very strong senior class, and that leadership should help it make the jump to a stronger division.
This team should have a good amount of scoring depth, and will be led by one of the more talented players in the area in Aiden Reidy (First Team All-Haas, 14 g., 11 a.). He’ll be joined up front by John Lane (5 g., 3 a.) and Caz Kotsen (5 g., 3 a.). Also look for newcomers Tristan Forrest and Matt Sentowski to play a big role this season.
Defensively, the loss of a two-way talent like O’Shaughnessy is a tough one, but Mountain Lakes-Boonton will lean on Kieran Christy and Logan Przestrzelski to carry the load. It will have a solid netminder to back them up as well, as Cullen Fagan enters his second year as the team’s starter after posting a .920 save percentage last year, earning Haas Division Honorable Mention.
This is a talented and experienced team that should make a relatively smooth transition into the Halvorsen Division. It will look to follow the same mold as Mendham from 2019-20. Mendham was dominant in the Haas Division and won the Haas Cup in 2018-19, and then followed it up by winning the Halvorsen Cup the next year. Time will tell if Mountain Lakes-Boonton is able to do the same, but its a group that certainly has the capability to do so.
E-mail Mike Gurnis at email@example.com