Mountain Lakes-Boonton 2022-23 season preview

MOUNTAIN LAKES-BOONTON

Head coach: Clint McDonough, sixth year (48-38-11 career record).

Division: Halvorsen

Last year: Mountain Lakes-Boonton finished 6-11, and did not qualify for the state playoffs. Its season came to an end in a 6-2 loss to Mendham in the Halvorsen Cup semifinals. It finished third in the Halvorsen Division with a 4-4 record, with its signature win being a 2-1 win over eventual Halvorsen Cup champion Mendham on Jan. 20.

Key losses: Aiden Reidy, F; Cullen Fagan, G; Daniel Fazandiero, D; Jimmy Holda, F; Caz Kotsen, F.

Top returners: Jack Fitch, F, Jr.; Benji Forman, F, Jr.; Tristan Forrest, F, Jr.; Jonathan Garibaldi, F, Jr.; Logan Przestrzelski, D, Sr.; Kieran Christy, D, Sr.; A.J. Wenzel, D, Jr.

Potential incoming impact players: Anthony Maclaren, Cody Roller, Kyle Wenzel, Andrew Wilmot, Scott Soukup, Tommy Catanzaro, Andy Barrasso, Bobby Carlson, Jimmy Elliot, Nick Fidicaro, Alex Maniatis, Dom Signorile.

Outlook: There aren’t many teams in the area that were hit as hard by graduation as Mountain Lakes-Boonton was after last season.

Sure, there may be teams that graduated more players. But this team lost its top three scorers, including its best player in Aiden Reidy (17 g., 10 a.), as well as netminder Cullen Fagan who was a standout for the past couple of seasons, helping the Lakers win its second-straight Haas Cup in 2021.

This year’s roster will look decidedly different than last year’s debut in the Halvorsen, with seniors Logan Przestrzelski and Kieran Christy back to lead the defense, along with junior A.J. Wenzel. That will likely be the strength of this team, as there are many question marks up front. It scored 41 goals as a team last year, and 33 of them were lost to graduation. It is going to need impact performances from some newcomers if it is going to be competitive in the Halvorsen Division.

Burning question: Who will take over in goal after the graduation of Cullen Fagan?

He posted a .900 save percentage last season while facing a very high volume of shots, taking on nearly 40 shots per night. His 31-save performance in a 2-1 win over Mendham last January was one of the more impressive goaltending outputs of the year by anyone.

Now, That job will now fall to either Dom Signorelli or Bobby Carlson. Neither has any experience at the varsity level, and it will be interesting to see how both manage to perform this year. Good goaltending will be absolutely vital for this team if it is going to have a successful year.

E-mail Mike Gurnis at michaelgurnis@gmail.com

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