Delbarton 2022-23 season preview

DELBARTON GREEN WAVE

Head coach: Bruce Shatel, 22nd year (457-79-44 career record)

Division: Gordon Conference-American Division

Last year: Delbarton finished 19-6-2 with a 7-2-1 record in the Gordon Conference. It reached the semifinals of the Gordon Cup, where it fell in a shootout to Don Bosco Prep. It avenged that loss by beating that same team in the Non-Public semifinals, before falling to Christian Brothers in the Non-Public final at Prudential Center.

Key losses: Dan D’Alessandro, D (transfer); Jack Genovese, F (transfer); Julian Brown, D (transfer); James Royse, F; Billy Crutchlow, D; Ray Berezniak, D.

Top returners: Trip Pendy, F, Sr. (9 g., 16 a.); Duncan Stewart, F, Sr. (9 g., 8 a.); Nick Faccone, F, Sr. (11 g., 7 a.); Max Pendy, F, Jr. (9 g., 6 a.); Jack Gerne, F, So.; Jack Fidicaro, F, Sr.; Hayden Bright, F, Sr.; Jack Olsen, F, Sr. (2 g., 7 a.); Peter Lease, F, Sr.; Michael Padula, D, Jr.; Dante Rodriguez, D, So.; Timmy Galvin, D, Sr. (8 g., 5 a.); Brandon Shaffer, D, So.; Jason Cai, G, Sr. (.950 sv%)

Potential incoming impact players: Liam Donnelly, F, Fr.; Aidan Pasic, F, Fr.

Burning question: Can Delbarton return to supremacy in the Gordon Conference and Non-Public?

The Green Wave were so close to doing both last season, falling in a heartbreaker in the Gordon Cup semifinals, before losing, 3-0 in the Non-Public final to Christian Brothers. A program that has been so accustomed to winning championships now finds itself in a mini-drought, having not won a state title since 2018.

The bulk of last year’s team is back, however, and it is a group that figures to be hungry to go further than it did last winter.

Outlook: Goaltending is always a good place to start for any team, and Delbarton may very well have the best goalie in the state in senior Jason Cai.

Cai finished with an incredible .950 save percentage last season, earning Second Team All-State honors by NJ.com. His performance helped elevate the Green Wave last season, and with the bulk of the group in front of him returning, there’s plenty of reason of optimism for this team. It has a very balanced group of scorers, led by senior Trip Pendy, junior Max Pendy, senior Duncan Stewart, and senior Nick Faccone.

It will, as always, face some tough competition in the Gordon Conference and Non-Public from the likes of Christian Brothers, Don Bosco Prep, and Bergen Catholic, among others. But if it continues to get elite play from Cai in net along with the group in front continuing to improve, Delbarton has the potential to be the top team in the state when all is said and done.

E-mail Mike Gurnis at michaelgurnis@gmail.com

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