Head Coach: Ryan Bogan, 11th season (207-46-21)
Record last year: 16-5-4 (Class A North Division Champions; Non-Public State Semifinalist)
Division/Classification: Class A North/Gordon Conference/Non-Public
Home Rink: Jersey Shore Arena
OPENING DRAW: The Colts played their way to yet another state semifinals appearance in 2016-17, but the graduation of several big guns from that club — John Cernero, John D’Aniello, Nic Dietrich, Will Egbert, Tim Grable, Sam Weber — including major junior hockey players Corey Clifton (Muskegon Lumberjacks) and Derek Contessa (Shreveport Mudbugs), have left plenty of openings for the next great class of CBA players to emerge…and a multitude of candidates looking to fill those roles.
DIVISION RIVAL: Middletown North enters 2017-18 off 3rd straight state semifinal
OH CAPTAINS, MY CAPTAINS: Two skaters that have known nothing but winning and deep runs through the state playoff bracket since earning their place on the CBA roster as freshmen are Dean DiFazio (12g, 12a) and Liam Noonan (8g, 7a).
The dynamic senior duo are the last remaining players in the Colts program to have a state championship on their resume`s — a 4-3 overtime victory over Delbarton in which DiFazio notched the game-winning tally as part of two-point night — making them the perfect candidates to captain this new-look CBA outfit into the new year.
DiFazio (New Jersey Hitmen 18U) enters the season with 43 career points, while Noonan (Jersey Shore Whalers 18U) comes in with 45.
DIVISION RIVAL: St. John Vianney a state power in 2017-18
LIDO LEADS OFFENSE: Nic Lindondici has been a standout performer for the Colts since he posted a 20-point sophomore campaign. As a junior the winger posted a new career-high with 21 points on eight goals and 13 assists, including three multi-goal games against St. Peter’s Prep, St. Rose and Seton Hall Prep. Lidondici — who is receiving NCAA attention while skating with the New Jersey Jr. Titans 18U program — will be asked to take on a much larger offensive role as a senior, and appears primed for a big year.
DIVISION RIVAL: Wall Township has state championship aspirations in 2017-18
Lidondici will work alongside an emerging local star in sophomore phenom Kyle Contessa (5g, 7a) — younger brother of Derek — who saw time in a top-six forward role as a freshman, and is currently a primary point-producer for a touted New Jersey Colonials 16U outfit. The only other returning forward to the Colts offense is junior Garett Silverman (New Jersey Jr. Titans 16U), who logged four points and three goals, including a tally in the state semifinals against Delbarton.
CBA will look for support from a cast of first-year varsity forwards including juniors Patrick McHugh (New Jersey Jr. Titans 16U) and Jack Monahan (Red Bank Generals 16UAA), sophomores Gio Crepaldi (New Jersey Jr. Titans 15U), Jacob and Zachary Milone (Jersey Shore Whalers 16U Futures) and Will Seijas (New Jersey Jr. Titans 15U), and freshmen Anthony DeFalco (New Jersey Rockets) and Harris Hilfiker (Jersey Shore Whalers 16U Futures).
DEFENSIVE END: Chad Schneider (New Jersey Colonials 16U) and Will Hilfiker (Jersey Shore Whalers 16U) carved out a role on the second pairing as freshman, but the dynamic defensive duo — both of whom are receiving NCAA Division I attention — are ready to take the reigns of this defensive unit in their second seasons at the varsity level. The sophomores will be joined on the blue line by senior returner Ryan Tierney — a Brick Hockey Club product who is in his fourth year of varsity competition — a touted first-year varsity skater in sophomore Matthew Herrick (Jersey Shore Whalers 16U), and freshmen Colin Grable — who currently leads a revered New Jersey Devils Youth Bantam Major outfit in scoring — and Logan Heroux (New Jersey Devils Youth Bantam Major).
THREE IN THE CREASE: Jake Brown emerged as the Colts big-game backstop a season ago posting a record of 6-3-3 — including nine starts against Gordon Conference opponents — to go with a .905 save-percentage and a 2.15 goals-against average. Brown — who has spent time this season with both the Jersey Shore Whalers 16U program and Team Comcast 16U — had his best outing in the Non-Public state quarterfinals when he steered aside 37 of 40 shots in a 5-3 win over St. Augustine, and is expected to see significant time in his junior campaign.
Massachusetts import Brendan Behan made 10 appearances as a junior, playing to a mark of 7-2-1 with a .916 save-percentage and a 1.30 goals-against average. Behan — who spent time this fall with the Boston Jr. Bruins — blanked Middletown South with 24 saves on Dec. 13, before posting another impressive shutout in a Jan. 22 Gordon Conference bout with Bergen Catholic, in which he turned aside all 18 shots faced. Behan will push Brown for further time in the crease this season, and the competition is expected to bring out the best in both keepers.
Both Brown and Behan will be looking over their shoulders at incoming freshman Thomas Heaney, a 2003-born goaltending prospect currently skating with the New Jersey Colonials Bantam Major program that has started their season with 11 consecutive AYHL victories.
CLASS A NORTH ALIGNMENT