ST. ROSE/DONOVAN CATHOLIC
Head Coach: Stephen Scanapicco, First season
Record last year: 9-10-4
Division/Classification: Class A North/Non-Public
Home Rink: Jersey Shore Arena
OPENING DRAW: St. Rose was a tough out last season. The Frozen Roses landed spots in both the Shore Conference and Non-Public State Tournaments, and suffered late-game setbacks in the opening round of both, as a pair of third period goals by Point Boro knocked them out the Handchen Cup Tournament, before an overtime tally by Notre Dame brought their 2016-17 season to a close. St. Rose lost a 100-point scorer in Alex Phipps, a two-way standout in Bryce Grant and two more pivotal pieces to their puzzle in Keelan McGovern and Joe Trilli, but that post-season experience and the motivation a couple of tough losses can provide might just do wonders for the new core of St. Rose skaters and first-year coach Stephen Scanapicco.
WILL TO WIN: Will Lemonie is one of the most underrated skaters in the Shore Conference…as well as one of the most clutch performers. The winger finished second in point-production (26) and goals scored (16) in his junior campaign, and was it his best in the biggest moments. Lemonie’s two tallies against Marlboro on Dec. 17 were the difference in a 2-1 victory over the Mustangs, and his two markers against divisional rival Wall Township proved to the be the difference in a 4-3 upset on Jan. 20. His heroics continued on Feb. 3 when the Jersey Shore Wildcats standout scored twice and assisted on another in a 3-2 win over St. John Vianney. St. Rose will need more of this sort of effort from Lemonie in the new year if playoff spots are to be secured.
DIVISION RIVAL: Wall Township has state championship aspirations in 2017-18
SUPER SOPHOMORE: Sean Grant (Mercer Chiefs 15U) broke onto the Shore Conference scene in a big way as a freshman finishing third in St. Rose scoring with 23 points on 11 goals and 12 assists. The varsity stage never appeared too large for the skilled winger, and with Phipps, Trilli and his brother Bryce lost to graduation, Grant will need to take on a larger offensive role as a sophomore, and his phenomenal vision, anticipation and skating ability should allow him to build on that production.
OFFENSIVE ZONE: Alongside Lemonie and Grant, the Frozen Roses will look to senior Mike Russ (2g, 2a), junior Shane Force (4g, 2a) — a Jersey Shore Wildcats 16UAA skater — and sophomore skaters Tim Regan — who skates with Grant on that Mercer Chiefs 15U club — and Chuck Armstrong — who registered 26 points in 18 NJYHL games for his Jersey Shore Wildcats 16UA club — to bolster the offense.
DIVISION RIVAL: St. John Vianney a state power in 2017-18
DEFENSIVE END: Brick Hockey Club alum Tommy DalCortivo has transferred into the program and will suit up for a
defensive unit that returns four skaters from last season, including seniors Joe Merlucci (1g, 5a), Marc Sandomierski (1g, 7a) and Matt Fullman (2a), as well a sophomore Declan Coyle (Jersey Shore Wildcats 18UAA).
IN THE CREASE: Steven Gibilisco was pencilled in to return as a second-year starter for the Frozen Roses, but recently transferred back to his home school of Manasquan. The situation leaves senior Andrew Vinca in line to step into the starting role after posting an .869 save-percentage and a 2.80 goals-against average for the Jersey Shore Wildcats 18UA program.
CLASS A NORTH ALIGNMENT