It was a very memorable season for the ice hockey team as the Knights experienced numerous milestones throughout the year and established themselves as a team on the rise.
Since its first season in 2012, Gill had struggled to compete in the rink. The Knights never earned more than four wins in a year and their record would regularly display double-digit losses.
It was apparent that this year was going to be different from the beginning, as the Knights had a red hot start to their season and earned a record of 6-2-3, often taking down opponents with established hockey programs. As the season progressed, Gill continued to prove to be one of the better teams in the state.
The biggest highlights came at the end of the year as Gill was rewarded for its strong regular season with a three seed in the Haas Cup tournament. The Knights responded well with their high ranking as they defeated Mountain Lakes 6-3 for their first ever tournament win. Gill eventually fell to Whippany Park in the semifinal round.
However, Gill’s success continued onto the state level as the Knights qualified for the NJSIAA Non-Public state tournament for the first time in school history. There is only one bracket for non-public schools in the entire state and Gill came in ranked 21st in New Jersey. Although the Knights fell to Pingry in the opening round, it was still a significant step forward for this growing program.
One of the most exciting aspects of this team is how young the roster is. While Gill will miss veteran leadership from AJ Donofrio ’19 (five goals, 11 assists), a significant number of underclassmen who had valuable contributions throughout the season will return next year.
Brenen Lavoie ’21 led all scorers with 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) including a five-point performance against Parsippany Hills in December. Matthew Bloomenthal ’22 also recorded 10 goals, including a crucial hat trick in the Haas Cup win over Mountain Lakes. Gill also got a huge lift from brothers Christian and Logan Mote ’22 who recorded 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) and 14 points (eight goals, six assists) respectively.
It was not all just young scorers who contributed for Gill, however, as goalies Alex Steinberg ’22 (187 saves, .917 save percentage) and Matt Cooper ’21 (178 saves, .886 save percentage) also had great years between the pipes.
The success of this season combined with the talented young roster has helped establish a strong foundation for this program for future years to come.