Last winter was a breakout season for the ice hockey team, going 8-6-5 for its best record in program history, while also earning its first-ever Haas Cup Tournament victory and qualifying for NJSIAA state tournament for the first time in school history, as well.
“Last year meant a lot to the boys and the program,” said co-head coach Chris Wiggins, who along with Greg DaSilva, were named Morris County Hockey League Coaches of the Year. “Coaches and players agreed on a mindset for the season of placing 'the little things' above all else. We did not take this task lightly. Collectively the group studied what that really meant as individuals and as a single unit. We never focused on “winning,” we focused on doing the right things over and over again with the understanding everything else would take care of itself.”
The Knights look to build on their success from last season, and the pieces are there to make that happen. While the program will be missing key contributions from AJ Donofrio ’19, many players return from last year’s roster. Brenen Lavoie ’21 led all scorers during the 2018-2019 season with 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists), and Matthew Bloomenthal ’22 also recorded 10 goals, including a crucial hat trick in the Haas Cup win over Mountain Lakes. Gill also looks to get continued production from brothers Christian and Logan Mote ’22, who recorded 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) and 14 points (eight goals, six assists) respectively last year.
On the defensive side of the puck, both goalies from last year, Alex Steinberg ’22 and Matt Cooper ’21, will be back in action for Gill. Gill will also benefit from having a returning captain in the lineup with Eddy McCarthy' '20.
“We have tasked ourselves with a new challenge for the 2019 season: efficiency,” said DaSilva. “We looked at ourselves, and once again agreed, a major hurdle to our success will be our numbers. We will play this season with less guys on the bench than every single team we face, but this is not an excuse for this squad. Rather, it is an opportunity to take our game to a new level through practice, game-preparation, and game-play efficiency.”
The hockey team will be Gill’s first winter athletic program to see competition, as the Knights take on Parsippany Hills on November 29th, and then skate against Oratory Prep on November 30th.