GSB Ice Hockey Wins Overtime Thriller to Capture First Ever Haas Cup

GSB Ice Hockey Wins Overtime Thriller to Capture First Ever Haas Cup

In perhaps the most monumental victory in program history, Gill St. Bernard's Ice Hockey team clawed back from a two-goal deficit to pull off a heart-pounding 3-2 overtime win against West Morris, securing the program's first ever Haas Cup championship.

Trailing 2-0 with seven minutes remaining in the second period, Senior Forward Michael Scarpati put the Knights on the board to cut into the deficit. The Knights sharpened up defensively, as sophomore goalkeeper Luc Jansson, who has demonstrated himself as one of the top goalies in the state, thwarted off a series of West Morris attempts. With the Knights gaining momentum in the third quarter, Scarpati netted a breakaway goal off of a stunning assist from sophomore Brendan Binder to notch the game up 2-2 as a packed student section cheered on the team.

Shortly into overtime, Senior Forward Julian Tramontano scored the golden goal in the biggest moment of his Gill career, collecting the puck off the boards and firing it into the back of the net to send the crowd at Mennen Arena into a frenzy. 

“I kind of forgot what happened, commented Tramontano to “The puck just ended up on my stick and I was like, I’m just going to shoot this thing and hope it goes in. I saw the net kind of flare up and knew it went in. I was so happy and just filled with joy and honestly it was one of the better moments of my life.”

The Knights, who finished the 2023-24 season 12-4-2, entered the title game as the #2 seed in the MCSSIHL Haas Division to take on top-seeded West Morris, who entered the matchup as two-time defending Haas Cup champions. The last time GSB competed in the Haas Cup championship was the 2019-20 season, where they narrowly lost to Mountain Lakes-Boonton. This time, with a stacked roster of veteran leadership and young talent, they would not be denied. 

"It goes without saying that we have big goals and aspirations for this program, said Head Coach Greg DaSilva to "We came close in 2020 against Mountain Lakes and this is huge. It feels really, really good. I’m just so happy and proud of all the players, especially the seniors."

Lifting the trophy was an especially sweet moment for the team's six seniors: Defenseman Porter Clark (Captain), Forward Julian Tramontano (Captain), Forward George Taylor, Defenseman Brad Matthews, Forward Michael Scarpati, and Defenseman Henry Smith. 

The Knights were paced all season by a balanced style of play, with five different players recording double digit points. Tramontano (16 goals, 17 assists) led the team with 33 points, while fellow seniors Clark (8 goals, 17 assists) and Scarpati (8 goals,5 assists) also stepped up in big moments. The program is left in steady hands with freshmen forwards Brendan Whiteley (11 goals, 9 assists) and Michael Tighe (10 goals, 8 assists) posting standout years in their first year, while sophomore defensemen Brendan Binder and Trey Sanford and goalie Luc Jansson create a formidable roster for years to come.

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