Ice hockey: Skating into new division

By Curran Rastogi, Apprentice Editor

With major losses to graduation and promotion into the top division of the New Jersey Interscholastic Ice Hockey League, The West Essex/James Caldwell High School ice hockey team will look to dominate this year. The team’s defensive unit is projected to lead the Knights this year behind 4 year varsity defenseman Dylan Huff from West Essex and Connor Hapward from Caldwell.

The team’s goal is to finish above .500 by the end of February and to make the state playoffs. For the Knights to be successful this year, Assistant Coach Tim Shea said that they hope they can fill the void of the scoring they lost last year.

“Our biggest question mark right now is can the guys that are returning step up and be scorers?” Shea said. “We lost Connor McCarthy and Sammy Friedman from West Essex and Pete Andelino and Connor Barnett from Caldwell. They were all key forwards for us last year.”

After a 14-7-3 overall record in 2019, the team was promoted into the McInnis Division, the top division in the NJIIHL. The McInnis Division is extremely competitive, so the team knows that it will have its work cut out for them.

“Other teams are going to have to compete when they play against us, they’re going to have to work because we have it as a team mantra that nobody out works us,” Shea said. “So every game that you know that they play us, we’re going to give them everything we have.”