January 8, 2014 at 7:15 PM
CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham goalie C.J. Albanese found out when he walked into his chemistry class at Chatham High on Tuesday afternoon.
"At first, I thought it was a joke," Albanese said. "I heard rumors that we were going to play. Then everyone said that Delbarton got it. It's gong to be really fun."
Albanese and the rest of the Chatham High hockey team got the official news from their coach, Frank Gilberti, who informed them that the Cougars will be playing St. Peter's Prep of Jersey City at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 31.
Chatham (8-0-3), the defending state champion, will play the second game of the doubleheader, with Don Bosco Prep and Christian Brothers Academy playing before them.
"We were at school and coach asked the captains to give him a call," Chatham defenseman A.J. Albanese said. "We called him at lunch time and he told us we were playing at Yankee Stadium. A lot of people were shocked. I would never in a million years think that we'd be playing a game at Yankee Stadium."
Gilberti and his longtime colleague, Mike Goodrich, the coach of St. Peter's, have been working on making the game a reality since the summer.
"Before Mike could even get the sentence out of his mouth, I said yes," Gilberti said. "Since that point in the summer, we've been working on it. It was a nice feeling to get in confirmed. It was almost surreal to know that this is really going to happen. We're grateful to the New Jersey Devils, who worked with us to help us get it done."
Gilberti wants as many people from Chatham to be at the game as is possible.
"Our hockey team wants to share this with out entire community," Gilberti said. "There are not many chances to galvanize a community around something. I want to do everything I can to get as many people as possible to the game."