DENVILLE, NJ- The 0-2 start by the Morris Knolls hockey team isn’t the end of their season before it really beings, far from it in fact. This Golden Eagles team has loads of talent, and players who will look to have an impact on both sides of the puck.
It was a mystery who would be the starting goalie for the Golden Eagles coming into the season, but Junior Hunter Koch has nabbed the job. Koch beat out two seniors for the job during tryouts, and even in defeat the first two games of the season, he has shown he can handle his own at the varsity level.
Koch is a triple AAA goalie, who outside of high school plays travel with the Ramapo Saints, and almost won his first varsity start by stopping 33 of 37 shots against powerhouse Randolph. The second game of the year , a defeat by Mendham, wasn’t his fault, as the loss was a team-wide failure, not just Koch.
A quartet of players, all from different grades, beginning with senior captain Daniel Cangelosi, Junior Chris Conway, Sophomore Vance Moran, and Junior Alex Welch, will lead Morris Knolls’ offense.
Cangelosi is easily the biggest player on Knolls, but big in a good way, as he has a blistering slap shot, to go along with smooth hands, and that power-forward type of mentality. Conway seems to have the most skill out of the Knolls forwards, as he made several good plays already, including having a nice assist on Cangelosi’s goal against Mendham. Conway also scored against Randolph in the opener.
Moran is a player who has just as much skill as Conway, but isn’t quite at that level yet. He’s a guy who could get as big as Cangelosi, but also have the skills like Conway by the time he’s a senior. Lastly is junior Welch, who has the potential to be one of the better players in the division. He has great hands, is physical, and plays smart experienced hockey.
The Golden Eagles defense is with no doubt anchored by the other senior captain Robbie Schweizer. Schweizer is a huge force on the Knolls blue line, and played a vast majority of both the Randolph and Mendham games. He’s a steady defensive-defensemen at first glance, but does have the potential to move the puck up-ice to create offensive situations. If the Golden Eagles are going to get anywhere in this division, then look for Schweizer to be a big part of it.
Junior’s Micheal Bozza, Scott VanDine, and Brett Coleman will also have to be big contributors to the Knolls defense corps, as the rest of the defense is made up of sophomore’s and freshmen, who will look to be contributors in the years to come.
All-in-all, what will hurt the Golden Eagles is the strength of their division, Morristown and Randolph will be difficult teams to beat, they already lost to Mendham, and Chatham is always a consistent force. Morris Knolls should finish between the 3-5 seeds, and maybe force some upsets along the way, but they need a team effort across the board, and not what they showed in their first two games.