WEST ORANGE, NJ – After a compiling a 23-39-4 record over three years, the Scotch Plains-Fanwood ice hockey team will look to record its first winning season this winter under head coach Matt Gunther.
“Our program is really starting to grow as we have freshmen entering the high school with competitive and travel hockey experience,” Gunther said. “This year we have a competitive schedule, however, I feel an above .500 season ahead of us.”
The Raiders enter the 2015-16 season without John Bruckman and Davey Leong, who combined for 70 points last year before graduation. Gunther is confident however, that forwards Logan Condon, Nick Cassara, and Jared Figueroa (see video below) will produce as forwards.
Figueroa led the Raiders last season with 26 goals and 16 assists as a sophomore, while Condon added 10 goals and Cassara netted 9.
Defensively, the Raiders will flank freshman Derek Costanzo with sophomore Tom Bruckman, hoping to build a camaraderie with the team’s diverse age groups.
“With any team at the beginning of a season, we need to work on line chemistry and getting the players familiar with each other. On the bright side, our players are working hard to communicate and stay confident while fighting for first and second line spots on the Varsity team,” Gunther said.
The last line of defense for Scotch Plains-Fanwood is Tim Mitchell, who returns for his senior year in net after boasting a 0.911 save percentage on 516 shots in 18 games last season.
“We will be relying on Tim to keep us in big situation games, he really stepped up in our Union County games last year, especially our comeback 6-4 win against Westfield where he faced over 40 shots,” Gunther said.
Having been in the Scotch Plains-Fanwood program for 11 years, Gunther remains optimistic as his team faces new foes after the Essex County Conference realignment. In the Liberty Conference, the Raiders will face Dayton-Brearley, Newark East Side, Oratory Prep, West Essex, and West Orange.
“I am excited to play against some of the Essex county teams as SPF being new to the conference will bring new and competitive competition for us. We still have rivalries with some of the merging Union county teams so it is nice to have a balanced schedule of new teams as well as known teams,” Gunther said.
The Raiders will host home games at Warinanco Park in Roselle, as well as The Rock Ice Center in Dunellen throughout the 2015-16 season.
This year's roster:
#21 Tom Bruckman | DEF | Sophomore
#10 Nick Cassara | FWD | Senior
#27 Britney Coleman | FWD | Junior
#9 Logan Condon | FWD | Senior
#6 Derek Costanzo | DEF | Freshman
#4 Christian Culp | DEF | Sophomore
#3 Jared Figueroa | FWD | Junior
#44 Adam Glod | FWD | Sophomore
#7 Ian Gordon | FWD | Senior
#17 Matt Halpin | FWD | Senior
#16 Patrick Henkels | FWD | Senior
#47 Jake Hogan | DEF | Freshman
#31 Kier Hunt | GOAL | Freshman
#1 Phil Ignomierllo | GOAL | Freshman
#26 Tim Lamberta | FWD | Freshman
#24 Nick Lavin | FWD | Junior
#35 Danny Mitchell | DEF | Freshman
#30 Tim Mitchell | GOAL | Senior
#8 Jack Pedersen | DEF | Freshman
#5 Nick Route | DEF | Sophomore
#14 Jonny Scheer | FWD | Sophomore
#11 Will White | FWD | Freshman
#18 Danny Wilkinson | FWD | Freshman
#20 Michael Wright | DEF | Senior