For the Christian Brothers Academy hockey team, success has come in bunches over the past three seasons, continuing a great tradition of excellence for the program. In 2014, the Colts captured the Non-Public State Championship, followed by a repeat performance in 2015 as state champions. In 2016, CBA hoisted the Gordon Conference Cup for the first time in three years.
The 2016-2017 Colts open their season on Monday afternoon at home against Howell, with expectations of contending for both the state and conference championship once again.
For CBA, experience will be on their side with senior forwards returning in Derek Contessa, Cory Clifton, John D'Aneillo and John Cernero. Both Contessa and Clifton were offensive forces as juniors, matching each other with 13-goal and 14-assist seasons last year. Juniors Liam Noonan and Dean DiFazio will compliment the seniors on the forward line. Noonan notched a 10-goal season as a sophomore.
The Colts have a senior line of defenders as well, with Nic Dietrich, Tim Grable and Sam Weber returning.
Christian Brothers won their eighth Gordon Cup last year by beating Delbarton, 3-1, in the final. Contessa was the hero in that game, notching a hat trick to put away the Green Wave. Delbarton, however, got their revenge in the state championship, beating CBA at the Prudential Center to end the Colts' run of consecutive titles.
CBA is a seven-time state champion program and will contend with the likes of Delbarton, Don Bosco Prep and St. Augustine for both the state and conference titles.
The Colts' schedule is filled with competition from both the local Shore Conference and the Gordon Conference. CBA will play two special games against rival Don Bosco, a Military Appreciation Night game at Army West Point on December 6th and a Winter Outdoor Classic game at Navesink Country Club on January 4th.
Monday's matchup with Howell begins at 4:30 p.m. All Colts home games are played at Jersey Shore Arena in Wall Township.
- INSIDE ATHLETICS