Previewing the NAPHL: New Jersey Jr. Titans
September 2, 2015
New Jersey Jr. Titans 16U
The New Jersey Jr. Titans are led by hockey director and head coach, George Haviland Jr, and assistants Justin Friedman (4th year with 16U team), and Randy Walker (2nd Year with 16U team). After taking the Jr. Titans 16U team to the NAPHL playoffs for the 5th year in a row last season, that will once again be their mission heading into the 2015-16 season.
The 2015-16 version of the NJ Jr. Titans 16U expects to compete hard day in and day out to make the playoffs in February. Assistant coach Justin Friedman states, "This league is always tough, and this year will be no different. Between the 8 teams that made the Gold Division Playoffs last year and the tough games we had with the teams in the Silver Division playoffs, and then adding new clubs like Wilkes-Barre, Washington, and the other new clubs, each game is going to be a battle, and you can't take a day off in this league.
The 2015-16 NJ Jr. Titans 16Us are returning 6 players from last year in Drew Murtha, Gavin Gulash, Matt Mood, Tommy Donnelly, John D'Aniello, and Anthony Del Tufo. Joining the Jr. Titans this season from outside the club are prospects Ty Schafer, Julian Kislin, Jimmy Dowd, Mike Racioppi, Kyle Jeffers, Gerard Marretta, and Rece Bergeman. The Jr. Titans organization takes great pride in developing players, and this is evidenced by the six players from last seasons 16U American team who have been promoted to the National team that competes in the NAPHL. Those players are Shane Haviland, Ryan Lambert, Mike Mania, Bryce Grant, Sam Weber, and Thomas Walker.
"For us, we know what the league is about, and we are going into the season with the goal of making the playoffs," states head coach George Haviland. "We made the Gold Division playoffs in every year that we have participated in the league, and we are looking for that accomplishment again. We are excited for the challenge ahead to compete in the NAPHL and the challenge of playing consistent hockey which will enable us to make the NAPHL Playoff Weekend in February."
New Jersey Jr. Titans 18U
The New Jersey Jr. Titans 18U team is coached by 1991 Boston Bruins draft pick Gary Golczewski. Assisting Golczewski are Joe Giunta, a former NCAA DIII player at Framingham State University, and returning 18U coach Randy Walker. After winning the Dixon Cup as champions of the NAPHL last season, the 18U Jr. Titans will look to defend their championship title with a roster loaded with NAPHL experience.
Coach Gary Golczewski is looking forward to the challenge of leading his team back to the championship. "I can't remember being this excited to coach a team. At this level development is most important, however we want to help these young men reach their goals in a winning environment. Every day we have a chance to mold elite level hockey players."
Nine players from the 2014-15 Jr. Titans 16U team will be moving up to the 18U team this season, including highly touted DI prospect forward Zach Noble. Additionally, the New Jersey will have five returning players off of last season's 18U championship squad who will help lead the team: Jack Kosinski, Trevor Madden, Boomer Miller, James Timko and Max Weber. Additionally, 4 players with Tier III Junior hockey experience will be featured on the roster: Adam Eby, Matt Milne, Brian Lange and JP Monteverdi - all of whom chose the exposure of the NAPHL over another season of Tier III Junior hockey.
Defending the championship will be no easy task, and the players and coaches know the importance of playing consistent hockey throughout the regular season. "The competition in the NAPHL is fierce and promises more of the same this year with perennial powerhouses such as Omaha, plus the league's new additions," states Coach Randy Walker.
The Jr. Titans advanced a host of players from last years team to higher levels of hockey. 2014-15 NAPHL 18U leading scorer Anthony Cusanelli along with graduated 18Us Mike Gelatt, Brad Becker, Greg Malafronte and Tim Gelatt all signed with the NJ Titans NAHL team. Top graduated NJ Jr. Titans 18U forwards Chuck Singerhouse and Rich McCartney will be playing in the NAHL for the Amarillo Bulls and Kenai River Brown Bears respectively. Defenseman Zach Berzolla, a Colorado College commit, be playing in the USHL with the Muskegon Lumberjacks.