Parity: (noun) the quality or state of being equal or equivalent. – Webster’s Dictionary
Perhaps more than any tournament in recent memory, the 62nd Gordon Cup could be played with a big nod toward uniformity.
Lace up the skates tightly for this year’s slate, because the clubs are all so close in the pecking order.
Don Bosco Prep, the defending champion, was awarded the top seed for the 2020 Gordon Cup during Wednesday’s meeting at Codey Arena in West Orange — but not without controversy.
The Ironmen, with a 9-2-1 interconference record at the cutoff (15-6-1 overall), have lost two of their last five games against Gordon Conference opponents, including a 3-2 loss to Bergen Catholic in the county final.
Bergen Catholic (10-2; 16-3 overall), No. 1 in The Hockey Night in Boston Top 10, meanwhile, is seeded third and Christian Brothers Academy (8-2-2; 13-4-3 overall), which swept the season series vs. Don Bosco, 2-0 and 6-4, is the second seed.
Oh, and Delbarton (6-4-2; 9-7-2), with eight Gordon Cup titles — second only to sixth-seeded Seton Hall Prep for the most (9) since the tournament inception in 1959 — is seeded fourth.
Got all that?
“I think there’s a lot more parity this year,” said Don Bosco coach Greg Toskos. “Really for the first time I’ve seen. I think it’s wide open for anyone to win it. It’s a year where the teams that are lower have a legit chance to win, where you have rarely seen that in the past.”
5-Gloucester Catholic (8-5-4), 6-Seton Hall Prep (9-11-2), 7-St. Augustine (10-8-2); 8-Pope John (5-16-1) round out the field for the 62nd Gordon Cup.
The championship is slated for Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. at Codey Arena.
Don Bosco edged out Christian Brothers for the top seed on the strength of more points (19) to more wins (nine) in Gordon Conference regular season play.
Bergen Catholic won a conference-high 10 games amassing 20 points — the most in the Gordon — but strength of schedule in the National Division pit it third.
“Surprised at the seeding process,” Bergen Catholic coach Tom Keough said. “Going to take one game at a time. Just need to keep winning and focus on BC hockey.”
Seeking its first Gordon Cup since 2004, Bergen Catholic will play host to Seton Hall Prep at 1 p.m. at The Ice House in Hackensack, the first of four games on tap for President’s Day, Monday, Feb. 17.
Christian Brothers will play host to St. Augustine when the puck drops at Jersey Shore Arena at 4:25 p.m. with all eight teams in action when the first round gets underway.
After winning three Gordon Cups as a player from 1994-’96, Andy Gojdycz is looking to win his first as coach after returning to his alma mater.
“I agree with the seedings and fully support them — that means we lost or tied to someone we shouldn’t have and that’s on me,” Gojdycz said. “Home field advantage is number one. If we win and BC wins we host the semifinals in our barn.
“Regardless of who we’re playing, we’re just going to play our game because it’s so tight in the Gordon Conference,” Gojdycz said. “We just got to win.”
St. Augustine coach Tim Fingerhut has seen it all — including a perfect season in 2006-07.
“CBA has probably been one of the most consistent teams this season and we know we must play our three best periods of hockey to be in the game,” Fingerhut said.
“As far as the Gordon Cup I think there are some great matchups, especially in the opening round. There are no guarantees and you know life in the Gordon Cup is insane when Delbarton is a 4-seed,” Fingerhut said. “It’s been a long time since they’ve been anything but the 1- or 2-seed. It’s very close across the board.”
Since 2000, Delbarton has ruled the Gordon Cup, putting eight titles in its trophy case – seven overall and one shared with St. Augustine. The two battled to a 2-2 tie through regulation and overtime and were declared co-champions in 2011.
“We have to worry about getting past Gloucester Catholic,” Delbarton coach Bruce Shatel, whose club opens up against Gloucester Catholic at Aspen Ice in Randolph on Monday at 4 p.m., said. “It’s wide open this year.”
Don Bosco Prep, aiming for its third Gordon Cup after defeating Delbarton, 5-3, in the 2019 cup final, will square off against Pope John at The Ice Vault at 7:15 p.m.
“You look at the seedings, it wasn’t really dominated by any one team — so many of the games we played against each other were so close,” Toskos said. “The parity was there for sure. I think it’s great that any of the teams could win the Gordon Cup.”
Gordon Cup Bracket: First Round: 8-St. Peter’s Prep vs. 1-Don Bosco Prep; 7-Seton Hall Prep vs. 2-Delbarton; 6-Pope John vs. 3-Christian Brothers Academy; 5-St. Augustine Prep vs. 4-Gloucester Catholic.
Gordon Cup Championships: Seton Hall Prep-9, Delbarton, Brick-8, Christian Brothers Academy-7, Montclair-6, Livingston-5, St. Joseph-Montvale-3
GORDON CUP ALL-TIME CHAMPIONS
2019-Don Bosco Prep GAME STORY
2018-Delbarton GAME STORY
2017-Delbarton GAME STORY
2016-Christian Brothers GAME STORY
2015-Delbarton GAME STORY
2014-Don Bosco Prep GAME STORY
2013-Christian Brothers GAME STORY
2012-Delbarton BOX SCORE
2011-Delbarton and St. Augustine co-champs BOX SCORE
2006-Seton Hall Prep
2002-Seton Hall Prep
2001-Seton Hall Prep
2000-Seton Hall Prep
1998-Seton Hall Prep
1997-Seton Hall Prep
1993-Seton Hall Prep
1992-St. Joseph, Montvale
1990-St. Joseph, Montvale
1986-St. Joseph Montvale
1983-Seton Hall Prep
1978-Seton Hall Prep
1961-Montclair and West Orange co-champs
Written by Paul Bruno @PaulBrunoHS
Special to HockeyClan
Main Image: Don Bosco Prep celebrates its 2019 Gordon Cup championship at Codey Arena in West Orange, Feb. 15, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caroiello/HockeyClan)
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