Johnny Gaudreau, Kenny Agostino and Dan Pencinger are three of the marquee skaters who will be inducted together into the New Jersey High School Hockey Hall of Fame banquet on April 15, 2018 at Mayfair Farms in West Orange, N.J.
Gaudreau, now starring for the Calgary Flames, had a stellar three-seasons at Gloucester Catholic, finishing with 51 goals and 57 assists during his final two campaigns leading the South Jersey school to the NJSIAA Non-Public state finals as a junior in 2010.
Now well-known by his moniker, “Johnny Hockey,” Gaudreau has carved one of the most impressive hockey resumes for any player to ever emerge from the Garden State to aptly earn the affectionate nickname.
The Lady Byng Trophy winner last season — awarded each year to the National Hockey League’s Most Gentlemanly Player — Gaudreau also won the NCAA Hobey Baker Award as college’s best player in 2014 when he led the nation in goals (36), assists (44) and points (80). The Salem native also earned a gold medal with the U.S. National team in the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship and helped lead Boston College to an NCAA National Championship as a freshman.
Agostino has manufactured an impressive hockey resume as well.
The only two-time Star-Ledger State Player of the Year, Agostino finished his career at Delbarton with a 50-goal senior season. In that final campaign he added 33 assists for 83 points. In his four seasons at the Morris County school, the Green Wave went 103-7-5 and captured three NJSIAA Non-Public state championships, three consecutive Star-Ledger Trophies as the state’s top team, four Gordon Conference championships and two Gordon Cups.
Agostino, now skating with the Boston Bruins’ affiliate in Providence, Rhode Island, is Delbarton’s all-time leading scorer with 261 career points. He played for four years at Yale, winning an NCAA National Championship with the Bulldogs before playing in the NHL with the Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins. With 24 goals and a league-best 59 assists for 83 points, the Morristown native was named the American Hockey League Most Valuable Player with the Chicago Wolves in 2016-17.
Another inductee to be honored is former Randolph forward Dan Pencinger. An explosive skater with a dangerous shot, Pencinger accounted for 176 points on 94 goals and 82 assists in 76 games for the Rams. Pencinger helped lead Randolph to its first NJSIAA Public Schools Championship in 2003. As a senior he was a Star-Ledger All-State pick and a two-time Morris County Player of the Year. Pencinger skated at Trinity Pawling before playing for three seasons at Suffolk University, where he finished with 127 points on 95 games.
Other inductees in the class of 2018 include Don Julich of Livingston, who led New Jersey in scoring two consecutive seasons (44-45-89 in 1981 & 40-51-91 in 1982); Paul Giblin of Bergen Catholic (1993 state scoring leader with 76-40-116); Pat DiMarco of Toms River North and Peddie (256 career points, led state in scoring in 1991 with 45-59-104); Bobby Acropolis of Brick (three-time All-Stater totaled 265 career points); Matt Beattie of Pingry (230 points in 100 games, Star-Ledger Central Player of the Year in 2010); Martin Williams of Chatham Township; Reynold Fauci, Jr. of Delbarton; Dave Tracy of Seton Hall Prep.
The St. Augustine team of 2007 — the only undefeated/untied team in New Jersey state history — will be inducted along with the 1982-83 Christian Brothers Academy team and the 2002-03 Randolph squad.
St. Augustine holds a distinction in the annals of scholastic hockey in New Jersey that saw the Hermits go a perfect 23-0 which still stands as the one and only team in state history to boast an unblemished record. St. Augustine captured the Handchen Cup and won the NJSIAA Non-Public Championship that winter.
The 2003 Randolph club rolled to a 24-6 finish, reached the final round of the Mennen Cup and won the first of the school’s eight NJSIAA Public Schools Championships. The 1983 CBA group posted a 22-2-1 record and was the first non-Gordon Conference club to win a state title.
Additional inductees include coaches Frank Horan of St. Joseph of Montvale; Don Eccleston of Montclair; Harry Rulon Miller of Princeton Day. The Builders and Contributors honorees are Tom Pengitore, Ralph Dougan and Robert Triebe. Longtime official Peter Lanigan will also be inducted.
The banquet and awards ceremony is set for 12 p.m. at Mayfair Farms in West Orange on April 15. To purchase tickets, mail a check payable to NJ HS Hall of Fame to 55 Hazel Ave, Livingston, NJ 07039. Tickets are $60 for adults and $20 for children. Tickets must be purchased by April 1 and WILL NOT be sold at the door.
Written by Paul Bruno / @PaulBrunoHS
Special to HockeyClan
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