Tyler Sedlak struck for 98 goals and 218 points in his four-year career — second only to coach Greg Toskos in Don Bosco Prep team history — but he gladly traded it all in, including the final goal in clinching fashion, for the Ironmen’s first state championship in school history.
“We finally made history here — 54 years in the making — 54 teams to come through Don Bosco — and after multiple years of heartbreaks, the 2019 Bosco team was finally able to do it,” Sedlak, HockeyClan’s State Player of the Year, said. “We completed it. History has been made and this is just the first of many.”
Sedlak, who led the Gordon Conference with 40 goals, scored his team-leading 40th into an empty-net sealing Don Bosco’s 3-1 triumph over Delbarton on March 4 at Prudential Center in Newark.
The victory was both validation and redemption for the entire hockey program, which was 0-for-4 in NJSIAA finals. But now, the Bergen County school, with 15 state football titles to its credit, can add frozen pucks to its list of impressive champions.
Sedlak said the path to the school’s first-ever ice hockey state championship was all that much sweeter having experienced heartache before elation.
“Losing two years in a row my sophomore and junior year only to come back and win it all my senior year, it does make it a little more special — you don’t take it for granted,” Sedlak, who has committed to the NAHL Shreveport Mudbugs as well as NCAA’s Holy Cross, said. “As much as you wish those two losses didn’t happen, it does make you honestly that much more appreciative. You just can’t be more happy, for the boys, that this happened, for sure we all deserved this one.”
It was a magical season from start to finish for Don Bosco Prep, which went 27-1 including a 5-3 win over Delbarton in the 61st Gordon Cup on Feb. 15 and a 5-1 triumph over St. Joseph-Montvale in the Bergen County Final on Jan. 23.
With 40 goals and 73 points, Sedlak formed a formidable top line including Liam McLinskey and Hunter McGee, registering at least one point in all but one game this season. He scored all four goals in a 4-2 victory over Massachusetts state-finalist B.C. High on Dec. 14 and added three more hat tricks — in consecutive games — against Ramsey, Christian Brothers and Bergen Catholic from Jan. 18-21.
“I’m real proud of everything Tyler has accomplished in his career, he’s been a very, very special player for us for four years,” coach Toskos (1994), Don Bosco’s all-time leading scorer with 128 goals and 225 points, said. “More importantly, he’s a special kid, someone we want in our system, someone to go to Don Bosco then come back here as an alum and show the younger guys all the great things we were able to accomplish. He’s a true role model and true ironman for us.”
“There was something different about this team, kind of a looseness on the team and every single guy on down the roster brought something different,” Sedlak said. “Everyone was able to contribute in their own way, skill guys, muck guys, but I think up and down the lineup we needed everybody to buy-in and they did. That was what our complete game was and what we needed to reach our peak.”
Going down as champions their senior season, this group of Ironmen including goaltender Max Schwarz, defensemen Mark Garfinkel and T.J. Schweighardt and forwards Michael Forgione and McLinskey, will forever be immortalized.
“It’s hard to put it all into perspective but I will say I’m not sure if I’m happier as a former player or as the coach of the team,” Toskos, the 1994 New Jersey Devils’ State Player of the Year who eclipsed 200 wins as coach on Jan. 18, 2019, said. “I have feeling for both because how hard it was playing and coaching. So many people have reached out who have played in this program — literally from the 70’s on — and have congratulated us and told us how proud they are of the program. I have that same feeling. But to now be coach of this team it’s pretty cool to be around and see these kids finally get over the hump and accomplish what we’ve all tried to accomplish.
“It’s pretty unbelievable,” Sedlak said. “I’m sure coach Toskos and coach (Sean) Foye are going to have a few more under their belt by the time they’re done coaching but we’re always going to be able to say we were the first ones, we got the first one done and nobody can take that away from us.”
Bosco Hockey is extremely proud to announce Senior Captain Tyler Sedlak has committed to Holy Cross! Congrats to Tyler & his family
— Bosco Hockey (@DBIronmenHockey) March 24, 2019
Written by John Christian Hageny / @JCCSPORTS
Special to HockeyClan
Main Image: Tyler Sedlak on the backhand against Delbarton in the NJSIAA Non-Public State Championships at Prudential Center in Newark on March 4, 2019. (Mark Carosiello/HockeyClan/@SnapThePicture6)
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