2016 State Champs
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State Champs!!! Again!
Senior Captain Brandon O'Callahan triumphantly raises the hardware with his teammates and Rams Nation!

March 21ST, 2016

The drought is finally over! The Rams returned to the Rock on a mission ... capture that elusive second State Championship. They were not going to be denied. Led by Kyle Debel, Anthony Steffe, Brandon O'Callahan, Tyler Harmon and others, the Rams defeated local rival Glen Rock 5-1 and are Champions once again! Below, Senior Captain Brandon O'Callahan triumphantly raises the hardware with his team and Rams Nation! The Rams went 8-0 during the post-season outscoring their opponents 50-3.

Congratulations to our players and coaches!!!

Big North Liberty Division Tournament Championship

The Rams returned to the Big North Tournament Championship on February 19th at the Ice Vault Arena against rival Mahwah.

The Thunderbirds were coming off of a big upset victory over Lakeland but were running into a Rams team that had yet to yield a goal in the Tournament. Mahwah would have no better luck. A pair of goals from Seniors Dale Cheyne, Garret Mast and Frank Steffe powered the Rams to a 8-0 rout of the Thunderbirds and their fourth straight Big North Tournament Championship. Tyler Harmon recorded his third consecutive shutout and the Rams concluded the Tournament outscoring its opponents 20-0.

Feb 19, 2016  •  Ice Vault Arena
BN TOURN
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Mahwah
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Ramsey
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Click Here for full story with links to media coverage of game

NJSIAA State Tournament Opening Round versus Jefferson

On February 23th, the Rams commenced their perennial run for a State Championship and seek to avenge the heartbreaking losses in the State Championship Final the previous two seasons.

Thirty-one teams were invited to the dance with the Rams garnishing the #4 seed. In the opening round game against Jefferson, Dale Cheyne registered a Hat Trick with Kyle Debel bagging six total points. Junior Thomas Moor and the Steffe brothers chipped in with a goal apiece as the Rams rolled to an 8-2 victory.

Feb 23, 2016  •  Ice Vault Arena
STATE TOURN
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Jefferson
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Ramsey
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NJSIAA State Tournament Round of 16 versus Verona/Glen Ridge

The Rams' next victim was #13 seed Verona/Glen Ridge in the Round of 16. The Rams thoroughly dominated every aspect of the contest outshooting VGR 46-6 en route to a 9-0 win.

Dale Cheyne struck again with two more goals while Frank Steffe also added a pair. Kyle Debel registered another seven points and Brandon O'Callahan had four assists on defense as the Rams continued their hot play. Anthony Steffe, Greg Botz, Chris Matzelle and Connor Harte also got into the scoring act. Next up: #12 Mendham in the Quarterfinals.

Feb 26, 2016  •  Ice Vault Arena
STATE TOURN
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VGR
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Ramsey
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NJSIAA State Tournament Quarterfinal versus Mendham

Two seasons ago, the Rams met Mendham in the Frozen Four semis at Mennen Arena. The contest ended in an 7-0 Rams victory over the Minutemen and a trip to the Rock to play for the State Championship. It was deja-vu all over again ... almost. The Rams dispatched Mendham by the same score only this time it was in the Quarterfinals to earn a return trip to the Frozen Four.

The Rams swarmed the Minutemen from the outset potting four quick goals in the first period. Red hot Dale Cheyne got another two while the top point getter in the State for the month of February - Kyle Debel -registered the Hat Trick. Garret Mast and Will Danz tacked on a few more, Harmon recorded back-to-back shutouts and the Rams are off to their fifth consecutive appearance in the Frozen Four Semifinal in a rematch of last seasons's State Championship game against Middletown North. The Rams will need to avenge last year's 5-4 loss against the #1 seed in the Public B bracket if they want to return to the Rock for the third straight year.

Feb 29, 2016  •  Ice Vault Arena
Quarter Finals
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Ramsey
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  Click Here for Frozen Four preview


 

NJSIAA Frozen Four Semifinal versus Middletown North

For the first time in several years, the Rams headed into the Frozen Four matchup a heavy underdog. Their opponent, Middletown North, was the Star Ledger's fourth ranked team in the State behind only CBA, Delbarton and Don Bosco - the highest State ranking ever for a Public B school. Middletown North only had two losses all year and both to the top ranked team in the State, CBA, in tight one goal contests. The Lions were returning predominately the same squad that defeated the Rams in last year's State Championship game. The Rams on the other hand entered the season with several question marks. After all, the Rams lost the two-time Star Ledger Player of the year as well as other key seniors to graduation and ushered in a new coaching era under Dean Portas who replaced legendary coach Bob Toy who had retired. Competing for State Championships were expected in previous seasons but not necessarily this year. Despite resounding victories over top 10 teams Morristown and St. Joseph's Montvale and a tie with St. Joseph's Metuchen, another top 10 team, the Rams remained out of the Star Ledger top 20 most of the season only squeaking in at #18 toward the end. The media were not yet believers. The Rams players and coaches are.

This season has shown that players and coaches may change but the Championship pedigree of the Rams program endures. Led by a new crop of Seniors, rising underclassmen and new leadership on the bench, the Rams are right back to where they were a year ago today - playing for a State Championship at the Prudential Center. And the Rams exacted a little revenge along the way by ousting the defending State Champs.

The first period was an even contest - much like two boxers getting a feel for each other in the early rounds. The best scoring opportunity of the period was by Rams' Kyle Debel who shot the puck wide past a sprawling Lions goaltender toward the end of the period.

The second period was a showcase for the Rams defensive play led by Captain Brandon O'Callahan. The Rams stifled the Lions vaunted offensive and kept Division I commits Bobby Hampton and Khristian Acosta out-of-synch and in check.

Senior Captain Garrett Mast ignited the Rams crowd about four minutes into the third period when he ripped a shot glove-side high into the back of the net to break the scoreless contest. The Rams entered the offensive zone with an odd man break and Senior Kyle Debel found an open Mast in the high slot. This would be the only shot on goal for the Rams in the third. It would be the only shot they needed. The rest of the period belonged to Rams Senior goaltender Tyler Harmon as the Lions would not go quietly into the night.

After the Rams took the lead with 10:44 left in the third, Middletown North pressed the action for the remainder of the game desperately trying to net
the equalizer to at least send the contest into overtime. But each time the Lions knocked on the the door, it was Harmon who answered. Making several key saves especially down the stretch, the heralded goalie locked down the victory for the Rams as well as a return trip to the Prudential Center to play for another State Championship.

The Rams have only been scored upon in one of seven League and State Tournament games with Harmon posting six shutouts. For Middletown North who averaged over 7 goals a game during the season, this was the first time they have been shut-out all year. Amazing stuff!

March 2, 2016  •  Ice Vault Arena
Frozen Four
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Ramsey
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Middletown North
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  Click Here for NorthJersey.com Photos
  Click Here for NorthJersey.com Story
  Click Here for NJ.com complete coverage
  (Story, Video Interviews, Photos, Box Score)

NJSIAA State Championship versus Glen Rock

Rams Nation arrived for the Big Game by the busloads - literally. Hundreds of high school students were bused to the Rock and were joined by thousands more from the community to support their Rams for their third straight year competing for a State Championship. This season's obstacle was the Glen Rock Panthers, a team against which the Rams have a history. The Rams defeated Glen Rock in the State Championship Quarterfinals in 2009 en route to their first Title and defeated the Panthers again last season in the Frozen Four semis. The Rams were hoping the third time was a charm. The Panthers were looking for their first Championship.

From the opening face-off, the Rams looked like a veteran team on a mission. They carried the action early and continued to take the play to the Panthers who looked tight on the big stage. Kyle Debel opening the scoring at the 6:10 mark in the first that sent Rams Nation into a frenzy. Debel dented the twine a second time with 3:50 to play and the Rams headed to the locker room with a 2-0 lead. There was already a sense that this might be the Rams' year.

However, at the start of the second period, Glen Rock seemed to have settled down and were turning the tables on the Rams. The Panthers broke through early and all of a sudden it was a one goal game. We all know the cliche - the next goal would be huge. The next goal belonged to the Rams. Before the Panthers finished celebrating, Senior Greg Botz drove hard to the net and deflected a Debel pass by Panthers' goaltender Matt Rosario. Only 28 seconds later, the Rams regained their two-goal lead. Anthony Steffe added another goal late and it was 4-1 after two. The Rams could taste it.

One period to go. Fifteen minutes. In order to beat the Rams, Glen Rock would have to score more goals than the Rams yielded in the entire State AND Big North Tournaments. No way. Harmon and the defense locked down the Panthers, Anthony Steffe added one more goal for good measure - his second of the game - and the Rams closed out the Panthers 5-1. Finally, the Rams were Champions again!

March 7, 2016  •  Prudential Center
CHAMPIONSHIP
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  Click Here for NJ.com complete coverage
  Click Here for NorthJersey.com Story (Conrad)
  Click Here for NorthJersey.com Story (Cooper)
  Click Here for Varsity Aces Video of
   Championship Celebration

2016 STATE CHAMPIONS

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Up
Down
Star Ledger Top 20 2016

1. Delbarton
2. Christian Brothers
3. Don Bosco Prep
4. St. Augustine
5. Morristown
6. Morristown-Beard
7. Pope John
8. Ramsey
9. St. Joseph's (Met)
10. Middletown North
11. St. Peter's Prep
12. Glen Rock
13. Randolph
14. St. Joseph's (Mont.)
15. Gloucester Catholic
16. Ridge
17. Montclair
18. Notre Dame
19. Mahwah
20. Lakeland

NJSIAA State Tournament Public B Seedings

1. Middletown North
2. Glen Rock
3. Lakeland*
4. Ramsey*
5. Indian Hills*
6. Mahwah*
7. Chatham
8. Kinnelon
9. Madison
10. Cranford
11. Roxbury
12. Mendham
13. Verona/Glen Ridge
14. Nutley
15. Hopewell Valley
16. Jackson Liberty
17. Summit
18. Northern Highlands
19. Toms River East
20. Woodbridge
21. Princeton
22. Middletown South
23. Wall
24. Ramapo*
25. Vernon
26. Millburn
27. Governor Livingston
28. Wayne Valley*
29. Jefferson
30. Morris Hills
31. Central Regional

Red denotes team eliminated

* Big North Liberty team

 

 

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