Hillsborough Ice Hockey has State Title Hopes

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Hillsborough Ice Hockey has State Title Hopes

The 2019-20 Hillsborough Ice Hockey team huddles before a game.

The 2019-20 Hillsborough Ice Hockey team huddles before a game.

by Magda Lewicki

The 2019-20 Hillsborough Ice Hockey team huddles before a game.

by Magda Lewicki

by Magda Lewicki

The 2019-20 Hillsborough Ice Hockey team huddles before a game.

Adam McCaffery, Sports Editor

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Opening the season at No. 20 on nj.com’s Ice Hockey Top 20 teams, the Hillsborough High School Ice Hockey team is looking to make another deep run in states in the 2019-2020 season. The team went 21-8 last season with an appearance in the County and State Finals, having one of the most successful seasons in program history. 

Despite the county and state final appearances, the Raiders are hoping for more than that this season. Lead by head coach Chris Tommins, the Raiders are looking to not just make the state and county finals, but to win them as well. To do so, they will need to beat competitive teams like Pingry, Watchung Hills, and Ridge.

It is no secret that the loss of star Jude Kurtas will hurt the team. However, the team only lost Kurtas and two other seniors, so they have a strong returning foundation. Two key returning players are seniors Lleyton Soares and Jason Wolff, who combined for 53 goals and 70 assists last season. 

“We’d love to take home a conference championship, as our eyes are set on redemption in both conference and state competition,” Soares said. 

Jason Loricco, the team’s goalie, is looking to step up his game after an impressive 628 goals saved as a freshmen last season. His role on the team is crucial and might be the difference between a win and a loss. 

Not only are there key returning players, but the Raiders are bringing in five new freshmen who are looking to make an impact. Logan Behrje is one of the freshmen who Soares says can contribute this year. 

With a strong returning class, a couple of newcomers, and a motivation to redeem themselves, the Hillsborough Ice Hockey team has a recipe for success this season. The Raiders started the season with a tie versus Ridge and are looking to improve their record against St. Rose on Wednesday, Dec. 11.