Maplewood Schools / Kids South Orange Sports

PHOTOS: CHS/Nutley Ice Hockey Leads NJIIHL-McMullen Division

In just its second year as a co-op team, Nutley-Columbia High School hockey is 10-3-3 overall and is in first place in the NJIIHL – McMullen Division, with a 7-0-1 conference record.

A recent profile of the team in the News-Record highlighted coach Andy Surowiec and standout players like junior goalie John Matrona (Nutley High), senior defense player Isabel Fontanals (NHS), sophomore defense player Cooper Fojas (NHS), junior defense player Leo Carrillo (NHS), defense player James Gonon (CHS), junior center Joe Melillo (NHS), senior left wing Eli Verdun (CHS) and sophomore right wing Zach Fagin (CHS), senior Melanie Conca and freshman star Rocco Albanese.

The South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education unanimously approved the co-op ice hockey program for players from Columbia High School and Nutley High School in May 2017. The “Nut-Map-SO” team practices and hosts home games at the Codey Arena in West Orange — located about mid-way between the two schools.

The Nutley/CHS team could end up vying for the 2019 McMullen Cup in mid-February at Codey Arena in West Orange.

As the Number One Seed with a 7-0-1 record the conference, Nutley/CHS has a first-round bye in the NJIIHL playoffs. They will play in the semi-finals Monday, February 11 at 4:15 p.m. at Codey Arena in West Orange against an opponent TBD in the first round. If they win that round, the team advances to the Championship Final on Saturday, February 16 at 8 p.m. at Codey Arena. The winner of that game is awarded the McMullen Cup.
Fans can also catch the team in two more regular season games this weekend (both non-conference): Friday, February 1 at 6:45 p.m. vs West Essex at Codey Arena, and Saturday, February 2 at 7:45 p.m. vs Whippany Park.

Read more about the formation of the Nutley/CHS Ice Hockey team here:

Hockey Comes to Columbia High School in Joint Program With Nutley, May 2017

‘NutMapSO’ High School Hockey Program Gets NJSIAA Approval, June 2017

Photos courtesy of Eric Gonon:
#24 CHS sophomore Zach Fagin takes a shot on goal
#23 CHS senior captain Eli Verdun shoots & scores against Dayton. Verdun leads the team in scoring with 17 goals and 9 assists.
Junior Goalie Johnny Matrona leads the state in shutouts with six on the season
#18 junior Chase Nicolette scores against Johnson
Nutley-Columbia celebrates a goal.

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