Nutley–Columbia–Bloomfield HS ice hockey team has good returning nucleus

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — The Nutley High School ice hockey team, which is also a co-op with Columbia High School and Bloomfield, will begin the season on Friday, Dec. 8, against Verona–Glen Ridge at Richard J. Codey Arena in West Orange at 8:30 p.m.

Under fourth-year head coach Dave Macri, Nutley has a  good group of returning players, led by junior forward Alex Benkert, a Bloomfield player who scored 33 goals and added 25 assists, both team-highs, last season, when the team finished 4-14-4 overall (2-7-3 in the New Jersey Interscholastic Ice Hockey League–Kelly Division). 

Senior captain Tommy Devlin and senior alternate Mallory Albanese are four-year players who will lead the defense.

Also returning are center Christian Sherman and wing Angelo Albanese, who had strong seasons as freshmen last year. Sherman had 15 goals and 22 assists, while Albanese recorded 13 goals and 21 assists.

In net, the Raiders will need to replace 2023 graduate Victoria Rutnick, who started the last two years and is continuing her career at Long Island University. This year’s goalies are junior Zac Calveric, a transfer from Seton Hall Prep in West Orange; senior George Dietrich, sophomore Aiden Rosamilia and freshman Alex Madsden.

Seniors Benjamin Prudencio, Gavin Waldron and Molly Mendoza; juniors Liam Madsen, Max Bednarz and Daniel Legera; sophomores Dominic Searls, Oliver Penalber and Daniel Kopcha; and freshmen James Pecoraro, William Jacquin, Ryan Coon, Trevor Romanowski and John Paul Poplawski are other players looking to be in the mix.


  • Dec. 8: vs. Verona/Glen Ridge, 8:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 9: vs. Mount Olive, 7:45 p.m.
  • Dec. 13: at Montclair (Clary Anderson Arena), 4:15 p.m.
  • Dec. 15: vs. Scotch Plains-Fanwood, 8 p.m.
  • Dec. 17: at The Frisch School (Mackay Ice Rink, Englewood), 4:45 p.m.
  • Dec. 18: vs. Mendham, 8 p.m.
  • Dec. 20: vs. Park Regional, 6:15 p.m.
  • Dec. 23: vs. West Orange, 3 p.m.
  • Dec. 28: vs. Montclair, 3:45 p.m.
  • Dec. 30: at Newton (Skylands Ice World, in Stockholm), 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 6: vs. Lakeland, 3:45 p.m.
  • Jan. 7: vs. Glen Rock, 5:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 12: vs. Oratory Prep, 6:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 14: at Cranford (Warinanco Park, in Roselle), 5:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 15: vs. Vernon, 8 p.m.
  • Jan. 20: vs. Oratory Prep, 5:45 p.m.
  • Jan. 21: vs. Verona–Glen Ridge, 5:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 23: at Scotch Plains–Fanwood (Warinanco Park)
  • Jan. 26: vs. Millburn, 8 p.m.
  • Jan. 27: vs. Lacey, 3:45 p.m.
  • Jan. 29: vs. Glen Rock, 8 p.m.
  • Feb. 2: at Oratory Prep (Union Sports Arena), 8 p.m.
  • Feb. 3: vs. Hoboken, 5:45 p.m.
  • Feb. 4: vs. The Frisch School, 7:30 p.m.