Three high schools — Woodbridge, Colonia and John F. Kennedy Memorial in Iselin — blended into one ice hockey team that fell a victory shy of winning a state championship.
This season, those three schools formed the Woodbridge Township team that skated through the state tournament by picking off higher-seeded squads.
The magical run of Woodbridge Township, which was seeded ninth, was finally stopped when it was defeated by second-seeded Hunterdon Central Regional High School, 5-1, in the NJSIAA Public A state championship game that was played on March 5 at the Prudential Center in Newark.
Woodbridge Township fell behind early by two goals but cut its deficit to 2-1 when Travis Beni connected on a power-play goal with 4:52 to play in the first period.
But that was all the scoring Woodbridge Township could muster against Hunterdon Central goalie Noah Dominick, who finished with 14 saves.
Hunterdon Central was then able to secure the program’s first state championship with a goal in the second period and two more in the third period.
Adam Godfrey recorded 18 saves to keep Woodbridge Township alive in the final.
Woodbridge Township finished its season with a 21-5-1 record.
That season was extended when Woodbridge Township first knocked off the eighth-seeded team, Clifton High School, 3-0, in the first round of the Public A state tournament. Then came the upset of the bracket when Woodbridge Township shocked top-seeded Montclair High School, 4-3, in the quarterfinals.
Woodbridge Township kept its ride going with a 3-2 victory over fifth-seeded Marlboro High School in the semifinals.
In the other results during the state championships that were all played on March 5 at the Prudential Center, Delbarton School edged Don Bosco Preparatory High School, 4-2, in the Non-Public title game; Northern Highlands Regional High School trimmed Randolph High School, 1-0, in the Public B final; and Summit High School shut out Chatham High School, 3-0, in the Public C championship game.