The Smoke Signal

Park Ridge finishes first season as member of ice hockey team

Two brothers only PR students to join; team hoping for more in the future

PV%2FPH%2FPR+hockey+players+celebrate+during+a+game+from+this+past+season.+Park+Ridge+students+joined+Pascack+Hills+and+Pascack+Valley+on+the+team+for+the+first+time+this+past+season.+
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Park Ridge finishes first season as member of ice hockey team

PV/PH/PR hockey players celebrate during a game from this past season. Park Ridge students joined Pascack Hills and Pascack Valley on the team for the first time this past season.

PV/PH/PR hockey players celebrate during a game from this past season. Park Ridge students joined Pascack Hills and Pascack Valley on the team for the first time this past season.

Contributed by Alan Stepanov

PV/PH/PR hockey players celebrate during a game from this past season. Park Ridge students joined Pascack Hills and Pascack Valley on the team for the first time this past season.

Contributed by Alan Stepanov

Contributed by Alan Stepanov

PV/PH/PR hockey players celebrate during a game from this past season. Park Ridge students joined Pascack Hills and Pascack Valley on the team for the first time this past season.

Alan Stepanov, Sports Writer

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The Pascack Valley ice hockey team has been made up of two schools, Pascack Valley and Pascack Hills, since its establishment in 1999. The two schools make up the Pascack Valley Regional High School District. This past season, however, the hockey team included players from nearby Park Ridge High School for the very first time. The team was known as the PV/PH/PR ice hockey team.

“Hockey is allowed to have three schools on one team and Park Ridge approached Pascack Valley asking if we’d be willing to allow them to come into our team,” said Pascack Valley Athletic Director Shawn Buchanan. “They had a couple players that were expressing interest, and so our school worked with them to get approved by the state.”

This wasn’t the first time that the idea had been discussed. PV/PH/PR coach Ken DelSanto attempted to have Park Ridge join the hockey program about 5 years ago, but he said that his request was denied by the NJSIAA over concerns that the team was trying to gain a competitive edge.

It was not until almost a year ago that the state approved the addition of Park Ridge due to the fact that other teams in New Jersey were allowed to have players from three different schools.   

Although only two players from Park Ridge joined, both certainly made their presence felt on the ice this past season. Adam Antal, a senior forward, and his brother Daniel, a freshman goalie, each put forth productive campaigns for the sub .500 club. Adam scored 26 goals and tallied 6 assists for a total of 32 points in 16 games, while Daniel made 272 saves on 310 shots over the course of the season. DelSanto described them both as “very talented players” that helped the team on the ice.

DelSanto also added that the team was successful in getting the Park Ridge community involved.

“In terms of getting the Park Ridge community involved, yes it was successful,” he said. “The Park Ridge [athletic director] got heavily involved, and the student body got involved, and it was good to see Park Ridge get excited about having hockey in their school district.”

Buchanan believed that this initial season for Park Ridge was successful, but he would like to see more than two Park Ridge students come out for the hockey team.

“It was wonderful to get them involved, they helped us tremendously with transportation and it was just a nice addition to give the players a chance for them to compete for a high school team,” he said.

DelSanto said that having a close knit team is a critical in a sport like hockey, so continuing to build towards that will be an important emphasis going forward.  

“An important aspect of hockey is that family feeling that the players get, so I’d like to build more of a family mentality between the three schools,” he said. “Despite us all wearing different colors individually, we come together and wear one color on the hockey team, and I think that’s kind of cool.”

Although the team didn’t win the majority of their games this season, going 7-14-3, PV/PH/PR will look to improve next season. With 12 seniors set to graduate, many of the younger players will step into larger roles, but this transition may become a bit easier with three schools now on the team.

“[Park Ridge will] be with us as long as the state and…the two boards of education, Pascack Valley Regional District, and Park Ridge…continue to approve it,” Buchanan said.  

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Park Ridge finishes first season as member of ice hockey team