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Ice Hockey Team Clinches the Cohen Cup!

Ice Hockey Team Clinches the Cohen Cup!

As they huddled in Codey Arena’s locker room before a nail-biting overtime in South Orange last Thursday, the Varsity Ice Hockey Team (11-4) experienced a bit of déjà vu. Like last year, they had fought their way to the finals of the Cohen Cup, and victory was tantalizingly within reach. Whereas last year they succumbed to Immaculate Heart Academy, this year felt different. 

They were the #2 seed entering the Cup, in which all five teams in the Cohen Division of the New Jersey Interscholastic Ice Hockey League (NJIIHL) compete. And they had just defeated Trinity Hall in the semifinals, a team that bested them twice earlier in the season. In the finals, they were facing top-seed Summit High School, which they had topped twice already this season. What’s more, in late January, they secured a surprise victory over Oak Knoll, a team in NJIIHL’s more competitive Upper Division. 

All in all, they were feeling confident. But Assistant Coach Casey Caprio sensed it was going to come down to who wanted the win more. As they gathered with their teammates in the locker room before their final overtime push, captains Charlotte Cote ’24, Sophia Builione ’24, and Morgan Reis ’25 knew it, too.

“We told the team that we just had to keep the pressure on and keep working hard so that when a mistake was made, we could capitalize on it,” recalls goaltender Charlotte, who had 27 blocks in the game. 

With only 73 seconds left in overtime, connecting on a perfect pass from Molly Brozowski ’26, Ava Builione ’26 found the back of the net for a euphoric 3-2 victory. Molly also scored the game’s first goal, followed up with a goal by Hayden Mulligan ’27.

“It was exhilarating to see all of our hard work pay off in that moment,” recalls Ava, who earned tournament MVP thanks to her efforts. “Since I came to Kent Place in fifth grade, I have always looked up to the girls on the Ice Hockey Team. This year's team is a very supportive group of girls, and our tight-knit culture has allowed us to push each other to become the best players we can be.” 

“It was a great team win,” adds Assistant Coach Caprio. “It really took every single one of our 19 players and a lot of mental fortitude to stay in a game that was over two hours long. We have played exceptionally well this year with our backs up against the wall. I’m so proud of how they were able to flip that switch together and say, ‘It’s go time.’” 

With three days a week of ice time at the Prudential Center’s practice arena, the girls benefit from two days a week of team-building activities, notes Assistant Coach Caprio, plus bus time to and from Newark. That extra off-ice bonding time, she feels, keeps the team especially close. 

On Wednesday, with a six-game winning streak at their backs, they earned a decisive 4-0 win over #10 seed Madison High School in the first round of the NJSIAA State Tournament. Seeded #7, they will face #2 seed Princeton Day School on Monday. And if all goes well, they might just get their shot at the finals, which will take place at the Prudential Center on March 4. 

No matter the outcome, a promising future awaits the Dragons. Starting next year, ice hockey will become New Jersey’s 34th fully sanctioned high school sport, which means a more structured, consistent competition schedule, with competition likely to grow. The team is ready.  

“The win was really big for us as a team,” says Charlotte. “It solidifies the idea for us that we can compete with any team in the state, and it's a great confidence booster as we head into the state tournament.”

The 2023–2024 Varsity Ice Hockey Team: Kaitlin Andersen ’26, Molly Brozowski ’26, Ava Builione ’26, Sophia Builione ’26, Jane Cepeda ’26, Remy Cinquino ’27, Anna Kate Collins ’27, Charlotte Cote ’24, Meredith Cote ’27, Chelsea Cui ’25, Sophie Ewart ’26, Cindy Fan ’25, Libby Franklin ’26, Caroline Gilbert ’27, Erin Kim ’27, Hayden Mulligan ’27, Morgan Reis ’25, Brooke Rosely ’26, and Sylvia Ross ’26