For Hillsborough High School, it was a tough ending to the best ice hockey season in program history.
On March 4 at the Prudential Center in Newark, Hillsborough lost to Morris Knolls High School, 6-1, in the NJSIAA Public A championship game.
But reaching the Public A title game was an accomplishment in itself. Hillsborough had never done it before.
The Raiders earned the No. 1 seed in the Public A tournament and reached the championship by scoring a slew of goals. In their first 28 games, the Raiders scored almost six goals per contest. Juniors Jude Kurtas (56 goals, 55 assists) and Jason Wolff (36 goals, 43 assists) combined for 92 goals and 98 assists.
They even connected on Hillsborough’s only goal in the title game, with Wolff assisting on Kurtas’ goal in the second period. But that was all they could muster against Morris Knolls.
Hillsborough should be able to build on its program best campaign next winter. Most of its key players will be back.
Kurtas, though, probably won’t be. He has already signed a tender contract with the Maryland Black Bears of the North American Hockey League, a junior league that feeds into a higher junior league, the United States Hockey League, and collegiate programs.