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Boys Prep East Independents: Cushing, Dexter will be in the mix

A strong nucleus on defense and in goal will be a strength of this year’s Cushing (21-11-2) squad. Coach Rob Gagnon anticipates having some good depth throughout the roster, which should be an advantage.

The Penguins suffered some losses up front, but still have a solid returning group that will put the puck in the net, led by seniors Ashton Fry (29 pts), Alex Andreucci (17 pts) and Dakota Mulcay (10 pts). Juniors Vilho Saariluoma (17 pts) and Matt Guerra (12 pts) will have increased roles offensively. Three post-grads ready to help are Cam Walter, Joey Ansaldo and Garrett Devine.

Cam Berube Cushing

Cam Berube
Cushing

Cam Walter Cushing

Cam Walter
Cushing

Nolan McElhaney Cushing

Nolan McElhaney
Cushing

Joey Ansaldo Cushing

Joey Ansaldo
Cushing

Coach Gagnon welcomes back no less than four junior blueliners in Nolan McElhaney, Cam Berube, Noah Kim and Patrick Neiswender, all of who saw quality time a year ago. Senior Matt Hammel is another defensive returnee. Incoming sophomore Patrick Keegan has already committed to Wisconsin.

In the nets, Cushing returns senior Joey Halstrom, who saw almost every minute in goal, and sophomore Andrew Engel.

Sean Keohane Dexter

Sean Keohane
Dexter

Despite being young, expect Dexter (17-7-2) to be very competitive, especially if they can get strong goaltending.

Jack Rathbone Dexter

Jack Rathbone
Dexter

Senior John Femia (20 pts) and junior Jack Nisbet (22 pts) will be called upon heavily to lead the offense. Newcomer Ian Murphy should have a big role.

Defense will be strong with senior Sean Keohane (Dartmouth commit) and junior Jack Rathbone (26 pts, Harvard commit) anchoring the blue line. A youngster to watch is Kevin Mackay.

Senior Aidan Murphy was a workhorse last winter in goal for Dexter.

New head coach Casey Ftorek has strengthened the schedule at Hebron (12-14-2) and will have a host of new faces on the roster.

The Lumberjacks do return some talent up front with seniors Philippe Gilmour (29 pts), Matthew Meikle (19 pts), Walterri Rannisto (28 pts) and Erik Friberg (17 pts), and junior Brian Tobin (15 pts) all back. They will be joined by new senior Garret Brennan, juniors Luke Grainger and Corbin Cashman, and sophomore Declan Dennehy.

Junior Sean Kimura (18 pts) is a solid leader on the blue line. New junior Jonathan Schmidt will be a key cog.

New senior Filip Johannsen, from Sweden, will battle in camp for the starting goaltender’s job.

Sean Kimura Hebron

Sean Kimura
Hebron

Jonathan Schmidt Hebron

Jonathan Schmidt
Hebron

Philippe Gilmour Hebron

Philippe Gilmour
Hebron

It will be a rebuilding year at Kents Hill (16-12-3), where the Huskies lost 16 players to graduation.

Returning up front for coach Doug Friedman are post-grad Cody Stockford and seniors Clay Ellerbrock, Nils Janson, Nicho Savignac and Justin Taylor. New senior LC Lemay and juniors Frank Vitucci and Nicholas Garneau will be key additions.

Jared Valade Kents Hill

Jared Valade
Kents Hill

Clay Ellerbrock Kents Hill

Clay Ellerbrock
Kents Hill

Jaxon Friedman Kents Hill

Jaxon Friedman
Kents Hill

Several new blue liners will dot the roster, highlighted by the junior group of Jared Valade, Olivier Lemire, Etienne Crousle and Erik Throndson., and sophomore Gavin Bates.

Junior Jaxon Friedman and new senior Alex Toueg will handle the goaltending for the Huskies.

Jack Cusack Phillips Andover

Jack Cusack
Phillips Andover

Kyle Martin Phillips Andover

Kyle Martin
Phillips Andover

Jonny Edelson Phillips Andover

Jonny Edelson
Phillips Andover

Added depth and speed could mean some more victories this season for Phillips Andover (9-18-1) and second-year coach Paul Tortorella.

Seniors Kevin Kastholm and Jonny Edelson, along with junior Jack Cusack, will be key returners at forward for the Big Blue. The group will be bolstered with the arrival of post-grads Kyle Lynch and Alec Robitaille, juniors Cole Quisenberry and Quinn Doyle, and sophomores Sawyer Moody and Christian Powers.

Senior Jack Legler, who missed all of last season with an injury, is back on defense. Post-grads Danny McGrath and Brendan Ryan will be keys. Junior newcomer Bryce Murphy, sophomore Carter Giampietro and freshman Joe Moffitt will look for minutes.

Post-grad Kyle Martin will a solid addition in goal for Andover. Freshman Charlie Archer will press for time.

Having to replace five graduated defensemen will be a top priority at Phillips Exeter (27-4-1), which will have its usual deep lineup at forward.

Up front, senior captains Brad Ingersoll and Colin Shapiro, along with Matt McShea, Noah Maercklin and Ryan Moore all return for coach Dana Barbin, as do junior Sam Stone and sophomores Hunter McCoy, Garrett Foster and Paddy Bogart. Post-grad Tim Kalinowski and new juniors Kyle Jodatz, Bobby Murray and Connor Shannon look to crack the lineup.

Tim Kalinowski Phillips Exeter

Tim Kalinowski
Phillips Exeter

Paul MacDonald Phillips Exeter

Paul MacDonald
Phillips Exeter

Sam Twombley Phillips Exeter

Sam Twombley
Phillips Exeter

Ryan Moore Phillips Exeter

Ryan Moore
Phillips Exeter

Seniors Graham Rutledge (captain), Paul MacDonald and Greg Shapiro do return as defensemen, joined by newcomers Sam Twombley (post-grad), and junior Cam Speck.

Fighting for the starting goaltender’s job will be senior holdover Nick Moore and freshman Ryan Welch.

Tabor (18-12-0) graduated a strong senior class, so there is plenty of opportunity for many new young players to fill the holes.

Coach Gerry Dineen does have a trio of senior forwards to rely on in Jay Cote (Vermont commit), Ed Hannon and Jeremy Brassard.

Seniors Brendan Reynolds and Brendan Case will have big roles on the Seawolves blue line, in front or returning senior goaltender Jeremy Forget, a returning starter.

Dineen reports that he has a host of new players in the program, many of whom should have immediate impacts.

John Mulera Winchendon

John Mulera
Winchendon

Good team speed will be a plus for Winchendon (9-12-6) as the Wapiti look to crack the .500 mark.

Coach Jarrett Sampson will have no less than three Division I commits in the forward ranks in junior Matthew Fawcett (38 pts, Quinnipiac), and seniors Ben Thomas (29 pts, Union) and Johnny Mulera (30 pts, Providence). Junior Mike Hardman produced 21 points last winter. Two newcomers ready to contribute are Cam Gendron and Justin Alves.

Senior veteran Brian Scoville will anchor the defense for Winchendon. Senior Brandon Graf saw considerable time in goal last winter and returns.

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 30 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Daily Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for Mens Prep School hockey since 1988, as well as womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. for almost 20 years. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.
Gary Demopoulos
- 51 mins ago