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Boys Prep: Holt Conference Preview – Defending champs Worcester Academy expect stiff challenge

Anthony Toto
Hebron

HEBRON (6-21-0)

There will be plenty of new faces in the lineup for the Lumberjacks so leadership from those who did return will be vital in both ends of the ice.

Junior Spencer Ryall (17 pts) will be a key player up front for coach Casey Ftorek. New junior Joe Bevere and junior Thomas Levesseur should have key roles.

Dan McHugh
Hebron

A pair of seniors – Anthony Toto and Nick Bisson (11 pts) will be cornerstones of the Hebron blue line crew. Two new juniors – Dan McHugh and Shane Alexander – will be looked upon to contribute right away.

A starting goaltender will be culled from preseason practices.

Finn Murray
NYA

NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY (10-16-2)

New head coach Mike Warde, formerly at Bridgton Academy,  takes over for the Panthers this winter. He stresses that team chemistry will be a big factor on how the team fares.

The NYA offense will be built around the senior tandem of Ryan Baker and Finn Murray. Senior Josh Soucy will be the anchor of the defensive unit.

In goal, the Panthers have returning senior Xander Kostelnik and newcomer Stefan Kulhanek, who hails from Austria.

Alex Suny
Pingree

PINGREE (12-14-1)

A nice crew returns for the Highlanders, who lost only three bodies to graduation, and starting goalie Shea Grant to juniors. A successful season can occur if there is consistency up and down the lineup.

Christian Dimeglio
Pingree

The bulk of last year’s scoring prowess returns up front, led by senior Vito Visconti (28 pts) senior Matt Hulse (18 pts), and juniors Christian Dimeglio (28 pts), Brendan Driscoll (25 pts) and Paul Duffy (19 pts). New sophomore Hazen Pike adds firepower to the forward lines.

Senior veteran Alex Suny (20 pts) will be a true leader on defense for coach Chris Connolly. Also returning to the group are senior Tyler McGoldrick and junior John Crehan. New sophomore Kyle Collins will fight for a key role.

Last year’s backup in goal – junior Henry Cabot – will be joined in the goaltending department by new sophomore Cam Brown.

Curtis Birthwright
Portsmouth Abbey

PORTSMOUTH ABBEY (7-20-2)

The Ravens will be young again this winter, but still look to continue making positive progress.

Junior Will Crowley (27 pts) and junior Dean Simeone (10 pts) will drive the offense for coach Allie Skelley. A promising freshman hoping to crack the lineup will be John O’Hoins.

Rugged senior Curtis Birthwright (12 pts) will be a key on defense, and contribute offensively. Junior Josh Plumb is back as well and will log key minutes.

Veteran goalie Jake Horoho has graduated, leaving a battle for the starting goaltender’s job.

Avery Riva
Worcester Academy

WORCESTER ACADEMY (19-7-2)

With a good returning nucleus, coupled with a talented incoming class, the Hilltoppers look to build off of last year’s success, where they won the Holt Conference.

Coach Bob Lavin will rely on returning seniors Jake Hughes (53 pts) and Kevin Cafeo (35 pts), along with junior Rory White (20 pts), to continue putting up impressive numbers in the offense department. Post-grad Griffin Barrier, junior Avery Riva and sophomore Atticus Roop all join the offensive group.

Junior Joe Morgan (14 pts) is a key blueline back for Worcester. Post-grads Ryan McGowan and Gus Butler bring loads of experience to the back line. Freshman Ryan Prewitt looks for a role.

Star goalie Nathan Pickett has graduated, so a pre-season goalie competition will result in this year’s starter.

KINGSWOOD (5-13-0)

After a year of learning new systems from a new coach, this year’s Wyverns are familiar with the style of play and expectations for coach John Hissick. “We expect to compete for every puck and in every game,” he said.

Expect senior Garth Swanson, a captain and last year’s team MVP, to be an offensive leader. Sophomore Keifer Jaffee is another solid returning forward. New freshman Sean Gilland looks for a role.

Senior Jack Goa is a tough blue liner. The goaltending will come from returning junior John McLaughlin and freshman Arthur Smith.

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
- 6 hours ago