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Holt Conference Preview: Hoosac looks to repeat at the top

Defending Holt Conference champion Hoosac School (14-16-0) should have some great depth at forward this season. The Owls also welcome a new head coach in Brett Heigl.

Killian Shea-Smith
Hoosac

Post-grads William Daniel (28 pts) and Alex Demin (16 pts) return to the squad up front and are primed for big seasons. Senior Jacob Desjardins and junior Simon Delden look to contribute in a bigger way. New post-grad Luca Ragosta and senior Austan Bellefeuille come if ready to go.

Defensively, new senior Richard Colarusso and junior Antoine Lefebvre and Killian Shea Smith will be asked to keep opposing forwards honest.

Senior Olivier Lacroix is a returning netminder for the Owls hoping to take over as the lead guy between the pipes.

It is nowhere to go but up for Kingswood Oxford (0-18-0). The Wyverns were very young last year with just one senior and are in a rebuilding mode.

Coach John Hissick looks forward to the task at hand. With the elimination of the on-campus rink,  Kingswood will play home games this year at the Newington Arena.

Players looked upon to lead the resurgence this season will be senior defenseman Colin Regan, junior defenseman Jack Gao and junior former Garth Swanson.

A team on the upswing is North Yarmouth Academy (10-16-1) where the Panthers will blend in some new faces that will add depth to the lineup.

Brendan Rickett
NYA

Reese Farrell
NYA

Joe Strabley
NYA

Coach Tyler Walsh will lean heavily on returning seniors Brennan Flatt (15 pts) and Brent Rickett (18 pts) and junior Reese Farrell (18 pts) to provide the necessary leadership in the forward ranks. New junior Julien Rudolph and sophomore Jared Buckner will give the team two more scoring options.

Junior Joe Strabley is a key holdover defenseman. He will get help from new junior Jasper Sanders and sophomore Mason Parks.

The Panthers will have a pair of strong goaltenders to go to in returner Xander Kostelnik, junior, and newcomer Max Cichanowicz, also a junior.

With a bevy of talented younger players, don’t be surprised to see Pingree (13-16-0) take a step up this winter.

Senior Sean O’Connell (44 pts) was a premier playmaker last season and should continue for the upcoming campaign. Also back for coach Chris Connolly are senior Brendan Parent, junior Vito Visconti and sophomores Christian Dimeglio and Paul Duffy. Two newcomers to watch are sophomore Brendan Driscoll and Willie Halecki.

Sean O’Connell
Pingree

Christian Dimeglio
Pingree

Kyle Emery
Pingree

Senior Kyle Emery and junior Alex Suny are the keys on the blue line for the Highlanders.

In goal, sophomore Sean Grant, who saw some quality minutes last season, is primed to take over the top spot between the pipes.

Curtis Birthwright
Portsmouth Abbey

Despite only graduating three players from last season, Portsmouth Abbey (9-15-2) will still be young, with as many as 12 freshmen vying for varsity spots.

A senior, Dan Sliney, will be the leader up front for coach Allie Skelley coming off a 40-point season. Sophomore Dean Simeone (10 goals) will be key as well. Senior Matt McKenna and junior Jake Tivey could see time both up front and on defense. New sophomore Will Crowley looks to contribute.

Leading a young defense will be junior Curtis Birthwright. The Ravens will have strength in goal with the return of senior jake Horoho.

Mitch Pelletier
Worcester Academy

Worcester Academy (11-16-0) is excited to play this season in a new home – Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center. That should energize the Hilltoppers who will be a hard-working team.

Goal scoring will need to come from senior Mitch Pelletier (21 goals) and junior Jake Hughes (32 pts), both coming off solid years. Post-grad Matt Schreiner will be an added plus in the attack.

Returning Holt Conference First Team All Star Patrick Lavin (27 pts) gives the Hilltoppers a mainstay on the blue line. Look for post-grad Sean Dunphy to have a key role as well.

Coach Bob Lavin also returns a seasoned goaltender in senior Nathan Pickett.

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 25 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.
Gary Demopoulos
- 27 mins ago