Expect both Cushing and Dexter Southfield to be strong once again from the East region. Both Phillips Exeter and Phillips Andover have a lot of scoring to replace.
Home Rink: Dover Ice Arena
The Bulldogs won’t have the depth they have had in the past, so they will need to avoid injury, play solid team defense and get some balanced scoring.
Coach Jeoff Jarnot will have a solid threesome to lead the offensive attack in senior Tyler Gaulin (36 pts), senior Chris Dowd (27 pts) and senior Carson James (24 pts). Other keys back up front are junior Paddy Condon and sophomore Brock James. New junior Mason Alderson-Biddulph, a member of the Great Britain U20 National Team, will be an intriguing player. New sophomore Nick McSorley is ready to be an immediate contributor.
Veteran seniors Connor Derby (16 pts) and Michael O’Brien (13 pts) will anchor the Berwick defense. In goal, senior Alex Ramsey, who logged the vast majority of minutes between the pipes last season, returns to the lineup.
Home Rink: Iorio Arena
The majority of the roster returns for the Penguins, who lose just five seniors from a club that reached the Large School championship game. Top scorer Nick Cafarelli, who would have been a senior, did move on to the BCHL as well. This is a team with a ton of potential.
Up front, coach Steve Jacobs has a lot of options. Seniors Jacob Banks (27 pts), Connor Wood (26 pts), Max Dorrington (17 pts), Max Bogdanovich (17 pts – Maine commit) and Shane Zarcone (16 pts), and juniors Jake Hewitt (29 pts – West Point commit) and Billy Norcross (15 pts – Boston College commit) are all back and ready for big seasons. Adding to the arsenal will be new juniors Nick Rheaume, C.J. Zezima and Caleb Bogdanovich, sophomores Jack Faller and Rob Barletta and freshman Cam Lund.
A quartet of blue liners return in seniors Tim Kippenberger and Charlie McFadden and juniors Lukas Gustafsson (15 pts – Boston College commit) and Cody Sealey (16 pts). New freshman Owen Paskowski has already committed to Colorado College. A pair of other defensive talents new to Cushing are Nolan Hayes an junior Rocco Seery.
Workhorse netminder Joe Sharib has graduated (now with the Tri-City Storm in the USHL). Senior Pat Aalto and junior Rio Kaufmann are both back. A pair of young goaltenders – sophomore Colin Ronan and freshman Jackson Irving – join the program.
DEXTER SOUTHFIELD (22-4-2)
Home Rink: Dexter Southfield Athletic Arena
This club has made four trips to the Elite 8 Tournament in the last five seasons and the goal is to continue that success. Great depth will be a factor.
Although last year’s top scorer, Chase McInnis, has moved on to the BCHL, coach Dan Donato has a lot of talent in his offensive arsenal. Senior Aidan Connolly (31 pts – Sacred Heart recruit) and junior Ben Raymond (30 pts – Colgate) are both back, as is senior Johnny McElaney, a Colby recruit who missed almost half of last season with injury but averaged more than a point-per-game when in the lineup. Senior Jack Dempsey and juniors Doug Grimes and Connor Blanchard all had solid first seasons last winter. Sophomore Culin Wilson is coming off an impressive 29-point freshman campaign. Newcomers Matt Copponi and Bobby Landry will look to chip in.
On the blue line, seniors Mikey Adamson (UMass-Amherst commit) and John Fusco (Harvard commit) will be vital to any success.
Dexter did graduate blue-chip goalie Derek Mullahy (now with Cedar Rapids of the USHL). Highly-regarded newcomer Dylan Sylverstein, a freshman, moves into the position.
Home Rink: Robinson Arena
Last year’s assistant, Jack O’Brien, ascends to the head coach’s job for the upcoming season. He is expecting some pretty good depth this winter, which will help the team push the pace of play.
The Lumberjacks lost their top four scorers from a year ago and will depend heavily on returners like seniors Trevor Tardanico, Anthony LeBlanc, Thomas Levasseur and EJ Madlangsakay, and junior Jakob Lundstrom. Post-grad Jimmy Kosiarski should provide an immediate boost to the offense.
Seniors Shayne Alexander and Dan McHugh and juniors Sam Tetreault and Simon-Charles Laferriere bring some solid experience to the Hebron blue line. Newcomer Ryan Bridgwood adds some nice depth.
Post-grad Ben Hathaway, who played at Hebron last year, returns ready to handle the bulk of the goaltending chores.
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KENTS HILL (13-12-3)
Home Rink: Bonnefond Ice Arena
Getting a host of new players on the same page will be vital to any success the Huskies have this season. Coach Larry Cockrell says it is fortunate the Huskies have a strong core returning that will help ease that transition.
A quartet of returning senior forwards that bring their experience includes Miles Kirby (11 pts), Ryan Munzing (9 pts), Justin Harshaw and Joey Lalonde Rioux. Post-grad forwards Ryan Nolte, who led Canton to a D2 state title in Massachusetts HS Hockey, and Graham Hassan will have key roles. Post-grad Jatan Desai and senior Nolan Cunningham will be defensive anchors in front of returning starting goalie Max Macchioni, a senior.
A host of newcomers looking to contribute are juniors Maxine Beauchamp, Hunter Beriault, Youssef Chaouachi, Hans Dres, Chase Gaudioso, Jake Harshman and Dominik Bovan, and junior Joe Gillett.
PHILLIPS ANDOVER (16-12-1)
Home Rink: Phillips Academy Ice Rink
A truckload of talent has arrived to supplement a solid returning nucleus. It has coach Paul Tortorella optimistic about the upcoming season.
The Big Blue did graduate their top five scorers from a year ago so will lean heavily on senior Dawson Arkell, junior Charlie Hocevar (14 pts) and sophomore William Hughes (20 pts) to be leaders. They will groom a new group that features post-grads Dapa Conneely and Colin Marks, juniors Drew Malatesta and Mojmir Petras (from Slovakia), sophomores Nick Royster and Patrick Last, and freshmen Will Winemaster and Joey Zheng.
On the blue line, seniors Mike Gallagher and Ray Galasso (injured for much of last year) and junior Charlie Spence (17 pts) will be the nucleus, joined by post-grads Matt Skobelev and Zacharie Georges (from Switzerland), and sophomores Sawyer Paul and Christian Ivancich.
Senior goalie Charlie Archer played just about every minute in the Andover goal a year ago and returns. Sophomore Shane Shelest will press for time.
PHILLIPS EXETER (19-10-2)
Home Rink: Phillips Exeter Academy Rink
With four of their top five scorers having graduated, the Big Red will need to have some guys step up and deliver. Defensively, Exeter projects to be tough with an older group, including four-year starter Ryan Welch in goal.
Senior tri-captains Danny Colon (32 pts) sand Reese Ramirez (16 pts) will be offensive leaders for coach Dana Barbin, who will look for production from returners like seniors Tom Yang and Ryan Loring, junior Tommy Gannon and sophomores Kurt Gurkin and Jake Shapiro. Post-grad Tom Chmielewski will be a big presence, while new junior Michael Young and sophomore Charlie McGurrin should contribute.
On defense, senior Noah Jankowski, a forward last year, will transition to the blue line and see a lot of time. The group will include post-grads Jack Simon, P.J. Donahue and Luke Mix, three of the top D-men from the Mass. HS ranks last winter, along with junior Sylas Oberting, a first team NH all-stater a year ago.
Tri-captain Welch was a workhorse in goal last winter for Exeter, logging 1,709 minutes.
Home Rink: Jason Ritchie ’05 Ice Arena
Good team defense and good chemistry between returning players and newcomers could play a key role in the success of the Wapiti this winter.
Heading up the returning cast at forward for second-year coach Brian Troy are senior Danny Cavanagh (19 pts) and the junior trio of Jake Black (11 pts), Paden Hicks (10 pts) and Nolan McDonough.
Senior Niklas Aropelto will be a fixture on defense for Winchendon. The group will be shored up with a solid group of newcomers including post-grad Kevin Buckley and juniors Matt Gallagher, Will Cohen and Jon Barker.
Senior Max Caouette, who saw the majority of action last winter, is back in goal.