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Boys Prep Hockey: East Independents – Dexter Southfield, Cushing, Exeter could be Elite

Tyler Gaulin
Berwick

BERWICK (9-18-4)

Almost half of last year’s club has moved on, so there will be some new faces on the Bulldogs roster this winter as they embark on a tough schedule. “I look forward to seeing this group come together,” said Berwick coach Jeoff Jarnot. “We have had more depth in past years, but we’ve never had this sort of talent at the top of our roster. If our most skilled players develop into leaders, this could be a fun year.”

Junior Tyler Gaulin (31 pts) will spearhead the offensive attack with a lot of help from junior Chris Dowd (16 pts). New junior Carson James should fit in, and can play some defense as well.

Joe Sharib
Cushing

Senior Cole Hernon and junior Connor Derby (10 pts) are vital to the success on the blue line. New junior Mike O’Brien will plug in wherever needed.

In goal, highly-regarded junior Alex Ramsay is primed to take over the #1 job full-time this winter.

Pat Keegan
Cushing

CUSHING (22-9-1)

The Penguins lost five of their top six scorers from a team that reached the New England Elite Tournament field last winter. Coach Steve Jacobs says he has a promising offense but they will need to replace 75 goals from graduating players.

That job will fall on a trio of returning forwards, each of whom contributed in a big way last season as well, in senior Pat Borella (31 pts), junior Connor Wood (13 pts) and sophomore Jake Hewitt (19 pts). An impressive group of newcomers is led by senior Max Bogdanovich,  a Maine commit, and juniors Nick Cafarelli and Jacob Banks.

Wisconsin recruit Patrick Keegan (13 pts) is back on the blue line for the Penguins, as is senior Brad Zona (10 pts). Bringing his talents to that group will be sophomore Bryce Montgomery, already a Providence commit.

Johnny McElaney
Dexter Southfield

Another key for Cushing? The return between the pipes of junior Joe Sharib (2.20 gaa), who has commited to Union.

Aidan Connolly
Dexter Southfield

DEXTER SOUTHFIELD (20-4-2)

A strong and deep defensive corp and one of the prep’s premier goaltenders will make it extremely difficult for opponents to score on Dexter Southfield this year. If the offense can gel, and there is no reason why it shouldn’t, expect another strong run at an Elite 8 bid.

Offensively, senior John Farinacci (53 pts), last year’s leading scorer and a Harvard commit, will lead the way. Juniors Chase McInnis (Northeastern commit), Aidan Connolly (37 pts) and Johnny McElaney (18 pts) are also back up front and ready for big seasons. Newcomers Connor Blanchard and Jack Dempsey add to the mix.

Chase McInnis
Dexter Southfield

On the blue line, coach Dan Donato will rely on senior returner Bobby Pearl (Bowdoin commit) and junior standouts Ben Meehan (UMass Lowell commit), John Fusco (Harvard commit) and Kevin MacKay. Joining that talented group are the likes of Jack Hughes, Mikey Adamson and Pat Morrissey.

And in goal, Dexter Southfield returns senior Derek Mullaly, a Harvard commit who played almost every minute last winter.

KENTS HILL (16-14-2)

Not only do the Huskies have a host of new players, they also have a new coach. Well, kind of. Larry Cockrell is back for his second tour behind the Kents Hill bench and likes his team’s overall talent and skill level heading into the season.

Liam Walsh
Kents Hill

Up front, senior Sam Jalbert and junior Mikes Kirby are two key holdovers. A host of newcomers to be worked in include post-grads Liam Walsh, Evan DiGiovanni and Mike Macchioni, senior Braden Larochelle and juniors Justin Hershaw, Ryan Munzing and Joey Lalond-Rioux.

Senior Drew Gardner will be a force on the blue line. Post-grads Will Pond and Mikey Roberts, senior Jatan Desai, junior Nolan Cunningham and sophomore Adhit Desai all join the crew.

Devin Tongue
Northfield

Senior goaltender Marc Valence returns and will team with new junior Max Machionni to form the Kents Hill goaltending tandem.

NORTHFIELD MT. HERMON (23-7-3)

This club is coming off a season that saw it win the most games in school history. Coach Kevin Czepiel feels the 18-19 outfit must find good team chemistry early to get off to a good start and that he has more depth at the forward position.

Michael Kennedy
Northfield

Talented senior Devan Tongue (51 pts and a Bentley commit) will drive the offense. Senior Jack Quinn (20 pts) will be crucial as well. Post-grads Ean Small and Theo Hambre add their talents, as do new junior Reese Farrell and sophomore Grady Friedman.

Senior rock Mike Kennedy (27 pts) is the backbone of the Northfield defense. A new starter in the nets will be a high priority with the graduation of All New England netminder Eric Green. One challenger is new junior Connor Hasley.

PHILLIPS ANDOVER (13-12-1)

Thomas Manty
Phillips Andover

The Big Blue have a lot of potential this winter. They should generate a solid offensive attack, and have beefed up things on the blue line.

Senior co-captain Christian Powers (36 pts), senior Thomas Manty (28 pts) and junior Dawson Arkell will be the offensive catalysts for coach Paul Tortorella.  The team welcomes a quartet of post grads – Mac Carso, Tyler Little, Sean O’Connell and Patrick McDonald, as well as junior Colin Dineen and freshman William Hughes to form a solid forward group.

Ray Galasso
Phillips Andover

Defensively, senior co-captain Carter Gianpietro, senior Mark Meinecke and junior Mike Gallagher all return. Bolstering the blue line will be new junior Ray Galasso and sophomores Charlie Spence and Victor Malzahn.

In goal, junior Charlie Archer is a returning starter and is poised for a solid year. Freshman Lucas Brown joins the mix.

PHILLIPS EXETER (24-6-2)

An Elite 8 tournament participant last season, the Big Red face a real challenge repeating that feat after the graduation of a solid senior class. Still, coach Dana Barbin has filled in with some talent so Exeter will be a tough squad again.

Reese Popkin
Phillips Exeter

The Big Red do return senior Michael Pitts (42 pts), who led last year’s club in scoring. Also back are senior captain Garrett Foster (27 pts), senior Andrew Seaman (22 pts), senior Gray Betts (21 pts), senior Paddy Bogart (17 pts), senior Sam Willman and juniors Danny Colon and Reese Ramirez. Three new juniors who should fit right in are Noah Jankowski, Tom Yang and Ryan Loring.

Senior Reese Popkin and junior Jacob Matthews are key holdovers on the Exeter blue line. They will mesh with a trio of post-grad blue liners in Nick Foderaro, Paddy Mangan and P.J. Garrett.

Exeter will be solid in goal with the return of junior Ryan Welch. As a sophomore last winter, Welch logged 1,126 minutes and had a stellar 1.92 gaa.

WINCHENDON (16-7-5)

The Wapiti had a highly successful campaign last winter, reaching the Small School semifinal round. Gone from that team are the top three scorers, who combined for 185 points. Also, last year’s assistant coach – Brian Troy – takes over the head coaching reins this year. He is looking for good team defense and “buy in” from all the new skaters to the program.

At forward, Winchendon does return senior Devin Moran (22 pts), junior Danny Cavanagh (13 pts) and sophomore Nolan McDonough. Ready to make an immediate impact are new juniors Matt Alietto and Ben McGlashing, and sophomores Anthony DeLorenzo, Jake Black and Paden Hicks.

Senior Christophe Savageau and sophomore Eli Wheeler man the blue line. Post-grad Andrew McDonough should see a lot of minutes.

Coach Troy will need to find a replacement in pre-season camp to replace graduated senior goalie James Corcoran.

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