Boys Prep Hockey – Eberhart Division Preview: Defending Champ St. Mark’s Will Be Challenged; St. George’s In The Hunt

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopouloshttp://www.hnibnews.com
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.

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The Eberhart Division race promises to be an exciting one this winter.

Defending champ St. Mark’s has a lot of scoring punch to replace. Brooks has a solid group back. St. George’s, with a new coach in Allie Skelley, boasts three Division 1 commits.

Here is a look at the teams:

BB&N (5-20-2)

Coming off the most wins in a season since 2016-17, the Knights are excited to test themselves against some tough opponents this winter. It will still be a young team, with just three seniors.

Ben Romer
BB&N

Junior Brady MacCutcheon will spearhead an offense that also returns fellow junior Will Fuller (Princeton lacrosse commit), seniors Manny Carvalho and Thomas Fulginiti, and sophomore James Ferreira. New sophomores Ben Romer (Rockland HS) and Will Robbins (Burlington HS), and eighth-grader Hunter Barone add to the forward mix.

Matt Angelino
BB&N

On defense, coach Anthony Moccia has five skaters back in juniors Noah Rosado and Declan Wilkes, and sophomores Daigo Hotta, Ryan Clay and Scott Crabtree.

Sophomore James Potter and junior Matt Angelino are primed to take care of the goaltending duties for the Knights.

BROOKS (14-9-2)

A strong stretch drive resulted in a second place finish in the Eberhart Division last winter, and a post-season playoff berth. Playing a sound defensive game will give coach Dave Ries’ club a good chance to win a lot of games.

Matt Bencivengo Brooks

Key holdovers in the forward lines are senior Joe Bucci, senior Ryan Shimelman, senior Danny Valenti and junior Griffin Bucci. Added to the forward mix this year are juniors Brendan Peck (Framingham HS), Derek Yamatani (Washington Little Caps) and Dean Fawthrop (Cornwall Colts), sophomore Nick Dias (Jr. Bruins U16) and freshmen Andrew Martin (Wakefield HS) and Nick Sumner (Cardigan Mountain).

Senior Scott Moritz and junior Matt Bencivengo return on the blue line, where newcomers Thomas Lacoste, Tai Melton (LA Jr. Kings) and Drew Hemenway (Cardigan Mountain) look to contribute right away.

Goaltending will be a strength with senior Ethan Simpson and junior Ethan Roy, who combined to play every minute in the drapes last winter.

GROTON (6-14-5)

The Zebras are very optimistic that they will be a much-improved club this winter. “Groton has a great balance across all grades and has big expectations to compete for an ISL and New England prep championship this year,” said coach Bill Riley. “With strong goaltending, a solid defensive group and scoring ability up front, Groton will be a team to look out for.”

Up front, the top three scorers return in junior Zach Baker, senior Allen Fang and senior Devin Fitzgerald. Also back are seniors Ryder Cavanaugh and Will Koukopoulos, juniors Angus Frew and Lucus Wu, and sophomores K.J. Ni, Nolan Wilson and Owen Cronan. Freshman Harrison Freelove is someone to keep an eye on.

There is plenty back on the defensive end as well with senior CJ Armaly, junior Jason Mah, and sophomores Alejandro Hassan, Connor Wig and Kaiden Donia all with a year of experience. Joining this group will be new sophomore Elliot Wood (Newton South HS).

In goal, senior Ethan Ramonetti returns after a spectacular season and will be one of the top netminders in prep school hockey.

MIDDLESEX (10-15-1)

With a host of returners, coach Bobby Jay feels this year’s club will be his strongest in his tenure.

Lots of scoring is back, and will be led by junior Matt Egan, an Eberhart All League selection a year ago, and senior Bryan Tang and Tedy O’Keefe, both Honorable Mention picks.

On defense, junior Zach Miles, also a league Honorable Mention selection, will be the anchor. A newcomer looking for time is freshman Connor Wright.

Junior Caio Bernardini is a returning starter between the pipes. He also was an Eberhart Honorable Mention choice a year ago.

Rivers Ready To Make A Big Jump

RIVERS (10-13-3)

Armed with a great nucleus of lower and upperclassmen, the Red Wings appear ready to make a big jump this season. “We look forward to build on the success and growth we had last year,” said coach Freddy Meyer. “We are excited for the upcoming season.”

Seniors Brett Stone, Cayden Miceli and Jacob Kulas, last season’s top three scorers for Rivers, are back to ignite the offense, along with returning juniors Will Hatten and Will Irving.

A solid blue line crew will be fronted by seniors Chris Sullivan, Nick Perniola and Ryan Ferguson, and junior Darren Iverson.

Seniors Jason Delehoy and Brendan Nee pretty much split time in goal last winter for the Red Wings and both are back. New sophomore Derrick Huang provides more depth at the position.

ROXBURY LATIN (3-17-3)

Another team ready to show some marked improvement are the Foxes, looking to increase their three-win total from a year ago with a young team.

The team’s top strength is between the pipes, where veteran senior Evan Zhang is a Harvard commit. Also back in goal are senior Mark McGuire and junior Sam DiFiore.

Seniors Jake Novak and Brendan St. Peter will be relied on heavily up front for coach David Cataruzolo. Junior Tom Pender and sophomore Luke Campanella are expected to have breakout campaigns. New freshman Joey Meade hopes to contribute in a big way.

Taking care of business in the defensive zone will be sophomores Shane McGoldrick and Will Archibald, freshman Nathan Rooney and junior Ben Dearden. A welcome addition is new sophomore Cole Gustie (Boston Jr. Eagles).

St. George’s A Team To Watch This Season

ST. GEORGE’S (15-13-0)

There’s a new bench boss at St. George’s, with former Portsmouth Abbey coach Allie Skelley taking the helm of the Dragons. “We have plenty of talent to be successful,” Skelley said. “We will need to find some grit and be more physically and mentally tough.”

A host of talent returns up front, including junior Colin Walsh, coming off a 28-point season, junior Danny Buckley, who put up 23 points, senior Tate Pecknold, who had 27 points, and sophomore Max Donatelli (21 pts). Other keys back are junior Owen Mulhern, senior Troy Hayes and sophomore Ryan Magaletti. The attack will be bolstered with the addition of senior Ryan Staples, a Yale commit.

Providence commit Everett Baldwin anchors an impressive blue line contingent that also has back senior Jake McIntosh, junior Owen Draddy and sophomore Payton Tracy. The group adds a pair of talented newcomers in junior Nate Walsh (Jr. Bruins) and sophomore Marco Senerchia (New Hampton).

Senior Ryder Shea, a UMaine commit, is back for what should be a big season in goal. Fellow senior Nate Barnes also returns.

ST. MARK’S (22-6-1)

The defending Eberhart Division champions bring back a solid group, and have supplemented that with a host of talented newcomers. “We have some depth on defense and in net which will be the strength of the team,” said coach Carl Corazzini, beginning his 10th year behind the bench. “We have the opportunity to have an explosive offense but need to replace a lot of scoring. Secondary scoring is going to be the big question mark for us.”

The offensive catalysts will be seniors Andrew Gibbons (Air Force commit), Austin Borggaard and Jonathan Balzarini. Sophomore Evan Nee had a strong freshman campaign and Drew Carr is another key returner up front. New guys to be integrated into the program are sophomores Teddy Drury and Man Santos, and freshman Cam MacPherson (Hopkinton HS).

Seniors Calvin Beard and Gannon Austin will be defensive cornerstones for the Lions. Young newcomers hoping to make a splash are sophomore Mossa Syedi and freshmen Blake Grislis and Phin Howard.

The goalie room will feature returning sophomore Alex Tarves, junior Justin Brisebois and Cassidy Kittredge.

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