Boys Prep Hockey – Holt Conference Preview: Worcester Looks To Keep Momentum Going; Hebron, Kents Hill Must Be Watched

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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Expect a tight race in the Holt Conference this season. Defending champ Worcester Academy has many faces to replace. NYA will be intriguing, while Hebron looks to make some noise.

BERWICK ACADEMY (2-23-0)

Coach: Lem Randall

Looking for a rebound campaign in 2022-23, the Bulldogs return the bulk of its defensive group.

In the offensive zone, senior Ian Kula, and juniors Justin Massa and Eli Chilicki are key returners for coach Randall. New junior Michael Delage (Heritage RHS) and sophomore Tanner Petalas (St. Thomas Aquinas) are in the fold.

Senior Josh Felton, a Montreal native, will be a leader on the blue line. Senior Flynn Martin or new sophomore Matthew Pimental (Charles-Lemoyne) could get the call in goal.

HEBRON ACADEMY (16-10-1)

Coach: Jack O’Brien

Expect the Lumberjacks to be one of the most hard-working teams in prep hockey, with a focus on the small aspects of the game.

Senior Ryan Teehan led the team in scoring last year and is back to spearhead the offensive attack, along with fellow seniors Anthony Lombardo, Patrick Cousin and Spyri Hamzeh. Bringing their offensive skills are post-grads Aaron Bono and Anthony DeFilio (Sheehan HS, CT).

On defense, senior captain Nick Theodos (17 pts) is primed for a solid campaign. The group also returns senior Pierre-Olivier Gagnon, junior Noah Parmenter and sophomores Cullen Lacey and Liam Newell.

A starting goalie will emerge after pre-season workouts and scrimmages.

KENTS HILL (5-16-1)

Coach: Pavel Navrat

An impressive incoming class, coupled with a host of returners, should have the Huskies far more competitive this winter. The team has players from 10 different countries in the program.

Up front, David Hauptvogel, last year’s leading scorer, is back for a post-grad year. Senior Olivier Lacroix, senior Theo Dimopoulos and junior Tanner Cole are also back. Joining the crew are post-grads Ben Cohen (Conn. Jr Rangers) and Brian Jenkins (Bishop Guertin) and junior Sam Stejskal from Czechnia.

Coach Navrat returns just pretty much everyone from the defensive until, including seniors Etienne Gagnon, Jakub Kloboucek, Barrett Lunder and George Papadopoulos, and junior Matt Ionta. New junior Zak Baxter (Barnstable HS) adds to the group.

Senior Ernest Imarzarov is a returning netminder ready for more minutes, and is joined in the goalie rotation by post-grad Ryan Rosenau, who was at Portsmouth Abbey a year ago.

NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY (13-14-1)

Coach: Mike Warde

Things are on the upswing at NYA, where coach Warde is excited about his team’s character and work ethic. A good group is back.

The core nucleus returning up front for the Panthers includes Daxton St. Hilaire (38 pts) and Nolan Pecora, junior Nick Pelletier and freshman Hugo Daniel. Additional talent comes from senior Tanner Anctil (Lewiston, ME), senior Zach Stabb (Chateanguay, QUE) and junior Matt Brown (Vaudreuil, QUE).

NYA boasts a deep defensive unit with seniors Cooper St. Hilaire, Louka Vamvakas, James Papavasiliou and Alex Holmgren, and junior Connor Wolverton.

There also is experience in goal with senior Aidan Farion and Euan Martin.

PINGREE (6-18-2)

Coach: Dan Gordon

The Highlanders will be very young, with just one senior, so there will be a lot of challenges on the schedule this year.

The offense for coach Gordon will be built around returnees like senior Ryan Clark, and juniors Ryan Kavanagh (31 pts) and Quinn Moses (22 pts). New sophomore Joe Gaffney joins the lineup from Malden Catholic.

Sophomore Max Kirianov saw good time last year as a ninth grader and will be a key on defense. New sophomore Colin Rowe (Andover HS) will be an added plus.

Goaltending looks like a strongpoint with returning junior Luke Marinelli and new sophomores Nick Hubbard (Malden Catholic).

Joe Verderber Portsmouth Abbey

PORTSMOUTH ABBEY (17-9-3)

Coach: Allie Skelley

The Ravens had a banner campaign last winter, qualifying for the Small School playoffs in the process. Staying healthy will be key to have a duplicate season.

Three returning seniors will form the core of Abbey’s offensive attack in Michael Patko (38 pts), Jack Lucey and Josh Bonrouhi (38 pts). Two new forwards, both from Quebec, are Hunter McCarthy, and Logan McManus.

On defense, seniors Joe Verderber and Jack Baird are the anchors. They will be joined by new blueliners Callum Coyle (Chateauguay Grenadiers), Chase Cardona (John Rennie) and Jacob Valente (Central Catholic HS).

Junior Patrick McDevitt is a returning goalie.

WORCESTER ACADEMY (17-6-1)

Coach: Bob Lavin

The Hilltoppers finished last season on a 12-0-1 run, and hope to continue that momentum this year.

Junior Connor Dozois is a key returner after scoring 14 goals last year. Senior Ethan Jasmin will have a big role in coach Lavin’s offense. A post-grad to watch is Mark Evangelous (Marlboro HS).

The defense will need to be totally rebuilt. Post-grad Jack Brennan (Boston Advantage) will be counted on.

Junior Braden Clifford is back in the nets, where Worcester welcomes in post-grad Brandon Prior.

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