Boys Prep Hockey – Keller Division Preview: St. Sebastian’s, Nobles Head Competitive Field

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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Strap on your seatbelt as it should be another wild ride in the Keller Division this winter. The league’s lone new head coach is Brian Phinney at Belmont Hill.

BELMONT HILL

Coach: Brian Phinney

After three seasons as an assistant, Phinney takes over for his first season as head coach of the Hillies. He reports his club has strong leadership from the captains and senior class.

Up front, junior James Fisher must be watched; he is a Northeastern commit. Senior tri-captain Braden Reilly will be an important cog, as will junior Ronan O’Donnell. A new player to the squad to keep an eye on is Dane Carter.

A staunch defensive group is highlighted by junior standout Matt Biotti, a Harvard commit, senior tri-captains Will Killoran and Tom Goguen, and senior Jack Bosco.

The goaltending duties will fall on senior Aaron Matthews and sophomore Sam Scopa.

GOVERNOR’S ACADEMY

Coach: Brian McGuirk

The Governors will have a lot of new faces this winter. As the squad gels, they most likely will improve as the season goes on.

Jackson Hurd-Messom
Governors Acad.

Four senior forwards were on the 19-20 squad as sophomores in Ian Olenik, Noah Bird, Thomas Huard and Kyle Elliott. Senior Jackson Hurd-Messom looks to be an factor, and newcomer Cam Russo must be watched at all times.

On defense, seniors Colin Elliott and Sean Thies are also holdovers from the 19-20 outfit. They are joined on the blue line by Mason Sturm, Theirry Fortin, Matthew Collina, Jack Farrell and Aieksy Bandu.

Senior David Palandjian and Max LaCroix will be the two goaltenders for the Governors.

LAWRENCE ACADEMY

Coach: Robbie Barker

The Spartans will be young this winter, but a cohesive unit that should only get better as the season progresses.

Coach Barker will lean returners like senior Ryan Meagher and juniors Clarence Beltz and Jake Murphy to be offensive catalysts. Some promising newcomers at forward are sophomore Owen Leahy, junior Daniel Markeyvch and freshman Ty Wood.

Shawn Leary is a key holdover defenseman. New junior Noah Vettese and sophomore Logan Neal should have big roles.

In goal, new junior Luc Gagnon will team up with returner Vincent Lamberti.

MILTON ACADEMY

Coach: Paul Cannata

With just four players from the team that qualified for the New England Large School Tournament pre-pandemic, coach Cannata feels that it may take some time for everything to come together. Nevertheless, he is optimistic that the Mustangs will be a competitive group in one of the toughest leagues around.

Senior Ethan Davidson will be a key leader up front. Three new juniors ready to show what they can do are Henry Cohen, Jake Pohl and Mikke Kelechian.

In junior blueliner and Providence College commit Chris Romaine, the Mustangs will have one of the league’s top defensemen.  Senior Brad Holcomb is back and is a Hamilton College commit. The defensive unit also will have new junior Mason Chen, sophomore Connor Lee and freshman Dylan Hunt.

The Mustangs also return senior Jake Cardonick between the pipes.

NOBLES

Coach: Brian Day

A team to watch could be the Bulldogs, who have some numbers returning. “It will be great to be back in the locker room building the culture and ethos that we want to establish,” Day said.

Drew Haxton
Nobles
John Logan
Nobles

A deep and experienced forward group consists of seniors Will Canavan, Drew Haxton, Colin Norton, Nate Szpak and Roman Tacelli, juniors Ben MacDonald (Harvard commit), Evan Heath, Bryan Kearns and Austin Tasca, sophomore Amir Jamal and freshman Kyle O’Leary.

Defensively, seniors John Logan, Will Friedman and Aidan Lyons, and juniors Brian Grant and Matty Tully form a solid unit. In goal, freshman Thatcher Bernstein was with the program last year.

ST. SEBASTIAN’S

Coach: Sean McCann

Strong senior leadership will also play a major role in how well the Arrows fare this winter. “The big advantage is that a prep season is important to them because that is a common goal to work towards.

Senior Brendan Gorman (committed to Princeton) and senior Mike Callow (committed to Harvard) will drive the Arrows offense. Three more senior forwards – Mike Cataldo, Jayden Grier and Gavin Walsh – will be pivotal offensive players.

Boston College commit Nolan Joyce, just a junior, will be a top commodity on the blue line, as will senior Will Elias.

Seniors also dominate the goaltending position, where Ryan Kazmouz and Matthew Choi both return.

TABOR

Coach: Gerry Dineen

With more depth this winter, the Seawolves should be more competitive this winter.

Senior Cole Jenkins, a Holy Cross commit, senior Reed Allen and juniors Jack Brandt and Jack DesRuisseaux are back a year older and wiser up front.

On the blue line, senior Carter Patterson and junior Jason Zaccari lead the way in front of goaltenders Liam Choquette (Sr) and Gus Ackerman (Jr).

THAYER

Vinny Sica
Thayer

Coach: Tony Amonte

Expect to see a host of new faces up front for the Tigers, who will be young this winter

Coach Amonte does have some returners in the forward ranks that look to be key producers in senior Cooper Mullen and juniors Jackson Reardon, Shane Taddia and Cole Matlack. Expect as many as six freshmen to see time up front.

On defense, senior rock Declan Loughnane, a Providence commit, will be one of the league’s top rearguards. Junior C.J. Foley is a recent commit to Holy Cross. Also back on the blue line are senior Jackson Stuzynski, senior Brett Collins and senior Joe Freeman. New junior Vinny Sica looks to have an impact.

The Tigers’ goaltenders will be junior Beau Lane and eighth-grader Tyler Moschella.

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