Boys Prep: Mid-Atlantic/Midwest team previews – Culver Again Plans 2 Trips East for Holiday Tournaments

Gary Demopoulos
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.

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The independent all post-grad prep school located in Maine is already off and running, starting its season in early November. The Wolverines have a new coach this winter in Rod Simmons.

Obviously, there are no returnees to talk about. Some forwards to keep an eye on during the season include Zachary Owens out of Hamden, CT, Nate Donaldson from Lowell Catholic (MA), Nolan Cunningham from Windham HS (NH),¬† Colby Couture out of New Hampshire’s Kennett HS, and Guillaume St. Onge from Canada.

Kevin McMullen
Bridgton Acad.
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Mackenzie Murphy
Bridgton Acad.
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Nolan Cunningham
Bridgton Acad.


Defenseman Mackenzie Murphy was the NH D3 Player of the Year last winter for Kennett HS. Michael Laine is from Wintrhop (MA) HS and Tyler Hart comes to Bridgton from Grafton (MA) HS.

Kevin McMullen, from Mass. HS power St. Mary’s, and Cory Splaine, coming off a big year out of St. John’s of Shrewsbury (MA) are two of four goalies on the Bridgton roster.


The Eagles, one of the premier programs in the Midwest out of Indiana, are coming off one of the program’s best seasons. They again will be making a couple of trips east, participating in both the Groton/Lawrence and Watkins Tournaments in December.

This year’s offensive attack will be centered around returning guys like seniors Nick Stapleton (37 pts), Jacob Eckerle (14 pts) and Fisher Shea (28 pts).

A stout defense is led by senior Mason Lohei (22 pts – Ohio State recruit) and senior Spencer Cox (31 pts – Miami recruit). Senior Spencer Weisgram is another key returnee on the blue line for coach Steve Palmer. New junior Cole Stofflet will be an added plus.

Senior Grant Adams (1.55 gaa) is back in goal. New junior Levi Gho will be in the mix as well.


A member of the Midwest Prep Hockey League, the Gates Mills, Ohio based Lancers have a deep group ready for the rigors of an MPHL campaign.

A host of forwards return for coach Mike Chiellino paced by post-grad Shea Bryant and seniors Matthew Sutton (Brown commit), Michael Sullivan, Francisco Martinez, Walter Baumann, Nick Bruno and Sami Kaunisto.

A strong nucleus of returners on defense consists of post-grads Christian Tsao, Colt Corpse and Sasha Jeludev, and senior Teemu Paloniemi. Junior Preston Watkiss is up from the Varsity A program and can play either defense or forward.

New senior Duncan Nichols-Delay and senior Andrew Takacs will look for time between the pipes.

James Mettler


Getting role players to adapt to being counted on to play more significant minutes this season will be a key as to how much success the Cavaliers can have this year.

Juniors ready to rock up front for coach Alex Morse include junior Tyler Lunny (38 pts), junior Luke Baumgartner (22 pts), junior Aidan Cammisa (14 pts) and junior Jacob Ross. New junior Luke Potter and freshman Samuel Ross will challenge for big roles.

On defense, junior James Mettler (51 pts) is a solid two-way performer. Senior Brian Cicero and junior Michael Martirano are other vital defenders back. Look for freshman Will Wellburn to see some time.

Preseason workouts will determine who gets the starting goaltender’s job.

HILL SCHOOL (15-10-1)

Nine returning seniors is a luxury the Blues have heading into the season, where coach Chris Bala is expecting to get offensive production spread across the forward lines.

Three of those seniors – Alex Kiviniemi (24 pts), Ryan Long (18 pts) and CJ Duvall (15 pts) – will be offensive leaders. New junior Brock Weimer and sophomore Gabe Shipper are ready to show their talents up front.

The Blues have a proven set of defensemen back that will do the job in the defensive zone.


The Explorers out of Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania also play in the Mid Atlantic Prep League and expect to have nice balance throughout the lineup this winter.

A young but talented group of forwards will feature the likes of sophomore Shane Albert and freshmen Daniel Sambuco (Providence commit), Sam Lipkin, Michael Casey and Jan Olenginski.

Coach Wally Muehlbronner will look to senior Zach Banker and freshman Andrew Budzynski to be keys on the blue line, along with new junior Colin Kleiser.

Junior Aidan McCabe is a returning goalie for the Explorers.


With a group of veteran players entering their third year of prep hockey, the Big Red, a New England prep affiliate member, look for better things this winter.

Junior and Brown commit Nikita Nesterenko (20 pts) headlines the offensive attack for coach Keith Dupee. Juniors Matt Manahan  (22 pts) and Trey Croddick (15 pts) will have integral roles as well. New junior Michael Rocco hopes to chip in.

On defense, senior David Parker and juniors Lachlan Getz and Kaz Matsuo forma solid trio. New sophomore Peter Poulianas should step right in.

The goaltending chores will go to senior Jack Treiman and junior T.J. Semptimphelter.

PORTLEDGE (10-6-1)

A strong and talented junior class will need to lead the Panthers, who look to make some noise in the MAHL.

Up front, sophomore Jeremy Wilmer (48 pts) has already committed to Boston University. Junior Hunter Rossi (35 pt) will be a key cog as well. New junior Brandon Avezov and freshman Frankie D’Ancona should help out

Junior and Northeastern commit Brandon Chabrier (21 pts) will anchor things defensively for coach Pasko Skarica. Junior Spence Evans (18 pts) will log key minutes as well. Freshman Michael English hopes to crack the lineup.


A nice group returns for the Panthers as they look to challenge in the MAHL.

Senior veterans Coby Auslander and Ty Eastman return at PDS’ top two scorers from a year ago and will anchor the top line. Sophomore Luke Antonacci is back and could also play some defense.

Providing stability on the back end for coach Scott Bertoli will be senior Chip Hamlett, junior Chris Cecila and sophomore Birch Gorman.

In goal, the job will be done by returning sophomore David Lee and incoming junior Jeremy Siegel.


Only four players graduated from last year’s club, but they were key contributors and leaders. If the Indians can fill those spots with the incoming class, and get the team chemistry going early, they will be a force in the MPHL.

Plenty of talent does return in the forward lines for coach Jonathan Johnson, with seniors Brendan Gaffney and Matt Cottiero, juniors Jake Mancz and Michael DeMarsico and sophomore Will Laychur all back. New juniors Ethan Tamborski and Ethan Agostini will be counted on for production.

Juniors Sawyer Smith and Chip Strano are cornerstones of the Shady Side defensive unit. A couple of sophomores to keep an eye on are Jean-Michael Gilbert and Romyk Soltys.

In goal, senior Bradin Zaba is a returner. New sophomore Carson Frye will press for time.


The Spartans lost a lot of talented players, but have reloaded well and will be a force in the Midwest Prep League.

Key returners up front for coach Dan Poliziani include Greg Lapointe, and Andrew Amousse and Brendan McCarthy. Look for big seasons from sophomore Cole Huckins and junior Matthew Johnson.

Senior captain Richard Hall brings his steady play on the blue line. Senior Samuel Willits is back as well. Newcomers to the unit include Isack Bandu, Xavier Jean-Louis and Michael Deforel.

The Spartans have confident in their net play with the return of senior Thomas Scarfone. He will be aided by newcomer William McEvoy.


The MAHL champions won only one of their first 14 games last year, before catching fire in the second half of the season and playoffs, knocking off the top two seeds en route to the title. A good incoming group has the Blue Knights excited about this year.

Coach Dustin Good welcomes back last year’s top three scorers in senior Gabriel Jodoin (28 pts), senior Vincent Maurice (21 pts) and senior Felix Soucy (17 pts).

Senior Connor Dennis and junior Kellum Foster-Palmer anchor the defense for Sem. Making the unit even stronger will be post-grad Eyan Helm and junior Antoine Lefebvre.

Senior Armand Charland will be expected to play key minutes between the pipes.

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