Connecticut Boys HS Hockey – CCC North Preview: East Catholic Looks To Mount A Challenge

Jim Clark
Jim Clark joined Hockey Night in Boston in December 2019, and has covered high school hockey in Massachusetts for more than three decades. He also covers high school hockey and is a multiplatform editor for the Boston Globe, and previously spent two decades as high school hockey reporter at the Boston Herald, where he also served as the high schools editor from 2000-06. Clark was honored by the Mass. State Hockey Coaches Association with its William Stewart Award for contributions to the sport in May 2019, and also received the Joel Perlmutter Award for media coverage in 2006. A graduate of UMass, he also spent eight years as sports editor/reporter at the Sentinel & Enterprise in Fitchburg, and has extensively covered high school hockey in Central and Western Mass. as well as Connecticut.

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One coach’s honest assessment of the Central Connecticut Conference North Division race entering the season was, “Who can take down the two [Division 1] schools?” In fact, Northwest Catholic edged Simsbury in last year’s conference title game and figure to be the teams to beat again. But East Catholic was right in the mix before its season ended prematurely, and the Eagles hope to challenge again along with Farmington Valley, Glastonbury and South Windsor. The addition of a solid Wethersfield program makes it an even more interesting outlook.


Coach: Joey Trenholm

Cole Usseglio
East Catholic

The Eagles open the season with a strong core of four returning senior forwards in Kevin Kolodziejczyk (10-2-12), AJ Bushnell (3-11-14), Cole Usseglio (3-5-8) and Kael Bailey (2-3-5). But the big question for Trenholm will be what other contributions he can get throughout the lineup to provide additional scoring.

Junior Colin Turer (1-3-4) and sophomore Tyler Bartlett (0-2-2) are the top returning defensemen, and senior Mason Cormier (2.01 GAA, .916 SP) got some experience in the crease a season ago.

Colin Turer
East Catholic

Trenholm will look to senior Jack O’Connor, junior Andrew DeCorleto and sophomore Luke Kennedy to step into the lineup and pick up some of the slack.


Coaches: Mike Barone, Scott Percival

The Generals will lean on a core group of upperclassmen who are entering at least their third seasons with the program.

Seniors Tyler Stoneman, Brendan Occhino, Jacob Markowitz and Danny Pauling will lead the way along with juniors Trey Gagne and Luke Watson.

Also back from last season are seniors Andrew Deppe, Ian Doukas, Eamon McLaughlin, Luke Roux, Liam Smith and Owen Wahl, as well as juniors Tyler Gresh and Elliot Stambaugh.

The Generals co-op includes host Farmington as well as Avon, Lewis Mills and Windsor.


Coach: Ken Barse

The Guardians struggled through the abbreviated 2021 schedule, but Barse predicts that “with 10 seniors and great leadership, this team will return to Glastonbury form.”

Among those key seniors are forwards Alex Rodriguez and Zack Caporale, as well as a trio of defensemen in Nick Huempfner, Kayden Hinchey and Aidan Adams.

The defensive play with be critical as freshman Patrick Sullivan takes the reins in net for the Guardians.

Bobby Lachance Northwest Catholic


Coach: Dan Melanson

The Lions ended last winter with the CCC North tournament championship, and as one of the two Division 1 teams in the loop, should be a favorite to win it again.

However, it will be a much younger squad as Northwest has only three seniors on the roster. Cam Berone, Bobby Lachance and William Burke will be the veterans to guide the Lions through the early going.

Also returning are juniors Evin Curtiss, Jack Gunsalus, Michael Mitchell, Chris Russo and Jack Skottegard, and sophomores Gavin Burke, Cullen Horn, James Hurley and Griffin O’Shaughnessy.

SIMSBURY (5-7-0)

Coach: Chris Day

The Trojans fell just short last season against Northwest Catholic in the CCC North title, but bring back 13 players off that squad for another run at it.

They still will be a bit young with only five seniors in all, four of whom were a part of last year’s squad. Much of that veteran experience is on the back end with senior defensemen Jonathan Hoang and CJ Taddeo in front of senior goalie Justin Loveland.

Aidan Dwyer is the lone senior forward, but joined by juniors Quinn Heagney, Luke Melanson and Michael Zapp, and sophomores John Becconsall, Aidan Driscoll, Thomas Humphries, and Daniel Toothaker. 

Also back are junior defenseman Reid Bulger, and junior goalie Brendan Lynch.


Coach: Neil Rodman

The Bobcats enter the season with seven seniors, some of whom are in at least their third season with the program.

The strength of the team could be on defense, where seniors Tyler Power, Trevor Kniffen and Luke Mawhinney all are back in front of junior goalie Jason Sigler. The top returning forwards are seniors Chase Mawhinney and David Morison.

Look for senior Kyle Dunn to provide leadership, along with juniors Dylan Hutton, Matthew Venzie, Joshua Weiner and Walter Willoughby, and sophomores Thomas De Haes, Brett Feher, Logan Sherwood and Kevin Shover.


Coach: Dennis Tulimieri

In the second season as a standalone program, the numbers continue to climb for the Eagles, who now have 35 on the roster – up nine from a year ago.

Wethersfield will be looking to get back to the top of the CCC South after dropping a five-overtime heartbreaker against eventual champion Newington in last year’s semifinals. Some solid talent graduated off that squad, but Tulimieri has more than enough back at his disposal.

Sophomore goalie Matt Ruck returns, and the blue line in front of him will be anchored by senior Thomas Mayfield, junior Benjamin Caulfield, and sophomores Sean O’Leary, Spencer Malloy and Nathan Odell.

At forward, look for senior Charles Martindale, William McCarter, Colby Quinn, James Socha, and Anthony Zabielski, juniors Jack Millen, Brady Quinn and Clayton Shurdho, and sophomores Seth Cholewa, Jude Exantus, Braeden Hart, Jake Kulvinskas and Zachary McCauley.

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