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Connecticut Girls HS Preview – Play in Three Divisions Underway, 22 Teams Hit The Ice

A total of 22 teams are set to hit the ice to kick off the 2019-2020 Connecticut Girls HS Hockey season. The Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) is sponsoring girls hockey this year

FCIAC

Sydney Orzsulak
Greenwich

GREENWICH ( 16-7-0)

Home Rink: Dorothy Hamill Rink

The Cardinals fully expect to challenge for the FCIAC title, one that they won in both 2017 and 2018. The team projects to be strong defensively and have excellent goaltending. A key will be to capitalize on scoring opportunities.

Hannah Goldenberg
Greenwich

A forward nucleus back for coach Alex Lerchen includes senior Emma Wingrove (28 pts), juniors Emiri Fukuchi (13 pts) and Delaney Roth (12 pts) and sophomore Lexi Danielson (27 pts). Three freshmen adding quality depth are Caroline Lawrence, Elizabeth Anderson and Peyton Jelinek.

A pair of seniors – Sydney Orszulak (23 pts) and Katie Piotrzkowski (19 pts) – and sophomore Tess Marciano (12 pts) lead a solid blue line crew.

Katie Piotrzkowski
Greenwich

Solid goaltending will come from junior Hannah Goldenberg (1.98 gaa) and new senior Jess Ware.

NEW CANAAN (22-1-2)

Home Rink: Darien Ice House

Coming off a banner season that ended with a state championship, the Rams enter the year will some nice depth, although they will still be young, featuring five freshmen and 10 sophomores on the roster.

Veteran head coach Rich Bulan, entering his 30th year as a coach and closing in on 500 career wins, has plenty of options up front, with FCIAC first team All Stars Kaleigh Harden (sophomore – 33 pts) and Grace Cowell (sophomore – 26 pts) both back, along wiht FCIAC second teamers Quincy Connell (senior – 18 pts) and Courtney O’Connell (junior – 20 pts).  Sophomores Maddie Kloud ( 14 pts) and Jade Lowe (14 pts) and junior Arianna Bell come off solid campaigns as well.

On defense, junior McKenna Harden (12 pts) will be a cornerstone. The unit could see two freshmen – Amanda Benson and Alla Duane – see considerable time.

In goal, junior Blythe Novick will be tough to beat. She has been an All-State selection in each of the last two years.

Sophia Mughal
Fairfield

FAIRFIELD

Home Rink: Wonderland of Ice

A cohesive, hard-working group will be a tough opponent all season.

Jess Pitaniello
Fairfield

Junior Sophia Mughal and Samantha Henchcliffe are key returning forwards for coach Michelle Marella.  A couple of newcomers who should add production are senior Desiree Sleath and freshman Sarah Dolynchuk.

On the blue line, Fairfield will rely on senior Jessica Pitaniello, senior Ella Holland and junior Caroline Coccaro to lead the way. Adding some solid depth on the back line are freshmen Drew Cochrane and Keira Randolph.

STAPLES/WESTHILL/STAMFORD (3-17-0)

Home Rink: Terry Connors Ice Rink

Meadow Gilchrist
Staples/Westhill/Stamford

A young wave of new talent has SWS optimistic that there will be some improvement, with a possible run at a post-season berth.

Co-coaches John Fay and Andrew Stallings will rely on senior Jessica Xu and sophomore Meadow Gilchrist to lead the offensive attack. Three forwards new to the program ready to contribute are sophomore Alyssa Giola and freshmen Kimberly Boyd and Paige Tuccinardi.

Senior Madison Andrews and sophomore Piper Fine are defensive leaders, playing in front of returning senior goaltender Tori Morgan.

TRUMBULL/ST. JOSEPH (5-15-0)

Home Rink: Rinks at Shelton

The Eagles hope to be a factor in the FCIAC race, welcoming in a solid freshman class.

Sophomore Devon Cavaliere will power the forward group for coach Paula Dady, while senior Annika Haakonsen is a defensive leader. Forward Kendall Conley will be a key newcomer.

WILTON/MCMAHON/NORWALK (2-17-0)

Home Rink: Wintergarden Arena

Things are on the upswing here, where the influx of a talented group of youngsters has the coaching staff excited about an improved season.

Back to power the offensive attack are seniors Meaghan Lane (42 goals last year) and Caitlyn Hocker (35 pts), along with junior Holly Corper (17 pts).  A quartet of freshmen – Isabel Dinanno, Kaelin Burke, Jane Hulse and Ella Noonan – are all ready to make an impact.

Coach Peter Maxfield will rely on senior Grace DeCesare and Alex Cullen to hold down the fort on the blue line, with help from sophomore Natalie Richardson and freshmen Emma Oliveri and Leila Stacy.

Junior Erin McMorris returns in goal.

DARIEN

Home Rink: Darien Ice House

The Blue Wave will have the necessary pieces to make a serious challenge in the FCIAC.

The team will be led by senior captains Cate Droogan (senior defenseman), Kitt Anix, Caitlin Chan and and Colleen Cassidy.

Junior Kate Bellisimo and Nellie Kniffin will be a key offensive performers for Darien. Other players to watch include Lucy Edwards and Kelly Redmond.

  • Ridgefield will also compete in the FCIAC this winter.

CCC

Samantha Ostrowski
ETB

Julia Swanson
ETB

Meghan Croyle
ETB

Maren Riley
ETB

Erika Ferri
ETB

EAST CATHOLIC/GLASTONBURY/SOUTH WINDSOR

Home Rink: Newington Arena

ETB has qualified for the post-season five of the last six seasons, and looks to ride a strong defensive game to another trip in 2020.

Forwards to watch are senior captain Samantha Ostrowski (12 pts), junior Rebecca Chernovetz and sophomores Meghan Croyle (16 pts), Mary McKiernan (13 pts) and Olivia Lonski. Freshmen Victoria Jarvis and Jessica Pollack will have big roles.

Seniors Julia Swanson and Erica Ferri and sophomore Anna Pasterick all return on the blue line for coach Frank Usseglio, who registered his 100th career win last winter. Freshmen Anabelle Pacheco and Norah McAuliffe join the defensive crew.

ETB will have two solid options in goal with sophomore returner Maren Riley and new freshman Kelsey Kowal.

Kori Bartko
Avon/Southington

AVON/SOUTHINGTON (8-11-0)

Home Rink: Newington Arena

Improvement is expected for the Nighthawks, who have a nice mix of returners and skilled newcomers. Working hard will be a key.

A quartet of seniors will have the task of leading the offense for coach Michael Carrera. The group includes Kori Bartko (50 pts – Western NE commit), Sarah Murphy (15 pts), Alex Schloesser (11 pts) and Mackenzie Carrera (injured last season).  A trio of newcomers – Nicole Partridge, Emily Moskal and Morgan Carrera – all freshmen, look to have an impact.

Keys on the blue line are junior Rebecca Eaton and sophomore Shelby Little.

HALL/CONARD (18-2-0)

Home Rink:  Veterans Memorial Rink, West Hartford

A strong group of forwards will be a hallmark this winter of the Warchiefs.

Grace Melanson
Simsbury

That group will be headlined by senior Luci Aissi, juniors Rosie McGowan and Abby Goncalves and sophomore Bridget McGann. New sophomore Ana Haubrich and freshman Annie Woods look to chip in right away for coach Brett Soucy.

Two juniors instrumental on defense are Maddie Levesque and Jordyn Trent. Freshman Sam Haubrich adds depth.

Anna Melanson
Simsbury

SIMSBURY (20-5-1)

Home Rink: ISCC

The Trojans had a solid year last winter, earning a conference championship. The team had nine freshmen on the roster, all of whom should play bigger roles this season.

Expect some big numbers to come from senior Grace Melanson (Nichols College commit, a first team All State selection and SCC Player of the Year, senior Abigail Harris (Manhattanville College commit) and senior Anna Melanson, both Honorable Mention selections.

Abigail Harris
Simsbury

Coach Paul Melanson will bank on solid play on defense from veteran senior Mackenzie Lynch, also an Honorable Mention selection.

SUFFIELD/ENFIELD/ELLINGTON CO-OP

Home Rink: Enfield Twin Rinks

With a talented group of newcomers in the program to bolster the attack, the Wildcats are optimistic they can have a solid campaign.

Senior captain Nora Birmingham will lead things offensively for coach Joe Gozzi. Senior Victoria Palmer-Lavoie is another key forward back, along with Kylie Downs and Skylar Boucher. Freshmen Natalie Ewald and Michaela Birmingham will boost the lineup.

On defense, junior Sydney Eitel and sophomore Sophia Blais will be defensive anchors. Rounding out the group are newcomers Tilly Wierdsma and Lila Whitney.

New sophomore Hailey Gomez will provide solid play between the pipes.

Riley Esposito
Northwest/Mercy

NORTHWEST CATHOLIC/MERCY

Home Rink: Champions Skating Center, Cromwell

This club looks to build on an improved season from a year ago.

Coach John Alissi will depend heavily on returning senior forward Andalena Chancio, junior forward Kaylie Zemke and Riley Esposito.

Newcomers who should make an impact are Mackenzie Kelley, Giannan Low and Jo Jo Wimler.

SCC

BRANFORD/NORTH BRANFORD/EAST HAVEN

Home Rink: East Haven

Returning six players who all saw significant minutes, the Wings also bring in six talented ninth graders. How quickly they come together will dictate how well the team does this winter.

The forward nucleus will see senior Sophia Caturano (21 pts), senior Emma Sheehan (14 pts) and junior Ashleen Keating (17 pts) leading the way. Julia Crisci, Jordan King, Jamie Forrest, Aislinn Aiken and Vanessa Irzarry, all freshmen, will supplement the offensive attack.

Senior Melanie Norton and sophomore Nolan Brustman are key blue liners for coach Jack Norton. A freshman ready to challenge is Aryana Wilson.

Christina Meadows, a senior, is back in goal for the Wings.

AMITY/NORTH HAVEN/CHESHIRE (12-11-1)

Home Rink: Hamden Ice Arena

The Blades are a team that needs to watched closely this winter, one that has an eye focused on challenging for an SCC crown.

Senior Tess Csejka (26 pts – Boston University field hockey commit), senior Haley Cable (28 pts) and senior Nadia DiNatale are expected to provide some serious offensive production for coach John Peschell.

Senior Sara Cable and junior Caroline Cadelina are defensive mainstays.

HAMDEN (13-8-1)

Home Rink: Hamden Ice Rink

A smaller roster than usual greets the Green Dragons this season. With many new faces, developing team chemistry will be a key.

Two seniors – Demeri Carangelo (4o goals) and Reilly Sargolini (29 pts) – will be asked to power the offense.

On the blue line, coach Mike Callan will look to junior Colby Sullivan and junior Ella Miller for leadership.

Bethany Karp
Notre Dame Fairfield

NOTRE DAME FAIRFIELD/LAW/POMPERAUG/WESTON (12-10-0)

Home Rink: The Rinks at Shelton

MacKenzie Broderick
Notre Dame Fairfield

Staying healthy and developing good team chemistry will be paramount for the Lancers to have another successful season, as the team is somewhat smaller this season. Defense and goaltending should be strongpoints so if the offense can deliver, it could be a banner campaign.

Seniors Leigha Howland and Lexie Burwell will guide the offensive attack. Also returning are juniors Justina Holland, Charlotte Dworski and Maddie David, and sophomores Katherine Harrison and Sarah Casey.

A veteran defensive unit for coach Kerri Rowland features juniors Rose Linkasamy, Nicole Toth and McKenzie Broderick and sophomore Celidgh Pikul.

Junior Bethany Karp will be a solid presence in goal for the Lancers.

Taylor Nowak
West Haven/Sacred Heart

WEST HAVEN/SACRED HEART (20-4-0)

Home Rink: Edward L. Bennett Rink

Jianna Cohrs
West Haven/Sacred Heart

Despite losing 10 seniors from a highly-successful club, hope is still high for another big year for WHSHA. Teamwork, hard work and strong defense will be keys to success.

Plenty of firepower does return for coach Erin Blake, led by senior Taylor Nowak (31 goals), a first team SCC and All State selection a year ago. Also back are senior Megan Froehlich (21 pts), junior Jianna Cohrs (21 pts – second team All SCC), junior Jenna Hunt (19 pts) and junior Mia Celentano. Joining that potent group is freshman Emilee DeGrand.

On defense, senior Brooke McNabola (15 pts), junior Mackenzie Gardner and sophomore Meghan Dupre (10 pts) form a solid nucleus.

One setback in the pre-season, returning sophomore goalie Grace Nowak is injured and out for the season. Picking up the slack between the pipes are junior Hailey Alfano and sophomore Hannah Davey.

MASUK CO-OP (0-20-0)

Home Rink: Rinks at Shelton

The Panthers struggled to generate offense a year ago and will need to find more offensive production if they are to going to improve.

That task will fall on seniors Halle Peterlin and Erin Webdale, junior Mackenzie Ciambra and sophomore Caroline Raymond.

Seniors Catie Gregory and Arianna Perierra and sophomore Aynsley Lane will be defensive leaders for coach Andy Townsend. Sophomore Eva Smith started all but one game last winter as a ninth grader.

Newcomer hoping to chip in are freshmen Maya Komorowski, Mia Paltauf, Carlone Thompson and Rinei Hawke.

DANIEL HAND (3-17-0)

Home Rink: Northford Ice Pavilion

Despite a less-than-stellar overall record, the Tigers had a strong end of the season and look to build off that momentum and challenge for a playoff spot.

Key forwards for coach Eric Roy project to be seniors Lindsey Orlando, Julia Diemand and Emma Hart and sophomore Ava Pellegrino.

Defensively, big seasons are expected from senior Lucy Brown, junior Lily D’Annico and sophomore Adeila McGuire.

  • Guilford will also be competing in the SCC this winter.
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.
Gary Demopoulos
- 1 hour ago
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