EMass Boys Division 3 Preseason Top 15
|9||St. Joseph Prep||14||7||1|
|15||St. John Paul II||17||5||0|
Lowell has the upper hand in our eyes heading into the Eastern Mass. Division 3 season. The Red Raiders bring back 160 points from their veteran forwards. Plus, they return their regular goalie (Patrick Cote) and will be tough to beat in the North.
Hanover may be offended by the second-fiddle ranking after its amazing season last winter, losing to Shrewsbury in the state final game, 2-1. That was its only loss of the year. But personnel losses will hurt the Indians this year – they graduated 15 seniors, including two of their top three scorers.
Swampscott is the defending North champion and has seen a wipeout of two talented hockey classes from its No. 1-seeded 2017 crew and last year’s North champions. The Big Blue will need some scoring to support the leading scorer out of the returnees: Drew Olivieri (10-19-29). It also needs new leaders on defense and in net.
Wayland came on strong late last year and made it all the way to the North finals. The Warriors look strong with plenty of returning scorers, defenders and two goalies.
Newton South only lost four seniors from last year and has looked strong in the early going.
Hopkinton has some key seniors returning, but its coach admits it still is in a bit of a rebuilding mode. Whether or not that is simply lowering expectations as a shield for an otherwise powerful team, it will be a tough road for the Hillers in the South section.
Coyle & Cassidy in its second season back in Division 3 is always competitive. Coyle has two top solid lines with experience, a veteran goalie and plenty of defensive standouts.
Bourne has about 160 points back from five returnees from the 15-5-2 club and is out to prove it can be a legitimate South contender once again.
St. Joseph Prep has showed some great strides. They have their goalie back, a 46-point scorer (Andrew Stefura) and three solid senior defensemen.
Dartmouth will be returning its goalie, more than a handful of defenders and two scorers who had at least 25 points (Angelo Nicolosi and Payton Allen).
Rockland is coming off a 20-win season. It did lose a good amount of seniors but has some solid experienced players returning.
The Lynn Jets have a nice nucleus returning, including 70-point scorer Brian Clougherty.
We expect Bedford to be competitive again after a losing season last winter. The Buccaneers returning two top scorers in James Demeo (22-17-39) and Christopher Walsh (6-18-24).
Northeast is always a top Commonwealth Athletic Conference team and looks for another winning season.
Saint John Paul II had 17 wins last year and has reasons for confidence: it has two top returning defensemen (Kurtis Weber and Ben Baxter) and its goalie, Henry Klimm.
Check out MassHSHockey.com for all team schedules, rosters, results and stats.