Girls D1 Prep Preview: Kent, Williston, Tabor must be watched

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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Hoping to be in the playoff mix in Division I is Berkshire (11-10-4), which returns a good group from last year’s club.

Katie Hargrave Berkshire
Katie Hargrave

Seniors Erin Dillon, Maddie Beitler and Molly O’Neil all bring good experience to the forward lines, as do juniors Katie Hargrave and Caroline Sugar. New sophomore Elsie Harrington and freshman Katherine Appleyard will press for ice time.

A trio of seniors – Maggie Curran, Claire Lemker and Antonia Matzka – are back on the blue line for coach Becky Zavisza. New sophomore Harley Frechette brings her talents to the defensive group.

In goal, the Bears have returning junior Jaime Allan and freshman Annie Hauser to do the job.

At Brewster Academy (7-14-2), Maeve Connelly takes over as head coach at her alma mater and is looking for her team to work hard.

Up front, senior Maddy Cunningham and junior Emily Erne will be counted on for offensive production. Newcomers who should contribute right away are sophomore Sydney Fascetta and freshmen Megan Olszewski and Kayla Proia.

Junior Kate Nice is a solid holdover blueliner for the Bobcats. New junior Kaylyn Stoddard will have a key role.

In the nets, returning senior Jordan Carrier will be pushed by new junior Sarah Street.

It was an uncharacteristic sub .500 mark last winter for Choate (9-12-0). Coach Nicole Stock feels her team needs to finish the season stronger than the Wild Boars did a year ago. “We need to be ready for the grind and win the games we must win,” she said.

Senior Christina Schuler will power Choate’s offensive attack, while senior Emily Atkins is the leader on the blue line.

Senior Cameron Leonard is a returning goaltender. A newcomer ready to click right away is senior Ellen Arena, who played at Northfield Mt. Hermon last season.

Valerie Bono returns to her alma mater Cushing (1-22-4) and is fully committed to turning the program around quickly.

Remy Bragg Cushing
Remy Bragg
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Blossom Truel Cushing
Blossom Truel
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Kristina Cheverie Cushing
Kristina Cheverie
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Margaret Sullivan Cushing
Margaret Sullivan

Helping in that regard up front will be seniors Blossom Truel and Kristina Cheverie, returning forwards for the Penguins. Newcomers ready to jump right in are sophomore Margaret Sullivan, junior Ally Frechette, freshman Jenna Viglione and sophomore Mia Sacco.

Seniors Remy Bragg and Emma Kowalka are defensive leaders for Cushing. New junior Erin King will help out immediately.

The goaltending duties will fall on returner Chiara Pfosi and newcomer Sarah Potter.

Dierdre Mullowny Deerfield
Dierdre Mullowny

Deerfield (10-9-1) doubled its Division 1 wins last winter with a young club, most of which returns, including five of the team’s top six defensemen. If the Big Green can eliminate defensive zone mistakes and get production from all of their forward lines, they could see a lot more improvement this year.

Seniors Meghan Halloran (committed to Williams) and Jenna Greenbaum will be key components of the offense, along with returning junior Mary Edmonds. Freshman Christina Halloran hopes to step right in to the offensive.

On defense, coach Genevieve Pitt will rely on sophomore standout Deirdre Mullowney (committed to Boston College) and junior Ali Dougal to be the cornerstones. Freshman Aurora Devereaux, part of a Mass. HS state title team at Notre Dame Academy, joins the blue line crew.

Freshman Olivia Mikesell will battle for time in the Deerfield nets.

Jillian Mazzocca Hotchkiss
Jillian Mazzocca

Another team looking to take a few rungs up the ladder is Hotchkiss (6-15-3). The Bearcats will need to play strong and consistent two-way hockey.

At forward, veteran coach John Cooper welcomes back juniors Gracyn Campbell and Steph O’Brien, and sophomore Abby Hillebrecht. They hope to mesh with newcomers to the program, senior Sophie Wilder, junior Molly Delaney, sophomores Jilliam Mazzocca and Caitlin Reilly, and freshman Sandrine Brien.

Senior Grace Schreiber and sophomore Maddie Rego will lead the Bearcats on defense in front of junior goaltender Lindsay Reed.

Julia Nearis Kent
Julia Nearis

Coming off a superb campaign, the ingredients are there again for another great season for Kent (19-3-1), which should have even more depth this winter.

Forwards back for coach Shawn Rousseau are senior Keely Moy, juniors Tina Paolillo, Ashley MacDonald, Jesse DeVito, Kelly Dolan and Lizzy Gross, and sophomores Haley Uliasz and Julia DiNapoli. New junior Julia Nearis will contribute right away. Looking for their roles will be new sophomores Kiersten Goode, Reece Deiner and Cec Ehrhard.

Seniors Jessye Ebzery and Anne-Sophie Rioux bring their experience on the blue line, leading the returning junior duo of Mei Anderson and Delaney Sziezyngier, and sophomore Meara Burns. Senior Abby Nearis and sophomore Sophie Zander hope to crack the group.

Jessica Schryver Loomis Chaffee
Jessica Schryver
Loomis Chaffee

New senior Becky Dutton and returning junior Carly Denora will handle the goaltending for the Lions.

Cali Stevens Loomis Chaffee
Cali Stevens
Loomis Chaffee

A strong, deep forward group will be a key at Division I finalist Loomis Chaffee (22-4-1). If the Pelicans can get solid play from a young defense and strong goaltending, they will be a force again.

Up front, senior veterans Sharon Frankel, Maddie Giordano and Emma Flynn will have key roles. Junior Cali Stevens and sophomore Jessica Schryver also return. New players up front for coach Liz Leyden are post-grads Maddie Leidt and Kaleigh Quennec.

Senior Grace Usilton will provide leadership on the blue line. Junior Taylor Stadeli is a returning goaltender.

Cayla Barnes New Hampton
Cayla Barnes
New Hampton

New Hampton (22-6-4) burst on the scene last winter as a serious New England contender and this year will be the same, with a potent lineup and talent at every position.

Riley Jordan New Hampton
Riley Jordan
New Hampton

The offensive attack will be led by seniors Taylor Curtis (30 pts, committed to Syracuse) and Sierra Lee (29 pts), junior Savannah Norcross (31 pts, committed to Boston College) and sophomore McKenzie Haberl (34 pts). Adding to that group are new junior Riley Jordan, sophomore Kelly Matthews and freshman Anna Shelden.

Defense will be strongpoint as well with the return of senior Cayla Barnes (37 pts, Boston College commit) and sophomore Lauren Deblois (12 pts, Providence commit. Senior Julia Lee (19 pts) is bound for Trinity. New senior Kyra Leland and freshman Maddie Crowley-Cahill give New Hampton a deep blue line corps.

In goals, senior Cierra San Roman is ready for a big campaign for coach Craig Churchill.

An improved offensive attack should be in the cards for Northfield Mt. Hermon (9-15-3), which returns a good group from its forward lines.

Amanda Aalto Northfield
Amanda Aalto
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Alisa Canney Northfield
Alisa Canney
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Melissa Alexander Northfield
Melissa Alexander

Union College commit Alli First headlines the returning group, which also features juniors Ellie Fellows, Sophie McLaughlin and Melissa Alexander, and sophomore Ally Watrous. New junior Nicole Unsworth and freshmen Sage Valente and Ally Nolan could open some eyes.

Defensively, junior Steph Voge is back and will be a stalwart. Sophomore Alisa Canney moves back from the forward ranks to fortify the blue line for coach Ted Kenyon.

The Hoggers return a pair of experienced goalies in juniors Amanda Aalto and Grace Smith.

Olivia Keefe Phillips Andover
Olivia Keefe
Phillips Andover
Elizabeth Holubiak Phillips Andover
Elizabeth Holubiak
Phillips Andover

Phillips Andover (15-3-5) came out of nowhere a year ago and earned a playoff spot. With a solid core back and a talented incoming group, there will be no sneaking up on anyone this winter. The Big Blue are deep and talented.

Returning to a deep forward group are seniors Kaitlin Hoang and Courtney Masotti, juniors Brianna Fadden, Elizabeth Welch and Charlotte Welch, and sophomore Emily Batchelor. New sophomore Kelly McCarthy and freshmen Lilly Feeney and Maddie Silveira add quality depth.

On the blue line, senior Olivia Keefe, junior Elizabeth Holubiak and sophomore Brooke Keough will be joined by post-grad Payton Donato, new sophomores Erin Kelley and Anna Maniaci, and freshmen Olivia Nolan and Linda Bibeau.

Coach Martha Fenton also has two returning varsity goaltenders in juniors Alexa Matses and Ashley Tucker.

Bonnie Labonte Phillips Exeter
Bonnie Labonte
Phillips Exeter

Phillips Exeter (10-11-4) was a tough opponent last winter, and should be again this year.

Seniors Bonnie Labonte  and Sydnee Goyer will be key returning forwards for coach Melissa Pacific. New sophomores Hannah Littlewood and Katie Young, and freshmen Ally DeCoste and Emma Watson want to contribute right away.

Returner Brittni Chapman is vital to the defensive success for the Big Red. Freshman Camryn McCrystal will fight for the starting goaltender’s job.

Angelica Mushenko Pomfret
Angelica Mushenko

It was a struggle last season for Pomfret (1-15-2), which won just one contest. New head coach Samantha Slotnick hopes to get the program back on the winning track soon.

Junior Angelica Mushenko will be crucial to any offensive success for the Griffins.

Junior Taylor Ettore is a returning blueliner, to be joined on the blue line by post-grad Kat LeFebre and freshman Grace Arsenault.

Two new goalies in the Pomfret program are junior Emme Ostrander and freshman Rieley Jessie-Gerelli.

Probably the best team not to make the playoffs last winter, Tabor (15-5-4) returns nine of its top 10 scorers, which doesn’t bode well for its opposition.

Kelly Browne Tabor
Kelly Browne
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Jackie Leone Tabor
Jackie Leone
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Anne Berry Tabor
Anne Berry

The forward lines are highlighted by a handful of D1 commits. Juniors Kelly Browne (38 pts) and Olivia Finocchiaro (20 pts) and Jillian Fey (16 pts) have all committed to Boston College, while Martha Peppes is bound for UNH. Newcomers providing solid offensive depth are Anne Berry and Cindy Giandomenico, both transfers from Southfield School.

On defense, senior Jacqueline Leone has committed to Colgate. Taylor Matherson (18 pts) will go to Dartmouth. Those cornerstones will be joined by talented newcomers Julia Schiffman, Maddie Maloney and Julia Shaunessy.

Coach Eric Long also returns veteran senior Lizzie Hanson in goal. She had a 1.34 gaa last winter.

Kaitlin Piechnik Taft
Kaitlin Piechnik

A strong finish to last season has Taft (10-8-3) excited for the upcoming year. The Rhinos hope to battle for a playoff spot this winter.

Senior tri-captain Natalie Lima will be a going concern at forward for coach Gretchen Silverman. Juniors Natalie Witkowski and Lexi Cafiero and key offensive cogs as well. Senior tri-captains Sasha Bridge and Anna Rasmussen also return. Three new forwards ready to contribute right away are juniors Ally Trimper, Morgan Trimper and Liv Santini.

Lilly Holmes Westminster
Lilly Holmes

Junior Sarah Ince keys the Taft blue line, along with Brown commit junior Vivian Lu. Kaitlin Piechnik is also a returning blueliner. Junior Sidney Molnar is a returning varsity goaltender.

It has been an up-and-down last couple of years for Westminster (9-11-2). A New England D1 title two years ago, and then a sub. 500 mark last winter. The Martlets look to get back in the mix.

Coach David Pope welcomes back senior Lily von Stade and junior Lilly Holmes up front. Freshman Taylor Adams hopes to contribute.

On defense, seniors Madie Bologa and Mackenzie Griffith and juniors Emma Lange and Ashlee White form a solid returning group. In goal, senior Leah Klassen is also back.

Newcomers looking to do the job include Lauren Ferriaulo, Abby Munger, Megan Rittenhouse and Jenny Guider.

Gabby DiComitis Williston
Gabby DiComitis

Graduation hit 2016 New England semifinalist Williston (21-2-1) hard, so the returners will need to fill those shoes if the Wildcats can return to the post-season.

The offense will be built around the junior group of Gabbie Jones, Tori Palumbo, Marielle McHale and Elin Blomquist, and sophomores Caroline DiFiore, Kate Holmes and Maura Holden.

Seniors Alexis Ryan and Gabby Monaco are top holdovers on defense for coach Christa Talbot Syfu. In goal, junior Gabby Dicomitis is ready for an increased role.

Expect the Wildcats to have a group of solid newcomers as well.

Former assistant Laura DiCarlo has moved up to the head coaching position at Winchendon (6-21-2) and hopes her club can create some more scoring opportunities.

Up front, seniors Shelby Foran and Jayden Young are top returners for the Wapiti. New junior Marianna Rajala and freshmen Mikayla Walsh, Makenzie Shandley and Emma Landry should help the cause as well.

Senior Giana Savastano, a Providence commit, will be an anchor of the Winchendon defense. Freshman Julia Holmes will look for solid minutes.

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