Both Nobles and Tabor will have strong teams that have set their sights on an Elite Tournament berth. This league also boasts both the Large School (BB&N) and Small School (Rivers) champions from a year ago. New coaches in the league are at Brooks (Ashley Kilstein Scire) and St. George’s (Kim Tiberi).
Coach: Ed Bourget
The Knights went 8-2-2 down the stretch a year ago, a run that culminated in a New England Large School title. With some decent experience back, BB&N will be in the mix again.
Senior Melissa Bulman headlines a returning cast at forward that also features junior Meghan Britt and sophomores Izzy King and Hannah Weyehaeuser. A trio of newcomers to keep an eye on are sophomore Savana Littlewood (Braintree HS), freshman Anika Singh (Lexington HS) and eighth-grader Mary Murray.
A young but stout defense will see junior Cailey Larouco, and sophomores Emi Biotti, Brenna O’Reilly and Lexi Mara logging serious minutes.
Goaltending will certainly be a team strength with the return of the junior trandem of Alexsa Caron and Annabelle Najarian.
Coach: Ashley Kilstein Scire
A Small School tourney qualifier last winter, the Bishops turn to a new head coach in Kilstein Scire, who says her team is “shifting their energy into playing a smart, efficient and calcuated brand of push-the-pace hockey.” Also, longtime prep coach Lori Charpentier returns to the bench as an assistant.
Brooks boast a trio of forwards who have made their college choices in seniors Michaela Littlewood (Merrimack), Molly Driscoll (Boston College) and Maria Pierce (Colby). A new freshman, Elsa Wood (Marblehead HS), will add her talents.
Senior Morgan Rochefort will be an anchor on defense. Two new freshmen to watch are Addyson Peel (Scarborough HS, ME) and Jacquelyn Gasseau (California).
In goal, senior Eleanor Rogers and sophomore Kyleigh Matola both return.
GOVERNOR’S ACADEMY (14-8-2)
Coach: Claudia Barcomb
Six straight wins to start last season catapulted the Governors to a solid season that reached the Large School tournament semifinals. Can they duplicate that success this year?
Key returners for coach Barcomb are junior defenseman Reese Pascucci and sophomore forward Ella Tucker.
New freshman defenseman Kate Doucette and freshman netminder Liz Luong hope to crack the lineup.
Coach: Tim LeRoy
Only two players graduated from last year’s squad that just missed a playoff berth last season. Coach LeRoy added a group of new players as well, giving the team great depth.
Sophomores Maddie Cronan and Kiely Murphy, and freshman Tina Scalesse all saw considerable ice time a year ago and return as leaders up front, joined by a trio of new impressive freshmen in Ella Nannene (Acton-Boxboro HS), Lauren Ash (East Coast Wizards) and Jaelyn Trudell (East Coast Wizards). Another freshman, Jamie Noonan, could play up front or on defense.
On the blue line, junior ace Keira Ley, a Harvard commit, will be the quarterback. Junior Lulu Jerrett and freshman Sydney Nelson are keys as well.
Junior Veronika Hadamovsky is a returning starter between the pipes.
LAWRENCE ACADEMY (10-10-3)
Coach: Kevin Potter
With big numbers returning, don’t sleep on the Spartans, who look to do big things this winter.
Seniors Anya Nichipor (Suffolk commit), Hannah Haxton, Meghan Gambino and Ella Rago (Assumption commit), juniorReese Pereira, and sophomores Ava Glab and Kayla Rice are all back in the fold. A couple of newcomers at forward are junior Geena Cookinham and freshman Nuala Gibbs.
Coach Potter’s blue line contingent has seniors Julia Schuster, Grace Joscelyn (Norwich commit) and Amber Banks, junior Maddie Rivet, sophomore Alana Gleicher and new freshman Mairead Carey.
Two seniors – Katelyn Michals (Assumption commit) and C.J. Jahnle – are in the goaltending rotation.
Coach: Briana Mastel
The Zebras struggled somewhat last year, but have a big crew back, as well as a host of young new talent into the program. “In order to find success this season, we will need our defensive play to be rock-solid, and our offense to bring consistent pressure and be relentless in pursuit of putting pucks in the back of the net,” Mastel said.
Senior captain Caroline Cervini leads a returning offensive group that also has juniors Sienna Berardinelli, Olivia Vlacich, Avery Taylor and Katie Athanasoulas, and sophomores Finley Crosby and Ellie Calo. As many as five freshmen could see time as well.
Defensively, seniors captain Charlotte Hinckley and Charley DiAdamo will be cornerstones. Also back are seniors Maeve Clifford and Ella McTeague, junior Maggie Miller, and sophomores Isla Ferrari and Sophia Yang. New freshman Luisa Ferrari comes highly-regarded.
In the nets, juniors Kat Garabedian and Regan Fitzgerald are back, with new sophomore Vivienne Milosavljevic (East Coast Wizards) in the fold as well.
MILTON ACADEMY (7-12-2)
Coach: Ryan Stone
The Mustangs return eight seniors who will be counted on to lead the club, and will have to find a replacement in goal for the graduated Emily Evans.
Seniors Abby Holcomb and Cat Buckley will be catalysts up front. Defensively, look for senior Makenna Monahan and senior Brynn Leahy to be cornerstones.
Coach: Tom Resor
The ‘Dawgs had another memorable season a year ago, one that came up just short with the loss to Williston in the New England Elite 8 final. There is plenty in the cupboard for another championship run. Team speed and depth are strengths.
Seniors Ellie Mabardy (Northeastern commit) and Brooke Manning (Harvard commit) will spearhead the Nobles offense along with other key returners in juniors Olivia Maffeo (Boston College commit) and Meghan Loeber and sophomores Sage Albright and Molly MacCurtain. Joining the club will be new junior Maddie Krepelka (Arlington HS), one of the top forwards in Mass. Girls HS Hockey the past few seasons.
No less than six rearguards return from the varsity roster, led be senior Cali Cerruti (Providence commit) and junior Sophia Levering (Yale commit). Also back are senior Clare O’Connor (Amherst commit), senior Carly Ward (Wesleyan commit), junior Ainsley Gray and junior Jamie Griswold. New sophomore Laney Mead (Shawsheen/Bedford) will be in the mix as well.
In the nets, junior Anya Zupkofska is a Brown committ. Junior Lulu Seeman and sophomore Annie Spring are also in the goalie rotation.
Coach: Coutney Sheary
The defending NE Small School champions, the Redwings will put a big emphasis on speed and getting on pucks quickly. “We are excited to get back on the ice this winter,” coach Sheary said. “Coming off a stellar year last year we are looking forward to continuing our competitive play.”
Offensive leadership will come from returners Lindsey Morin, Stella Mullen, Brooke Bartlett, Sophie Rousell and Morgan Boyce.
Five blueliners are back in Izzy Chitkara, Cailyn Murphy, Mary O’Brien, Lindsey Bertucchi and Taylor Ehler.
Veteran Eve Stone has graduated, leaving more opportunity in goal for returning netminder Fina Applegate.
ST. GEORGE’S (7-12-2)
Coach: Kim Tiberi
Coach Tiberi moves up to the head coaching position and inherits a club that should have more depth this winter.
Seniors Izzy Lahah and Meghan Azzato, and juniors Zoe Puc and Parker Lial form the cornerstone of the Dragons offense. New sophomore Chase Van Ogtrop (Wayland/Weston) and freshman Maddie Lahah bring their talents to the table.
On defense, senior Ashley Quintal and junior Michaela Birmingham are key returners. New players on the blue line are sophomore Sarah Bunnell and Allie McIntosh.
Junior Catherine Atchison is back in goal, joined by new freshman Kalyssa Bayne.
ST. MARK’S (8-12-2)
Coach: Casey Bates
The Lions will rely on strong senior leadership as they focus on playing disciplined hockey in the defensive zone.
Veterans up front for St. Mark’s are senior Molly Lefebvre and senior Kaitlyn Breslin, a UConn softball commit.
Senior Carlisle Brush anchors the defense in front of senior netminder Mia Iwicki.
Coach: Eric Long
With only three players having graduated from a team that reached the Elite 8 semifinal round, the Seawolves will feature a balanced attack up front, strong goaltending and consistent defensive play.
Senior twins Ava and Kayla McGaffigan (both committed to Assumption) will be offensive leaders amongst a group that also consists of seniors Sydney Aitkenhead (Trinity commit) and Paige Long, and juniors Whitney Dacko, Julianna Gofredo and Lizzy Greeley. Junior Ayla Abban is new, coming from Duxbury HS. Also in are junior Lauren Elliott (Bishop Kearney Selects), Abby Mackentire and Ashley Piersol.
An experienced defense features senior Juliette Piersol, junior Kaitlin Sullivan and sophomores Addy Paskowski, Katie Murphy and Peyton Wolfe. Junior Alex Meola (Canterbury transfer) and Grace Long (Old Rochester) add to the group.
Coach Long also has two veteran netminders to turn to in seniors Rebecca Mullaly and Ella Fahey.
Coach: Brandy Fisher-Bailey
Speed at the forward position in a group that can put the puck in the net, the Tigers are ready to make a jump with still an overall young team.
The returning group up front features senior Christine Oar and Lila Shea, junior Mia Ng and sophomores Morgan McGathey and Kate Sullivan. Infused into the lineup are newcomers Wren Abboud (Weymouth HS) and Veronica Taylor (Boston Advantage).
Senior Madison Richman is a veteran presence on defense. Juniors Celia Benson and Josephine Brown will have key roles.
In goal, junior Elizabeth MacDonald returns.