The 13-team Independent Schools League (ISL) boasts many of the top teams in New England. No less than five clubs are ranked in the HNIB News Girls Prep Pre-Season Top 15
Home Arena: Brooks School Arena
A D2 finalist last year, the Bishops return a strong core and will compete in every game.
Senior Carly Stefanini (Utica commit) will headline the offensive attack along with senior Quin Healy and sophomore Brooke Rogers. Also back in the fold in the forward ranks are senior Isabella Miller, senior Taylor Charpentier, junior Brianna O’Neil and sophomore Lucy Adams.
Coach Lori Charpentier returns a quarter of varsity-tested defensemen in junior Nancy Perkins and sophomores Maddy Dombal, Jayda Hayes and Kathryn Duane.
And in goal, where the Bishops graduated D2 Player of the Year Caroline Kukas (now at St. Anselm), junior Sydney Correa, a three-year varsity netminder, gets her chance to be the #1 starter.
Home Rink: Nicholas Athletic Center
It was a successful 2018-19 season for the Knights, who posted their highest winning percentage since the early 1990s. They will focus on one of the toughest schedules in Girls Prep hockey, a slate that features seven of last year’s eight D1 playoff teams, as well as a January trip to Canada.
Three veteran seniors will lead things offensively for coach Ed Bourget in Maya Mangiafico (30 pts – Brown commit), Molly Griffin (27 pts – Northeastern commit) and Jenna Hallice (22 pts). Newcomers looking to make their mark include sophomore Claire Chu, freshman Melissa Bulman and eighth-grader Caitlin Mara.
The defensive kingpin will be junior Mia Biotti (20 pts), a Harvard commit who was recently named to the USA U-18 National team.
The Knights also return a pair of seasoned senior goaltenders in Victoria Kennedy (UMass-Boston commit) and Dani Bernstein (Hamilton College commit). New eighth-grader Alexsa Caron brings added depth to the position.
GOVERNOR’S ACADEMY (5-17-1)
Home Rink: Whiston-Bragdon Arena
The Governors will look to improve and rely on their returning nucleus to do just that.
Sophomore Lily Shannon (25 pts) will again be an offfensive catalyst for coach Claudia Barcomb. Senior Rory McPherson and juniors Ashley Hart and Lauren Fraser are solid returners as well. New sophomore Kelly Harty and freshman Sadie Gearan bring their talents to the club.
On defense, sophomore Maura Fiorenza (8 pts) will be vital, playing in front of returning sophomore goalie Devon Galizio.
Home Rink: O’Brien Rink
A positive dynamic was developing early in the pre-season, which bodes well for this season’s fortunes for the Zebras
A trio of juniors – Elena Junkala, Emily Pollis and Neve Ley – will be leading forces up front for coach Randi Dumont. Freshman Clara Quinlan is a newcomer to watch in the forward ranks.
Junior Maddy Son will be a key defenseman. Some young talent into the program on the blue line includes freshman Georgia Gund (could also see time at forward) and eighth-graders Kiera Ley and Bridget McAvoy.
Goaltending chores will fall on returning sophomore Aine Ley and new sophomore Gwen Torriani.
LAWRENCE ACADEMY (8-17-2)
Home Rink: Grant Ice Arena
The Spartans will be looking for a turnaround campaign this winter. With a good mix of returners and newcomers, that is a distinct possibility.
Coach Kevin Potter will be looking to his juniors to provide the bulk of the offense, a group that features Taylor Girouard, Jamie Babineau and Jess Michals. Sophomore Lainie Lemieux is another returner up front. Three new forwards to watch are sophomore Jordyn Remmes and freshmen Ella Rago and Whitney Dacko.
Senior defensemen Jenna Seibold (an Endicott recruit) and Alyssa Berardino will see a lot of ice time in the back end. Morgan Vigeant is a junior returner on the blue line, while junior Sydney Lester is back after an injury-plagued sophomore campaign.
Junior Ava DiVincenzo and freshman Katelyn Michals will battle for time in goal for LA.
Home Rink: Pratt Rink
Some good numbers return for the Zebras, who look to put more pressure on their opponents this season, and take advantage of shooting opportunities.
Seniors Lola Davis, Ali Joseph and Kiley Briand, junior Isabelle Allieri and sophomore Alana Burn all return up front for coach Kate Hoar. They will be supplemented with the arrival of new sophomore Ava Romano and freshmen Caroline Cervini and Sage Pierkarski.
The blue line crew will see senior Nicolette Roark leading senior Riley Galizio, junior Maddie Murphy and sophomore Danielle Lawton. Freshman Maeve Clifford will press for time.
In goal, senior Daisy Boynton is back for the Zebras.
MILTON ACADEMY (5-16-2)
Home Rink: Roberts Rink
A lot of new faces will be in the lineup on the defensive side of the ice, so while that group gets acclimated to the prep game the Mustangs will rely on their experienced talent up front to carry them, especially in the early going.
That experience includes the likes of senior Kate Dudley (17 pts – Middlebury recruit), senior Caroline Guden (15 pts – Stanford field hockey commit), senior Danni Lu, senior Zoe Katz and junior Lily Zavolas (15 pts). Add to that group new sophomore Sarah Maciel and freshman Cat Buckley.
Sophomore Caroline Baldwin is a returning rearguard for coach Ryan Stone. Joining her on the blue line will be junior Kiley Erickson, sophomore Catie McNulty and freshmen Amanda Alegria, Makena Monahan and Sydney Iwaskow.
In the nets, new sophomore Emily Evans will battle for the starter’s job.
Home Rink: Flood Rink
The ‘Dawgs came within one game of a New England D1 crown a year ago. They have some shoes to fill on the blue line, but have some depth at forward and experience in goal.
Up front, junior Katie Pyne (41 pts – Boston College commit) and sophomores Kate Ham (27 pts – Boston College commit) and Emmy O’Leary (41 pts – Princeton commit) will power the attack for veteran coach Tom Resor, along with senior Maeve Connolly (13 pts – Penn State commit) and sophomore Julia Simon (15 pts).
Three solid defensemen do return in senior Cassidy Piersiak (18 pts – Brown commit), senior Katie Armstrong and sophomore Kaley MacDonald (13 pts – Harvard commit).
Junior Taylor Hyland is back in goal. She was the workhorse between the pipes for the ‘Dawgs last winter.
Home Rink: MacDowell Arena
The Red Wings took home what may be the final Division 2 NEPSAC title last winter. They do have a solid group of senior leaders back, teamed with some new faces.
Look for senior Rylie Glennon (Amherst commit), senior Maggie Barrow and eighth-grader Lauren Glaser to have key roles offensively for coach Dana Trivigno.
A pair of seniors – Lilly Branka and Julia Hitti – will be cornerstones of the Rivers defense. New junior Jenna MacDonald (Harvard commit) comes over after playing at Nobles last winter.
ST. GEORGE’S (12-7-5)
Home Rink: St. George’s Ice Rink
After a solid campaign last year, the Dragons may take a step back this winter, having graduated eight players, including three all-conference selections and four of five defensemen. New head coach Bob Kenneally will make sure the team works hard.
Goaltending will be a strongpoint with the likes of sophomore Katie DeSa, already committed to Penn State, and senior Mia Gardner.
Senior Mary Leys is the catalyst in the forward ranks. Another key returner is junior Katie Keenan. Three freshmen – Parker Lial, Kiley Hayes and Izzy Lahah – look to make their mark.
Two freshmen who will see immediate time on the blue line will be Elisabeth Savage and Ashley Quintal.
ST. MARK’S (9-14-3)
Home Rink: Gardner Hockey Rink
Playing tough and disciplined defense will be a must this season for the Lions.
As far as scoring goes, coach Casey Bates feels that the returning players will need to play a bigger role. Two key returners in the forward lines are junior Lauren Tolve (11 pts) and sophomore Avery McInerny (12 pts). New junior Lilli Armstrong and freshmen Kaitlyn Breslin and Molly Lefebvre add depth to the position.
Junior Alicia Souliotis will be an anchor on the defensive side for the Lions. New junior Madison Michals (Vermont commit) will be a big help, coming over from the program at Nobles. Freshman Carlisle Brush will look for key minutes on the blue line.
St. Mark’s does return a pair of battle-tested goaltenders in senior Lydia Rascher and junior Erin Murray.
Home Rink: Travis Roy Arena
The Seawolves have been amongst the very elite programs in Girls Prep hockey that last few years and this winter should be no exception.
The team boasts no less that four Division 1 recruits in the forward lines. Senior Clare O’Leary (Boston University) and juniors Skyler Irving (Northeastern), Abby Newhook (Boston College) and Ashley Clark (Providence) will provide a ton of offense for coach Eric Long. Three impressive freshmen to keep an eye on are twin sisters Kayla McGaffigan and Ava McGaffigan, and Paige Long.
Boston University commit Julia Shaunessy, a senior, and Sami Quackenbush (Hamilton commit), also a senior will be cornerstones on defense. Freshman Juliette Piersol is looking for a key role on the blue line.
Senior Christine Steege is an experienced returning goaltender, joined in the rotation by freshman Rebecca Mullahy.
Home Rink: Thayer Ice Center
Expectations are high at Thayer, where the team will feature no less than 10 seniors that have experienced some success over the last few years.
The offense will revolve around a quarter of seniors in Claire Weber (39 pts – St. Anselm commit), Madison McCaffrey (36 pts – St. Anselm commit), Rivers Morris (Plattsburgh St commit) and Emily Cataldo (14 pts – William Smith College commit). A new freshman in the lineup is Christine Oar.
Handling the defensive chores for coach Brian Cibelli will be senior Ava Cornforth (William Smith College commit), senior Meghan Webb and junior Claire Kennedy (17 pts). Freshman Madison Richman adds quality depth.
The Tigers also return both goaltenders in senior Cam McCrystal (Wesleyan commit) and junior Leonie Kuehberger.