Mass. Boys HS Hockey – Bay State Conference Herget Division Preview: Deep Braintree Ready For Big Campaign

Gary Demopouloshttp://www.hnibnews.com
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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With an impressive nucleus, Braintree is primed for big things this winter. Walpole will be tough. Weymouth will be in the mix while Needham and Milton should be improved.

BRAINTREE (8-1-2)

Coach: Dave Fasano

MIAA Division: 1

Lots of talents returns from last year’s club that lost just once, so expect the Wamps to be favorites in the Herget Division and be amongst the elite public school teams in the state.

Senior captain Owen Flynn and junior captain Nolan Leonard highlight a deep group of returning forwards that features seniors Garrett Coughlin, Tim McLaughlin, Deni Tabaku, Jack Woods and Mike McGuire, and juniors Nick Fasano, Kyle Hutchinson, Charles DiMartino and Bryan Rizzo.

Senior captain Danny Keegan leads a veteran rearguard contingent which includes seniors Ryan Norton, Ronan Ridge, Josh Donovan and Colin Gaffney, and junior Drew Coady.

In goal, junior Jack Fitzgerald is ready for a big year.

Jimmy Fallon
Milton

MILTON (1-5-3)

Coach: Chris Watson

MIAA Division: 1

The Wildcats look for improvement behind what coach Watson hopes is having an opportunistic offense and playing good team defense.

Ryan Dexter
Milton

Scoring is expected from senior captain Jack Vaughan, junior captain Jimmy Fallon, senior Shea Donovan and juniors Sean McDougall, Owen McHugh and Declan Walsh.

Defensively, juniors Quannah Morrison and Andrew Hunt will team with incumbent seniors Joe Pender and Kevin McManus.

Milton boasts two senior goaltenders in Jake Pelton and Ryan Dexter (captain).

Tom Casey Needham

NEEDHAM (2-4-2)

Coach: Michael Hoban

MIAA Division: 1

A solid core group of veterans will get the task of leading the Rockets to some improvement this year.

Many of those veterans will skate up front in seniors Tom Casey, Aidan O’Malley, Noah Dixon, Joey Jourdan and Tom Ledbury.

Senior Kyle Piersiak, Sean Reilly and sophomore Jimmy Kenney are expected to have key roles on the blue line in front of returning senior goalie Colin Treacy.

WALPOLE (5-3-2)

Coach: Ron Dowd

MIAA Division: 2

Now known as the “Timberwolves,” Walpole also finds itself in a new position as the only Bay State team skating in Division 2 under the new MIAA alignments, having gone out as Division 1 co-champs from 2020.

Colin Birch Walpole

A lot has changed since then, but the Timberwolves still will be a team focused on its end of the ice with senior captains Colin Birch, Jack Walsh and Will Blakely leading the way. Walpole’s deep blue line also includes junior Matt Bianculli and senior Andrew Fowkes.

The play of the defense will be critical as Dowd was looking at three different seniors vying for the goaltending spot in preseason. “So they will need to grow quickly,” Dowd said. “With three seniors it will be good competition.”

Senior Declan Hunter is the other captain for Walpole and leads a forward group with juniors Jason Finkelstein, Joe Cox, Andrew Falzone and Eddie Jackson.

Newcomers to watch this season include senior Albert Lessard and junior Tim Donohue.

WEYMOUTH (8-4-1)

Coach: Patrick Kennedy

MIAA Division: 1

These Wildcats are coming off a pretty successful season and although they graduated some key players, the hope is for some of the others players to step up and increase their roles.

One key forward back is junior captain Ryan Kane (20 pts). Senior captain Jimmy Flaherty and junior Andrew Ferguson will be needed to score. A new junior Ryan Guadiano will look to chip in.

A pair of seniors – Luke McDonald and David Pittman – will lead the defense.

A competition to find a starting goaltender took place during the pre-season.

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