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Mass. Boys HS Hockey – Bay State Herget Preview: Braintree Returns Many; Walpole Skates Returns Just 4 Seniors

The Bay State League Herget Division will feature an always-deep Braintree squad, as well as defending D1 state co-champ Walpole, which will be young. Weymouth is improved and will give teams fits.

Braintree (11-7-3)

The return of a dozen seasoned varsity veterans coupled with an influx of players making the jump up from an undefeated JV-1 team bodes well for the Wamps, who have their sights set on Herget supremacy.

“We have plenty of returning talent with lots of varsity experience that should help as the younger [players] get there feet wet early on. This seems to be a group that is very close on and off the ice which will hopefully translate into success for our program for the foreseeable future,” said veteran coach Dave Fasano.

Brady Leslie

Owen Flynn

Nolan Leonard

Scott Lagos

Senior Brady Leslie (8-10-18), a four-year regular, juniors Scott Lagos (8-10-18) and Owen Flynn (6-10-16), and sophomore Nolan Leonard (9-15-24) will all look to build on productive campaigns. Senior four-year regular Cam Partosan, senior Matt Duane and junior Tim McLaughlin (4-4-8) also return. New sophomore forwards Nicholas Fasano, Kyle Hutchinson, Charlie DiMartino and Robbie Young provide the necessary depth to skate four lines.

Senior goalies Ben Sullivan (1.85 GAA) and Dylan Anderson (2.50 GAA) are an experienced duo in the cage. Senior Brendan Keegan and junior Collin Gaffney are back on defense, a group that will be bolstered by the return of senior Billy Derrane from injury that sidelined him as a junior. Ryan Norton, Josh Donovan, Brendan Keegan and Ronan Ridge, all juniors, all move up fro JV-1.

“This season will be a lot different and we want to make it as meaningful as possible for the kids but most importantly for our seniors who have helped our program thrive the past four years. I would hope that it can be a positive experience for all involved, that all of our players and coaches stay healthy and have fun along with winning some games so our seniors can have something to take with them,” Fasano said.

Kevin McElaney

Walpole (13-8-5)

The Rebels claimed the South Sectional title last winter with four one-goal post-season wins and were then named a Division One State co-champion when the MIAA cancelled Championship Weekend at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Only four seniors return for coach Ron Dowd this winter. Captains and forwards Kevin McElaney and Benjamin Quinn and goalie Jack Curran lead the way.  Sophomore forwards Jason Finkelstein, Andrew Falzone, Jake Preto and Griffen Curran, and sophomore defenseman Matt Bianculli will be counted on for steady contributions as they step into regular roles.

Jack Doyle

“We are young and our schedule is tough but we will play good team defense and develop our younger players,” Dowd said.

Weymouth (6-12-2)
Coach Pat Kennedy welcomes back a good blend of seasoned seniors and experienced underclassmen and expects the Wildcats to play a hard-nosed, gritty style and capitalize on mistakes.
“The key for us will be to prepare as we play and keep practices competitive and play every shift and every game like it’s our last. We need to be tough to play against and make it difficult for other teams to gain any momentum,” Kennedy said.

Will Padula

Senior Jack Doyle (14-6-20) leads a forward group that includes senior Declan Tierney, juniors Jimmy Flaherty and Nick Marrocco (returning from injury), and sophomores Ryan Kane and Corey Legere. Senior keeper Will Padula and junior defensemen Braeden Cunningham and Marco Padula return in the back end.

Milton (7-10-4)

The Wildcats were a scrappy bunch a year ago and coach Chris Watson expects that to be the case once again this winter. Nine veteran players return.

“We hope to have good chemistry, play as a total team, compete in every game, have fun, stay healthy, hopefully remain COVID-free and win as many games as we can,” he said.

Key forwards include senior captain Tyler MacNeil, senior Johnny Lesser and sophomores Jimmy Fallon and Sean McDougall. Joining the big club are junior John Carew and sophomores Declan Walsh and Owen McHugh. On defense, senior captains Colin Hoey and Luke Calcagno, senior Ronan Robinson and junior Joe Pender line up in front of junior goalie Ryan Dexter.

Colin Hoey

Tyler McNeil

Luke Calcagno

Jimmy Fallon

Needham (3-15-2)

The Rockets are looking for a bounce back season. Coach Mike Hoban, now in his sixth year, returns a solid core group to lead the way. “[We will] play with energy, consistency and have fun every night,” he said.

Returning forwards include seniors Charlie Stevens, Connor McNaughton and Chris Kajunski along with juniors Tom Ledbury and Aidan O’Malley. New freshman Jack Curran should step into a regular role.

Junior Ollie Lamadieu is back in goal while seniors Ty McGovern, Jake McGrath and AJ Hillman return with experience on the blue line. New freshmen Jimmy Kenney, Max Hammer and Sean Reilly bring depth to the back end.

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Kevin joined HNIB in 1990 and is a Senior Writer and Director of the Northern New England and Mass/R.I. High School Division camps. A veteran editor/writer of 40 years in the print and digital mediums, he has edited and produced original content and coordinated production for local and global publications and websites. He holds degrees from Merrimack College and Boston University and won multiple industry awards as Sports Editor of The Daily News of Newburyport and News Editor of The Amesbury News. He is the 2016 recipient of the North Shore Lifetime Commitment From the Community award presented by Moynihan Lumber and a 2017 Newburyport High School Wall of Fame inductee. He resides with his family in Portsmouth, NH. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @kdoyle40
Kevin Doyle
- 1 week ago