Mass. Boys HS Hockey – Cape & Islands Preview: Will Status Quo Hold True?

Jim Clark
Jim Clark joined Hockey Night in Boston in December 2019, and has covered high school hockey in Massachusetts for more than three decades. He also covers high school hockey and is a multiplatform editor for the Boston Globe, and previously spent two decades as high school hockey reporter at the Boston Herald, where he also served as the high schools editor from 2000-06. Clark was honored by the Mass. State Hockey Coaches Association with its William Stewart Award for contributions to the sport in May 2019, and also received the Joel Perlmutter Award for media coverage in 2006. A graduate of UMass, he also spent eight years as sports editor/reporter at the Sentinel & Enterprise in Fitchburg, and has extensively covered high school hockey in Central and Western Mass. as well as Connecticut.

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There was no change in either division of the Cape & Islands League entering this season. The big question will be whether there is any change in the league races. Falmouth held off a strong challenge from Sandwich in the Atlantic Division last winter, but Barnstable always is a threat and improving Nauset can’t be overlooked.

On the Lighthouse Division side, Island foes Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard were the top teams a season ago and should be strong again. Dennis-Yarmouth has reinforcements with a new co-op, St. John Paul II has an interesting mix of experience and youth, and Monomoy/Mashpee hopes it can compete despite the challenge of limited numbers.

ATLANTIC DIVISION

FALMOUTH (9-3-1)

Coach: Paul Moore

Tommy Peterson Falmouth

MIAA Division: 1

Having graduated just three seniors, the Clippers should compete for the league title in a big way.

Those three seniors were the team’s top three scorers, so returners like senior Kevin Coyne and senior Bud Driscoll will be asked to produce offensively.

The Falmouth defense returns pretty much intact and will be anchored by senior captains Tommy Peterson and Kyle Souza.

Junior Jack Braga is a more-than-capable netminder.

BARNSTABLE (6-5-0)

Coach: Tim Grace

MIAA Division: 1

Identifying and settling on a lead goaltender is of paramount importance as the Redhawks embark on Cape League Atlantic Conference play.

“We have a young but hungry team. The boys have had a great attitude all of them off-season training hard. We as coaches look forward to seeing what this group can do,” Grace said.

Forwards include seniors Michael Gallagher and Will Jones, and junior Shea Semprini. New sophomores Owen Jones and Chad Tordone shoot to contribute.

New sophomores Aden Mehta and Jed Cormier are competing for the goalie’s job. Seniors Sam Howell and Parker O’Connell and Zak Baxter return on defense.

NAUSET (3-8-1)

Coach: Drew Locke

MIAA Division: 3

Optimism abounds as Nauset enters its second season with Locke behind the bench.

The Warriors have only four seniors, as left wing Hayden Boucher, center/right wing Cooper Guiliano and center Cam Viprino all return from last season along with defenseman Zack Roberts.

However, the Warriors return 15 players in all, including a big junior class that all got experience last season – Cooper McIntire (RW), Pete Murphy (RW), Johnathan Nass (RW), Ben Rose (RW), Dan Deering (LW), Logan Valine (C), Michael Nass (D) and Sam Weiner (D).

Other returnees include sophomores Aaron Howard (LW), Julian Krivos (RW, up from defense) and Luke Matczynski (C).

Goaltending will be a position to watch early in the season as Locke and Nauset will go with freshman Matthew Swanson and eighth-grader Arthur Figueiredo.

SANDWICH (12-1-2)

Coach: Jordan Mohre

MIAA Division: 4

The Blue Knights were one of the stories of the abbreviated 2020-21 season, contending for the C&I Atlantic regular-season title. Now it will be interesting to see how Mohre and crew follow that up, particularly with the Knights skating in Division 4 in the postseason.

Sandwich lost some talent off last year’s squad, but does return the player in the most important position on the ice. Junior Mitchell Norkevicius (1.26 GAA, .931 SP) was a C&I All-Star and once again will anchor the back end.

Senior Drew MacKinnon (1-10-11), another C&I All-Star, also is back on the blue line along with senior Anthony Kent (0-3-3).

The Knights return plenty of their depth players at forward, led by the top line of senior center Caleb Richardson (4-9-13) and wings Kevin Jordan (3-1-4) and Matt Hemeon (2-2-4). Junior center Colin McIver (5-6-11) also returns with sophomore wings Chris Cardillo (4-6-10) and Jack Connolly (5-1-6).

Jordan will be captain this season with Hemeon, Richardson and MacKinnon as alternates.

Sophomore Harry Delman transfers in from St. John Paul II, and sophomore Avery Richardson is another newcomer to watch.

“Deep lineup with ability to score and play stout defense,” Mohre said.

In addition to the season-opening Jim Gormley Cup and the Jeffrey Hayes Tournament in February, Sandwich will have nonleague games against Central Mass. teams Hopedale/Millis, Grafton/Blackstone Valley and Auburn (Hayes opener) as it tunes up for how the new statewide tournament might play out.

LIGHTHOUSE DIVISION

DENNIS-YARMOUTH (4-10-1)

Coach: Lew Alberti

MIAA Division: 4

A new era begins for Alberti and the Dolphins, who beginning this season welcome additions from Cape Cod Tech and Cape Cod Academy as part of a new co-operative arrangement.

“We are excited to have numbers and to put a competitive team on the ice to compete among the Cape and Islands schools,” said Alberti, now in his fifth season. “Building team identity will be our first goal and establishing a team with solid team defense.”

The Dolphins will be looking to build on the momentum of last season, when they fell just short against Nantucket in the Cape & Islands championship game.

Cam Cavatorta Dennis-Yarmouth

D-Y’s young returning core up front includes juniors Aidan Powers (C), Daniel Julian (RW) and Aidan O’Reilly (LW), and sophomore center Max Mingo. Junior Cam Cavatorta and sophomore Andrew Popovitch are the most experienced defensemen, with junior Cole Rounseville prepared to take over the starting role in net.

Among the reinforcements for the Dolphins are four forwards from Cape Tech — juniors Kyle Zabaleta and John Valerio, and freshmen Brecken Veara and Tanner Chicoine. Junior Luke Spinner, a transfer from Holderness, will help out on defense.

Alberti says D-Y will lean on defense and Rounseville to close out games, while looking for scoring throughout the lineup.

MARTHA’S VINEYARD (8-5-0)

Coach: Matt Mincone

MIAA Division: 4

The Vineyarders will be “built from the net out,” according to Mincone. It’s a logical move with senior captain Graham Stearns and senior Oliver Lively (a C&I All-Star last season) back in net.

MV also will have a strong defense in support, with seniors John Coogan and Charlie Lakis as well as Nick Rego.

Mincone will be looking for added scoring punch beyond the veteran group of junior Nick BenDavid and seniors Jake Scott and alternate captain Finn Lewis.

Senior Will Bruguiere, a transfer from Portsmouth Abbey, will be a strong addition to the team.

Dominic Tsoukalas
Monomoy/Mashpee

MONOMOY/MASHPEE (1-10-0)

Coach: Chris Peterson

MIAA Division: 4

While the Monarchs lost only five seniors from last season, Peterson laments that “is big in our small program.” Additional losses to prep school and other programs will make it even more challenging.

Nonetheless, Peterson expects the Monarchs will lean on their goaltending and defensive play. Junior Dominic Tsoukalas and senior Josh Lovely will be in net, with junior Chris Matton the top defenseman.

Up front, Monomoy/Mashpee will look to seniors Jack Stone and Lucas Tambolleo, as well as junior Wyatt Archibald.

“This season will have to be a full team effort with no one player being able to carry the team,” Peterson said.

NANTUCKET (12-3-1)

Coach: Scott Corbett

MIAA Division: 4

Coming off a historic season in which they finished atop the Lighthouse Division, the Whalers should have designs on a repeat while also being one of the stronger teams in Division 4.

Senior centers Hudson Perry and Cosmo Tedeschi both are back off C&I All-Star campaigns. Perry will be a team captain along with senior defenseman Evan Belanger, with Tedeschi and senior left wing Cole Evens as alternate captains.

The strong group of 11 seniors also will include forwards Shane Hanlon (LW), Camden Knapp (LW), Dillion Ottani (RW) and Riley Williams (RW), with George Boucher, Porter Corbett and Finn Kelly joining Belanger on defense. Also on the blue line are sophomores Mike Culkins and Hunter Strojny.

Adding depth at forward for the Whalers will be juniors Jack Billings (RW) and Curran Hatch (C), and sophomores Braden Knapp (LW), Colby O’Keefe (C) and Ryan Davis (RW).

Sophomore Griffin Starr and eighth-grader Toni Swietlik will be vying for the starting spot in goal.

Eddie Leary St. John Paul II

ST. JOHN PAUL II (2-8-0)

Coach: Josh Delman

MIAA Division: 3

As he enters his second season, Delman will try to mix a veteran core with a supporting cast of seventh- and eighth-graders.

Senior captains Charlie Baroni, Jack Sherwood and Anthony Pucillo will form that leadership group. Baroni (LW) and Pucillo (C) will be the top forwards along with junior right wing Jack Homa, while Sherwood anchors the blue line with sophomores Joe McManus and Brady Meyer, senior Pat Leary and freshmen Jonathan Hendricks and Gabe Fitzpatrick.

Delman says Homa and Jamie Erikson, another junior, are a versatile forward tandem who also can move back to defense if needed. Fresmna Liam Monaghan and junior Ryan Moriarty also could provide some scoring punch.

Delman has high hopes for sophomore Eddie Leary as he enters his second season in net for the Lions. Eighth-grader Kelan MacAleese and seventh-grader Jake Smith are the backups.

Among the young cast, eighth-graders Brian Mancinelli and Andrew Fox show the most promise as contributors this season. Jon Valiga, Brayden Short, Grady O’Dea and Matt Desruisseaux are other first-year varsity players.

The Lions hope a pair of varsity players from last season – Andrew Crapo and Sean Willis – will be back from injuries later in the season.

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