Mass. Boys HS Hockey – Commonwealth Athletic Conference Preview: 17 Return For Essex Tech; Lowell Catholic Joins Loop

Alexis Demopoulos
Alexis Demopoulos
Alexis is a 2017 graduate from UMass Lowell who currently works covering hockey for Hockey Night in Boston as well as the Worcester Railers JHC & is a sports reporter for the Daily Times Chronicle in Woburn.

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Lowell Catholic joins the CAC this winter and hopes to battle Essex Tech and Shawsheen for league bragging rights.

Amani Booth
Essex Tech

ESSEX TECH (16-4-3)

Coach: Mark Leonard

This is the Hawks’ last season in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference before they join the Cape Ann League Kinney Division next year. They have 17 players returning from last year’s team that won league and state vocational championships.

Brady Leonard
Essex Tech

The forwards are led by junior Logan Casey (8-13-21), sophomores Brady Leonard (12-7-19) and Jaydan Vargas (3-14-17) and senior Brian Swaczyk (8-6-14).

Defensemen Riley Sobezenski, a sophomore (6-7-13), senior Cam Doherty (2-7-9) and junior Amani Booth (2-7-9) are back.

Senior goalie Kyle Mahan had a 1.56 goals against average with a .929 save percentage and eight shutouts last year.

Sophomore defenseman Mason Sutcliffe is back after missing last season with a broken foot. Anthony Bisenti, a sophomore forward, joined the team after playing juniors last year.

“We have a good mix of size, speed and strong goaltending,” coach Leonard said. “Team speed will help keep pressure on other teams’ D and good size on D will protect our end of the ice. There is a strong work ethic and it’s a very close-knit group of players.”

Keegan Boyden Lowell Catholic

LOWELL CATHOLIC (4-12-4)

Coach: Tom Curran

With a good mix of upper and lowerclassmen back, expect Lowell Catholic to be back in the mix. Despite only winning four games last season, coach Curran expects special teams play and secondary scoring to be the keys to success this season.

Senior captains Adam Ellegood and Lucas Rego will help lead the charge of the offense along with senior Kyle D’Auteil and juniors Matt Cabral and Brendan Giblin. Sophomore Gabe Richard and Colin Robinson are also back.

The defense will have plenty of returners and will be anchored by senior captain Keegan Boyden and senior Matt Choate. Junior Jimmy Kierce and sophomore Andrew Marcucci will also play big roles.

Some newcomers looking to make contribute right away are senior Nathan Bernier and juniors Danny Parent, Brayden Hilz, Brendan Bulmer and Dante Gentile.

As for goaltending look for sophomore Sam Dechaves and freshman Vinny D’Urso to split the time.

Brady Darcey Shawsheen

SHAWSHEEN (16-6-1)

COACH: Chuck Baker

Coach Baker is hoping his team can pick up right where they left off as the Rams welcome back a core group from last season. “We return a good group so the team has pretty good chemistry,” said Baker. “By mixing in some of the young kids, we hope to have some team success.”

The duo of the Darcey brothers will be key on the top line for the Rams. Senior Brady Darcey (27 pts) and junior Chase Darcey (29 pts) put up huge points last season. Also back at forwards are sophomore Dylan Higson (19 pts), juniors Liam Milne (15 pts) and Kyle Gray (14 pts) as well as senior Nick Calouro (12 pts).

Leading the way on defense will be senior Kevin Ackerley, junior Derek Nazzarro, and sophomore Larry Cullity.

Some newcomers also hoping to get into the mix are senior defenseman Even Curtis and junior Brody Amenkowwicz. Freshman Justin Thibert is joining the Rams on offense.

In goal, look for senior Ayden MacLeod and junior Mike Cedrone. Newcomer junior Nate Medieros will back them up. 

MINUTEMAN (4-14-0)

Coach: Joe Joncas

With a young team on the horizon, coach Joe Joncas hopes to build off of the development they made last season.

“We are a promising young team and are learning the speed and skill needed for the high school varsity level,” said Joncas. “Strong defense and a young goalie will be the pillars of what we hope to be a successful season.”

With a number of forwards graduating, a key returner will be senior Brendan Cotter. Two new forwards hoping to be in the mix will be junior Ian Rempe and sophomore Ben Morse.

On the blue line three seniors will be leading the way in Nolan Griffin, Thomas Ward and Aidan Bingle. Sophomore Tamoghna Kommaraju will contribute to the defense as well.

The big question will be the goaltending as both from last season graduated, so they will be young in that aspect.

GREATER LOWELL/NASHOBA TECH (8-12-0)

COACH: Bob Callahan

With a number of solid defenseman and goalies returning expect Greater Lowell/Nashoba Tech to be in the Commonwealth Conference mix this season. Having so many returners is key and if the younger kids step up coach Callahan thinks they will be tough to beat.

“We need some younger guys to step up for us and put the puck in the net,” said Callahan. “If we can get scoring from multiple lines, we will tough to beat this year.”

Four senior forwards are back including three from Nashoba Tech in Evan Mosscrop, Trevor Desjardins and Chris Powers, and Christian Blanchette from Greater Lowell. Also back on offense is junior Cody Katz and sophomores Jayden Auger, Jack Donovan, Zach Dibona and Kyle Bouvier. Three new forwards joining the team hoping to get in on the action are Gabriel Demauro and freshman Brody Simmonds and Daniel Cregg.

Senior Cal Norris will anchor the defense, as will junior AJ Theriault and sophomores Colin Norris, Cam Nangle and Ryan Rurak. In net they will have plenty of options with all three returning from last season including junior Cole Currier and sophomores Connor Peterson and Ty Stapleton.

NORTHEAST (10-12-1)

Coach: Brian Capistran

The Knights are back with a number of good players from last season and coach Capistran is hoping they can be competitive. “We are looking to be competitive within the Commonwealth Conference due to the strength we see this upcoming season in the defense position, along with our returning forwards,” he said.

Junior Cam Correia (30 pts) is back after his stellar season last year along with sophomore George MacKinnon (27 pts) and senior Cam Rager (16 pts).

On defense, you will find Rager splitting his time along with senior Jake McLaughlin (10 pts).

With no returning goalies from last season, it remains up in the air who will get the starting position. 

** Stephen Tobey contributed to this report

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