Mass. Boys HS Hockey – Commonwealth Conference Preview: Shawsheen Gets The Nod As Favorite

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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With 2023 co-champion Essex Tech having moved to the Cape Ann League, Shawsheen Tech, last year’s other co-champion, emerges as the pre-season favorite.

SHAWSHEEN TECH (17-4-1)

MIAA Division: 3

Following their loss in the Elite 8 last season, a returning group of Rams have more to prove this winter.

Justin Thibert Shawsheen Tech

Led by senior sniper Chase Darcey (41 pts), the Rams are returning a large portion of their production that includes junior Dylan Higson (26 pts), sophomore Justin Thibert (22 pts), senior Kyle Gray (18 pts), and senior Liam Milne (17 pts).

Mike Cedrone Shawsheen Tech

The blueline will also feature a large group of returners, led by senior Derek Nazzaro (11 pts) and supported by junior Larry Cullity (17 pts), senior Brody Amenkowicz (9 pts), and sophomore Jake Banda (5 pts).

Impressive goaltender Mike Cedrone (1.87 GAA) is back between the pipes for Shawsheen.

“They feel they have more to prove,” said head coach Chuck Baker. “We are going to be a hard working group from our own goal line out.”

GREATER LOWELL/NASHOBA TECH (11-12-0)

MIAA Division: 3

Qualifying for the Division 4 Tournament last season, Greater Lowell/Nashoba Tech is looking to build upon their preliminary round loss. With a large group of returners, the sky is the limit for Nashoba Tech this winter.

Key returning forwards senior Cody Katz, junior Jayden Auger, junior Jack Donovan, junior Kyle Bouvier, junior Zach Dibona, and sophomore Brody Simmons will join promising newcomers sophomores Ryan Walsh, Brian Bardsley, and Logan Bettencourt up front.

The defensive front will be led by senior AJ Theriault, junior Cam Nangle, and junior Scott Conneilly. In net, a returning trio of junior Connor Peterson, junior Ty Stapleton, and sophomore Declan Farrell will all strive to make an impact this season.

“If we get solid goaltending and play well in our own zone, we should be able to make some noise this year,” said head coach Bob Callahan.

LOWELL CATHOLIC (7-11-3)

MIAA Division: 2

With new head coach Michael Bardsley taking over, he is hoping with the combination of a core group returning players and good senior leadership, they can compete to the best of their ability.

James Kierce
Lowell Catholic

“We have a great core of returning players along with some really good young talent,” said Bardsley. “We are led by strong leaderships from our two captains Matt Cabral and James Kierce. Our goal this year will be to be strong in all three zones and we are looking forward to competing at our highest level.”

Senior captain Matt Cabral will lead the offense along with fellow seniors Brendan Giblin, Dan Parent, Braedyn Hiltz and Brendan Bulmer. Juniors Colin Robinson and Gage Richard and sophomores Jake Cabral and Matt Lumia will also be in the mix offensively. Senior Bennet Bedell, new to the team this season will also contribute.

Kierce will head the defense with senior Dante Gentile, junior Andrew Marcucci and sophomores Colin Reilly and Brady Mulloy.

Two junior goalies – Sam DeChaves and Keegan Windsor – will both see time in net for the Crusaders this season.

NORTHEAST REGIONAL (8-12-0)

MIAA Division: 4

Coach Brian Capistran says his club will be very aggressive on the puck, which he hopes will create good scoring opportunities.

The Knights return their top two scorers in junior George MacKinnon (33 pts) and senior Cam Correia (28 pts), along with senior Erich Schultz.

On defense, look for juniors Chase Branzell, Matt Laurenza and Joe Hurley to have important roles, along with sophomore Cash Kearney.

The goaltending duties will go to sophomores Matt Hutchinson and Will Baker.

MINUTEMAN (2-18-0)

MIAA Division: 4

With a young team on the horizon, new head coach Jake Bolduc is hoping to bring success to the program. “Great team chemistry, being in every game and hard fought victories will be our keys to success this season,” said Bolduc.

Two forwards back that Bolduc will rely on are Shane Carta and Ian Rempe. Sophomore newcomer Brandon Carta will also see time.

One the blue line, junior Tamoghna Kommaraju will lead the way after Minuteman lost three key defensemen to graduation. Sophomore Alex Francione will be back in goal for his second consecutive year and is hoping to be a big factor.

** Jason Cooke contributed to this post

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