Mass. Boys HS Hockey – MIAA Boys Division 2 Tournament Preview: Tewksbury, Canton The Top 2 Seeds

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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In what could very well be the most competitive of the MIAA tournaments, Tewksbury grabbed the top seed, with Canton at #2. There are several other programs with a legitimate shot at the title.

First Round action kicks off on Wednesday with 10 of 16 games taking place. The Division 2 state final will be held on Sunday, March 17 at TD Garden.

The 32-team field:

#1 TEWKSBURY (17-3-0)

Tewksbury has all pieces in place to make a strong run in the MIAA Division 2 tournament. The Redmen have shown no signs of slowing down all season and are going into a postseason hungry to get back to the Garden after falling short last year.

Matthew Cooke Tewksbury

“We need to stick to our systems and what has worked for us,” said assistant coach David DeRoche. “We’ve had success for a reason and it’s a testament to our players who go out and perform each game executing those systems. A competitive D2 field is an understatement.  We have a lot of veterans on this team that have won a championship together and also have lost a couple season ending games. Using those experiences coupled with some young talented players is what will be key for us during this postseason run.”

Up front the Redmen have a potent offense led by senior captains Matt Cooke (20-29-49), Jeremy Insogna (31-17-48) and Tyler Barnes (13-14-27), and sophomore Tyler Bourgea (14-24-38). Junior Jason Lavoie (13 pts) and freshman Kevin Andriolo (18 pts) have also been key up front.

The Redmen have plenty of experience on the blue line anchored by senior captain Cooper Robillard (17 pts) and junior Anthony DiFranco (17 pts). Freshman Jake Cunha (11 pts) sophomore Michael Macauda and senior Cullen Mangan will also play key roles. In goal, Tewksbury has junior David Karlberg and sophomore Owen Sovie both ready to go.

#2 CANTON (15-4-2)

The reigning D2 state champions are ready to make a go at a second consecutive Division 2 title and are coming off another terrific regular season. The Bulldogs will be a tough out with a fiery offense and a strong defensive core.

“We need to play with poise and confidence and prioritize our defense first, which usually lead to opportunities on offense,” said coach Brian Shuman.

Two-year captain Brendan Tourgee leads the Bulldogs offense and has come up big for them all season. Seniors Brian Middleton and Colin Blake have been driving forces as well as junior Travis Thomas. Freshman Ryan Elrick and senior Pat Drury will also be key up front for head coach Brian Shuman.

Captain Matt Anderson anchors a terrific Bulldog defense that allowed just 38 goals in 21 games this season. Sophomores Teddy Shuman and Gavin Thompson will also be defensive keys along with Brannen Morris, Graidy Carr and Will Doucette. Junior Connor Geoghan has been great between the pipes.

Jay Carter
Concord-Carlisle

#3 CONCORD-CARLISLE (16-4-0)

Concord-Carlisle was a force to be reckoned with all season. The Patriots started off going an incredible 14-0-0 outcoring opponents 59-25. Though they lost four of their final six games, they have it what it takes for a deep postseason run under head coach Rian Murray.

Ben Ohanian
Concord-Carlisle

“For us to be successful in the tournament, we will need to continue to get top-notch goaltending, strong defensive play, and be opportunistic offensively,” said Murray. “Our strong start definitely put a target on our back and we got every team’s best game down the stretch. Hopefully, being battle-tested will help us make a run, but there are a lot of good teams in the D2 bracket and we know we’ll have to bring our very best in order to advance.”

Led by the fire power of senior captain Jay Carter (23-35-58) and sophomore Will Manchuso (28-30-58), the Patriots should have no trouble scoring goals. Freshman Joe Grasso (10-21-31) has also been terrific up front as well as senior Cam Daley (6-7-13) and sophomore Cam Doull (8-6-14).

Senior Kal Lonergan and junior Ben Ohanian (14 pts) have been key pieces of the Patriots defense all season along with juniors Chris Sim and Oliver Erston and freshman Chris Bono. Senior CJ Bailey, junior Jason Swaim and sophomore Sam Griswold have all spent equal time in net all season for the Patriots and will be key in the postseason.

Jack McEleney Woburn

#4 WOBURN (12-5-1)

Coming out of the always tough Middlesex Legaue, the Tanners are coming off a terrific season and are ready to make waves in their first Division 2 tournament appearance. They have beaten some strong Division 1 opponents this season and they are hoping to carry that momentum into the tournament under head coach Jim Duran.

The Tanners have had no issues putting the puck in the back of the net this year with juniors Jack McEleney (11-26-37) and Jack Lee (21-14-35) pacing the attack. Senior Matt Mahoney (8-13-21), junior Finn Murphy (11-4-15) and sophomore Avery Powers (14-13-27) have also been huge offensive threats all season long.

Senior Hayden LaPrade (9 pts) has been key on the blue line along with sophomores Luke Hughes and Matt Hughes. Junior Mason McComiskey and sophomore Jared Barreto have also been solid on defense. Senior Logan Roderick has been outstanding in net for the Tanners all season and they will look for him to continue that strong play.

Jackson Devivo Newburyport

#5 NEWBURYPORT (16-4-1)

The Clippers have been a threat all season long and have proved they are one of the top teams coming out of the Division 2 bracket. They won 10 of their final 11 games in impressive fashion and if they stick to their strengths, they will be a tough out.

“As always we are excited to be a part of the tournament,” said head coach Paul Yameen. “In order for us to be successful we will need to stay focused leading up to the first round, practice with a purpose and play to our strengths.”

Newburyport has a senior heavy offense with plenty of experience. Senior Jackson DeVivo has been a key driving force for the Clippers all season along with captain Kane Brennan, assistant captain Tristan Joyce and seniors Will Palermino, Jack Sullivan, Owen Kreuz and Colby Arel. Freshman Luke MacIssac also also been key up front.

On the blue line, seniors Mason Childs and Caden Eiserman will lead the way along with junior Will Forrest and freshman Graham Luskin. Senior Damien Lamb has been solid between the pipes all season with six total shutouts.

#6 BILLERICA (9-7-2)

Billerica is back in Division 2 and looking to make splash in this year’s tournament with a young team that is experiencing its first postseason exposure. The Indians have played in a number of tough games this season and won five of their final seven with timely goal-scoring and great team defense.

Danny Viscione Billerica

“We will need to continue playing our game in order to compete at a high level in the Division II tournament this year,” said head coach Jim Egan. “We are still somewhat of a young team composed mostly of juniors and sophomores, and this will be the first MIAA tournament experience for every player in our room. Therefore, our focus is on the present and preparing for and playing one game at a time, and focusing on improving our game each and every day.”

Egan will turn to junior Danny Viscione (12-18-30) to lead the way offensively along with sophomores Tim Murphy (9-13-22) and Ryan Johnson (9-7-16) and junior James Columbus (7-6-13) who have all been key leaders for the Indians all season.

Junior Nolan Dawson (8-10-18) leads the back end and has been tremendous and is back in full force after battling an injury early in the season. Juniors Johns Burns and Cameron Prenti as well as sophomore Cameron Amenkowicz will also be on the blue line. Sophomore Liam Gagne and junior Stephen MacIntosh have split equal time this season for the Indians.

“Keeping things in perspective, trying to get better and continuing to enjoy playing with each other and for each other will continue to be our mission,” said Egan.

#7 NORWOOD (14-3-3)

Norwood has been a consistently strong team all season and has all the pieces in place to make a deep postseason run. The Mustangs have had balanced scoring, solid team defense and strong goaltending and hope to continue that into tournament play.

They had postseason success last season and are looking to take it a step further this time under head coach Chuck Allen. Leading the way for the Mustangs are senior captains Andrew Gillis (15-17-32) and Sam Lally (11-9-20), who have been been key all year. Juniors Ryan Valeri (10-10-20) and TJ Martin (9-7-16) are also a threat to score at any time as well as senior Nick Berardinelli (9-6-15).

Senior Eddie Carroll anchors a strong Norwood defense along with junior Anthony Riccardi and sophomores Mark Trahon and Kevin Roach. The biggest asset to Norwood’s success will be senior captain goalie Anthony Amato, who has been rock solid all year.

#8 KING PHILIP (13-4-3)

A big threat out of the Hockomock League, King Philip is a team to watch this postseason. The Warriors have put together a strong season and are looking to make some noise as they are back in Division 2.

“For us this postseason it will come down to trusting the system and what got us to this point,” said coach Toby Carlow. “We need to focus on finishing every game strong and doing the little things hard and smart. We did have some big wins this season and need to carry that experience into the postseason. It is all about staying focused and relying on our team defense and goaltending.”

Carlow will turn to seniors Rowan Boulger and Nate Garstka who have both been key offensive weapons all season. Senior captain Max Robison and sophomore Grady Bianculli will also be relied upon. Senior captains Sam Naggar and Cam Lehan-Allen are staples on the blue line along with Trevor Pelkey, Sonny Bianculli, and Jack Curran. The Warriors have senior Ted Dolan and junior Trevor Walmsley in goal.

Landon Connor Auburn

#9 AUBURN (15-5-0)

Auburn is a team that flew under the radar this season, but quietly put together a quality campaign out of Central MA. They ended their season winning seven straight games including the Jeff Hayes Memorial tournament and hope to carry that momentum into the postseason.

Nathan Dono
Auburn

On offense, coach Glen Bombard has juniors Austin Dono (26 pts) and Ethan McDermott (25 pts), who have both put up solid numbers this year. Senior captain Braeden Rich, junior captain Landon Connor (14 pts), junior Aidan Caron and sophomore Nathan Dono (19 pts) are all players to watch offensively as well.

Senior Owen Stattenfield is key on Auburn’s blue line along with Zach Deluca (14 pts), Emmet O’Brien, Sullivan O’Brien and Jake Tully. Sophomore assistant captain Ethan LaPlante will be in goal for the Rockets.

#10 DUXBURY (10-8-4)

After an an up-and-down season, the Dragons finished strong competing well against three Division one teams and showed they are a top team to beat. With plenty of tournament experience, they will be a tough out.

David Pittenger Duxbury

“For us to have success in a very highly competitive D2 tournament we need to continue to build on the momentum we have built over the last 3 games where we have played some very high end teams (Arlington Catholic, Archbishop Williams and Hingham),” said coach Mike Flaherty. “Playing those high caliber teams should have us ready to go.”

Flaherty stresses how his team has been well-balanced all season and he will turn to seniors Will Atallah (10-11-21) and David Pittenger (8-12-20) to lead the way offensively. Seniors Brady Walsh (9-8-17), Chris Gillis (13-4-17), junior Mikey Yucius (11-5-16) and sophomore Liam Kailher (6-12-18) will also be key up front for the Dragons.

Michael Hussey Duxbury

On the blue line, senior captain Michael Hussey (3-14-17) has been rock solid along with sophomore Tucker O’Neill and juniors David Mulvey and Liam Bonner. Senior Anthony Rabeni will be in between the pipes for the Dragons, after a solid regular season.

“Our mindset is pretty good right now as we feel as though we have taken a step forward and are playing the way we want to right now,” said Flaherty. “We have a lot of tournament experience so we will use that hopefully to our advantage as well.”

#11 BOSTON LATIN (12-8-0)

Boston Latin comes into the tournament playing some of their best hockey having won five of their final six against some solid teams and peaking at the right time under head coach Frank Woods. The Wolfpack are always a tough out and competed well in the MVC/Dual County II league.

Matt Carrara
Boston Latin

“In order for us to be competitive in this tournament we must play well defensively,” said Woods.  “During that five-game stretch toward the end of the season we only allowed seven goals.  That is how we have to play because we are not a high scoring team.  We need to keep games close and give ourselves an opportunity to win in the third period.”

Aidan Fitzpatrick Boston Latin

Senior captains Matt Carrara (14-14-28) and Aidan Fitzpatrick (11-17-28) have led the way offensively this season and will be relied upon in the postseason. Senior Tyler O’Brien and juniors William Cunniffe, Tristan Spiess and Odhran Mullan will also be key.

Both senior Owen Guerard (1.58 GAA) and sophomore Oliver Murphy (2.61 GAA) have seen time in goal this season and have done a nice job behind the defense of senior captain Robert Banks, senior Alex Sullivan and juniors Adam Whitney and Shane Dunning.

Brett Cunningham Gloucester

#12 GLOUCESTER (10-8-2)

After starting the season winning six of seven games, the Fishermen struggled a bit down the stretch, but are always a tough out. With plenty of tournament experience the past two years, Gloucester knows what it takes to compete.

Colby Jewell Gloucester

“We’ve struggled scoring goals this season, but we are healthier now than we were in all of January,” said coach Derek Geary.” If all-conference senior Colby Jewell can return for the first round, our offense instantly improves. We have a solid defensive core, two very good goalies in seniors Riley De Haan and Nick Tarantino and a lineup with significant State Tournament experience in the last two years. We will be hungry to play our best hockey of the season.”

Joe Orlando Gloucester

Jewell (13-18-31), a top scorer the past two seasons for the Fishermen has been battling an injury and if healthy will a threat along with senior Brett Cunningham (22-20-42) who has been a consistent scorer. Geary will also have seniors Chris Karvelas (10 pts), Jackson Hakes (8 pts) and junior Colby Warren (8 pts).

Senior Joseph Orlando (2-9-11) anchors a strong defense with seniors James Sanfilippo, Chase Sargent, William Lowthers and Chris LoJacono as well as junior Chris Dailey. The Fisherman have two senior goalies in Tarantino and De Haan who have plenty of postseason experience and will be ready to go.

Troy Takesian
North Andover

#13 NORTH ANDOVER (11-8-1)

The Scarlet Knights had a solid run to start the second half of the season, but lost three of their final four games and are hoping to re-gain their form into postseason play. Goaltending has been North Andover’s biggest asset all season and they will rely heavily on senior Troy Takesian to be strong between the pipes in these big games.

Dylan Fitzpatrick North Andover

Senior Dylan Fitzpatrick is the leading scorer on the Scarlet Knights and coach Scott Greene will rely on him to jumpstart the offense. Senior Kyle Donnelly and juniors Brendan Burke, Trey Sheehy, Patrick Nugent and Terrell Peoples will also be key on offense.

In front of Takesian, who is having a terrific senior season in net are seniors Brady Tremblay and Aiden Paquette along with junior Chris Ferris and Sean Sullivan.

#14 ALGONQUIN (11-5-3)

Algonquin has been a key threat coming out of the Quinn Conference in Central MA and are proving to be a tough out in a competitive Division 2 bracket. The Titans have had a strong second half of the season, winning five of their final six games.

“We’re in the middle of the pack in a strong tournament field,” said coach Greg Cappello. “To have success we’ll need to continue playing aggressive hockey on offense and defense and, above all, we’ll need strong leadership that keeps us focused on the present moment. We’ve been playing consistently well since the start of January and we’re very confident in our style of play. With an 11-day break before the state tournament, we need to enjoy the vacation week, have fun competing at practice and then get refocused on our opponent. We’ll be ready to go.”

Seniors Jack Gulachenski (10-13-23) and brother Nate Gulachenski (10-11-21) have been offensive leaders all season for the Titans. Juniors Nathan Meschisen (8-9-17), Ben Yosca (10-7-17), Jared Walsh (7-5-12) and senior Wyatt Shea (8-5-13) will also be key on offense.

On the blue line the Titans will have senior Jackson Redfern (11pts), Luke Palma (8 pts) and Jack Doolan as well as juniors Corey Roy and Dylan Beard. In goal, the Titans have sophomore Nick Robbins and junior Erik Hewardt who both saw time this season.

Johnny Mireault Masconomet

#15 MASCONOMET (13-7-0)

After a great regular season with some big team wins, Masconomet will come ready to play come postseason and they are ready to show why they belong.

Alan Weitzman Masconomet

Coach Andrew Boepple has had plenty of offense on his team this year starting with seniors Ben Merrill (22-9-31), Alan Weitzman (9-17-26), Johnny Mireault (13-12-25) and captain Brady Forde (5-16-21). Other key offensive threats for the Chieftains are sophomores Miles Mireault (12 pts) and Jack Fabiano as well as junior John Miga (10 pts).

Senior captain Anthony Cerbone (3-22-25) leads the defense with his veteran presence on the blue line. Also key on defense are seniors Evan O’Heir, Andrew Downing, junior Matty Rogers and sophomore Jack Wheadon. Senior captain Chris Sacco will get the nod in goal in the postseason for the Chieftains.

“In order for us to be successful we need to commit to our system of a defense first mindset and getting pucks deep,” said Boepple. “Our mindset right now is that there are a lot of really good teams in this tournament, but feel we can compete with anyone if we play the right way.  We are confident we can be a tough team to play this year.”

Sean Hallissey Plymouth North

#16 PLYMOUTH NORTH (10-7-3)

The Eagles have played well this year coming out of the always tough Patriot League and have proven they can compete with anyone. They have a very interesting first round match-up with Falmouth that should be a battle.

Aidan Mackenzie Plymouth North

Leading the offense under coach Sean Coady are senior captain Sean Hallissey and senior Aidan Mackenzie, both have had terrific seasons. Other strong offensive threats for the Eagles are assistant junior captain Justin Smith, Owen Kelly, Sam Jarvis and Logan Greeley.

Sam Whiting Plymouth North

On the blue line, seniors Sam Magnarelli and TJ Cohane will lead the way along with junior Sam Whiting. Senior captain Kaden Bono has been rock solid all season and coach Coady will look to him to come up big in the nets.

#17 FALMOUTH (12-10-0)

After a rocky start that saw them go 2-5 to begin the season including three straight losses, the Clippers turned it around to go 10-5 the rest of the way with some big wins along the way.

“We need to be vigilant in all three zones,” said head coach Paul Moore. We also need to play great team defense, and play a physical game to be successful. We need to continue to focus on the little details of the game and make sure we continue to have a high compete level every shift every period and play 45 minutes.”

The Clippers offense will be lead by junior Chase Briggs (13-14-27) along with freshman Gavin Powerly (13-12-25) and sophomores Kody Pokraka (9-12-21) and Travis Smith (9-8-17).

The blue line will be anchored by two seniors with plenty of experience in senior captain Charlie Bardelis (12 pts) and senior Chris Shanahan (10 pts). Junior Ethan Santos (17 pts) has also been a key fixture on the blue line with seniors Sean Souza and Ollie Patridge. In net, senior Eddie Leary (2.85 GAA) has played the majority of games and will get the call in goal.

#18 HOPKINTON (14-4-2)

A year ago, the Hillers made it all the way to the MIAA Division 2 state championship at the Garden and are hoping they have it what it takes to give it another shot. Even after losing a number of key players to graduation and transfer, Hopkinton still put together a tremendous season and are ready to get the postseason underway.

Coach Scott Hayes will turn to three of his senior captains to jumpstart the offense in Wyatt Iantosca, Danny White and Declan Durocher. Senior Jake Adams and sophomores James Hayward and Jack Resnick have also all had terrific seasons for the Hillers.

Junior captain Parker Winn logs a ton of minutes on defense and will be key as well as seniors Rocco Horgan and Mike Scardino and sophomores Cory DeCosta and Caleb Altman. The Hillers have two junior goalies who have both seen time this year in Steven Jackson and Connor Fryer.

Luke Tropeano Whitman-Hanson

#19 WHITMAN-HANSON (10-8-2)

Whitman-Hanson is another team that comes out of strong Patriot League. The Panthers played a pretty tough schedule, but came up with some big wins along the way.

Zach Boss
Whitman-Hanson

“Playing in a tough league, and having most of our games be close, allows for us to be prepared to play close, competitive, tournament games,” said coach Rob Peters. “In order for us to make a deep run we are going to have to keep believing in each other, fighting, and competing till the last whistle. We have an older team as well, but this team is also the closest I have seen since taking the head coaching job four years ago, and they are ready to make some noise.”

Alex Ethier
Whitman-Hanson

Senior Luke Tropeano (16-25-41) and sophomore Zack Boss (14-18-32) have been a dynamic duo for Peters offensively this season. Also stepping up big for the Panthers is sophomore Chris Ryan (7-10-17) and seniors Alex Ethier (10-7-17) and Billy Morgan (5-6-11).

On defense, junior Domenic Visocchi (9 pts) has been solid as well as seniors David Osis and Caden Sheppard. Senior Nolan Munroe (2.42 GAA) has started 14 games for the Panthers this season and will get the nod in net.

“Our message all year is to focus on worrying about our game and not others,” said Peters. “We cannot control what other teams do, but we can control how we play, compete, focus on getting better everyday, and also being able to establish a great culture, and team atmosphere to help fight and compete in this long season. “Don’t let the highs get to high and lows get too low.”

#20 MILTON (5-8-5)

The Wildcats had a bit of an up and down season under new head coach Nick Bligh, but have a strong competitive group that is ready to show what they can do. Milton drew North Andover in the first round and should be a great battle with solid goaltending on both ends.

Offensive leaders look to be junior Cam McDonough and senior Alec Carew.

On defense, the Wildcats will turn to Cormac Burke, Luke Naughton and Harrison Hinckle to provide solid play. In goal, Milton has two solid netminders in senior Andrew McHugh and junior Ryan Ashburn.

Nate DiMartinis Walpole

#21 WALPOLE (8-11-1)

Walpole is bit down following last year’s team that made it all the way to the final four, but you can’t count the Timberwolves out as a strong second half proved they can compete with anyone. They started the season out tough, going 1-7-1, but refocused down the stretch and put together some quality wins under coach Ron Dowd.

Tyler Dacko
Walpole

The Timberwolves will rely on their trio of senior captains in Nate DiMartinis, Mike Bisceglia and Ryan Walsh to provide solid leadership offensively. Some other key threats to score are seniors Owen McKenna and Jake Lania, as well as junior Joe Finkelstein.

On the blue line, look for senior Rex Blakley and juniors Tyler Dacko and Jaocb Bonarrigo to log a lot of minutes. Also key on defense are juniors Ryan Ahmed and Paul Whelan along with sophomore Ryan Jackson.

#22 WESTWOOD (12-7-1)

Playing in an always tough Tri-Valley League, Westwood is back in the postseason and is hoping to make splash. After a slow start for the Wolverines, they had a strong second half and are hoping to carry that momentum into their game against Boston Latin.

“We’ll have to play as a five-man unit and heads up hockey,” said coach Matt Sebet. “We’ll also need to start on time and play a full 45-minute game and beyond if necessary. We did not get off to a good start to the season so our backs were up against the wall pretty early but our game has been trending in a positive direction all season. We were treating our games at the end of the season as playoff games so we obviously have to keep that mentality and make sure we’re ready to play when the puck drops.”

Leading the attack for the Wolverines will be senior captain Brett Hobson (5-6-11), senior Jake Quinn (9-13-22) and junior Sean Blomquist (5-12-17). Other players who have stepped up offensively are senior Max O’Brien (9-5-14), junior Timmy Donovan (4-10-14) and freshman Matty Donovan (8-6-14).

Senior captain Ryan Pezzuto (11 pts) anchors the blue line with juniors Brady Dumais (11 pts) Josh McCabe, and Jack Fallon as well as freshman Nolan Lewis and Brian Sullivan. Junior Jack Holland will start in goal.

Matt Lawson
Oliver Ames

#23 OLIVER AMES (11-8-1)

Oliver Ames played well this year, competing well against a number of strong teams and got solid production up and down their lineup all season long under second-year coach Jimmy Tierney. They have a tall task ahead of them taking on Duxbury in the first round, but if they play a complete game, coach Tierney knows they can battle against anyone.

Jack Corey
Oliver Ames

“Our key to success in a strong D2 field will be to play together, and rely on all three lines for production,” said Tierney. “We also will need to play a solid defensive game, and have good goaltending. We will look to rely on Matthew Lawson and Shaun Teehan down the middle to drive our top two lines.”

Andrew Livingstone Oliver Ames

The Tigers top two lines have produced all year and have put up a number of solid points. The trio of senior Jack Corey (11-16-27), senior captain Matt Lawson (14-27-41) and sophomore Brendan Teehan (7-7-14) make up the first line and Tierney will turn to them. The second line of junior Patrick DeLoughrey (4-4-8), junior Shaun Teehan (12-10-22) and senior Andrew Livingstone (13-13-26) has also been dynamite.

Tierney’s top two defensive pairings are junior Bryce Deibel and senior captain Sean Kearns (16 pts) along with seniors Andrew Poulos and Landon Grother. Senior Nolan Gemmiti will be in goal and started all 20 of the Tigers games this season.

Bodie Marcotte Amesbury

#24 AMESBURY (12-6-0)

Another team that had an outstanding second half is Amesbury. The Hawks made the move from Division 4 up to Division 2 and after a tough stretch in the beginning, they turned it on mid-season winning eight in a row and 10 of their final 11 games to go into the tournament hot. Their first-round matchup is against Auburn, which should be a competitive battle.

Matt Venturi Amesbury

Senior captain Matt Venturi has been a driving force offensively all season along with assistant captain Ben Richard and junior Bodie Marcotte. Senior Joey Duggan and sophomore Wes Ackerman are also a threat to score at any time.

On defense, seniors Cam Abromovitch, Jamie Gray and Nathan Brown come with plenty of experience. Other key blue-liners include freshmen Lincoln Kime and Evan Murphy as well as junior Riley Guertin.

Sean McNamara Plymouth South

#25 PLYMOUTH SOUTH (8-11-1)

Plymouth South went through a bit of a skid towards the end of the season going 2-5 in their final seven games, but are ready to turn the page and show why they can compete in a tough Division 2 bracket. The Panthers drew King Philip in the opening round and will be up for the challenge.

Logan Souza Plymouth South

“In order to compete in the D2 field this year we need the entire team to compete and be dialed in mentally from shift to shift,” said coach Stephen Whyte. “If the boys compete at the level that they’ve shown they’re capable of, play disciplined hockey for 45 minutes, and mitigate mental/physical mistakes, we will give ourselves a good chance at success.”

AJ Colonna
Plymouth South

Four senior captains including Sean McNamara (15-15-30), Carter McNamara (12-5-17), Jacob Chambers (7-6-13) and Nick Kendall (3-4-7) have been solid contributors for the Panthers all season. Senior Aidan Burns (4-10-14) and juniors Logan Souza (18-16-34) and Declan Day (2-13-15) will also be key for coach Whyte on offense.

The top defensive pairing for the Panthers is senior Cohen Fitzpatrick (13 pts) and sophomore Lucas Bartlett (10 pts). Senior Tim Nagle and junior AJ Colonna will also be solid blue-liners Whyte can turn to. Senior Eion Fasullo and freshman Ollie Noyes have split the time in net this season.

#26 MALDEN CATHOLIC (2-17-1)

It was a tough luck season for Malden Catholic earning just two wins, but don’t let their record fool you as they played one of the hardest schedules of anyone night in and night out in the Catholic Conference. Anything can happen in the tournament and now the Lancers can start off with a clean slate.

Mike McLaughlin Malden Catholic

“Our room has a great mindset right now to be honest because the tournament gives us a clean slate,” said first year coach Brendan Collier. “Our players are battle tested after this season and in a way I believe it made us a stronger team ahead of the tournament. Not many teams would have stuck together like our kids have during this trying season. I bet a lot of teams don’t want to see us because of how tough we played some Catholic Conference opponents.”

Alex Rich
Malden Catholic

On the forward line keep an eye on senior Michael McLaughlin, juniors Dom Ferragamo and Quinn Matthews and sophomore Michael Doe. Jalen Chu and Alexander Rich will hold down the blue line in front of goaltender Connor Fitzpatrick.

“We need to play complete games and realize the first shift counts the same as the last shift,” said Collier. The last month we have been playing heavy, strong and fast and we need to carry that over into the tournament. Scoring the first goal and playing with a lead is something we need to do more often heading into the tournament.”

Evan Mastroianni Westfield

#27 WESTFIELD (11-11-0)

Most recently winning the Western MA Class A Final, the Bombers are battled-tested and ready to compete in an exciting tournament. They ended the season with not only the Class A title, but won six of their final seven games and are going into the postseason with a lot of momentum.

Michael Pelletier Westfield

“We will need to continue our focus on our team defense in order to stay the course,” said coach Dave Pelletier. “We have had a good stretch the last four games only allowing one goal. I’m looking for our goaltender Evan Mastroianni to stay focused and our defense to play a solid game.”

Pelletier is hoping his forwards will continue their strong defensive presence and not take any chances until we have possession. Pelletier will turn to sophomore Joe Maffia (12-15-27), and seniors Francis Powers (12-8-20), Frank Maffia (7-12-19), Sawyer King (8-8-16) and Brayden Czamecki (5-4-9) to lead the way.

On defense, seniors Michael Pelletier, Darrin Schnopps, Jared Ritter and junior Paul Lawry will hold down the blue line in front of Mastroianni (2.42 GAA) in net.

#28 DARTMOUTH (12-8-0)

Dartmouth had a solid regular season and is ready to compete in the first round of the tournament against a strong Newburyport team.

Forwards Aidan Cruz (9-23-32), Lucas DeSousa (16-4-20), Charlie Camisa (10-5-15), Maddox Larocque (8-8-16) and Kai Andrade (3-7-10) have all been huge offensive contributors all season for the Indians.

On the blue line, junior Will Gibson (10-5-15) will be key along with sophomore Drew Spirlet and freshman Frankie Long. Senior Ashton Machado will be in goal for Dartmouth. Machado has a 2.69 GAA in 919 minutes played this season.

#29 LOWELL CATHOLIC (9-8-3)

Lowell Catholic returns to the postseason for the second consecutive year and have made big strides in coach Michael Bardsley’s first year.

James Kierce
Lowell Catholic

“In order to be successful in tournament we will need to play our absolute best hockey,” said Bardsley. “We will need to play fast, hard and physical for three periods. We will need to all the little things. Players are locked in for tournament and hoping to make some noise. We are looking forward to the opportunity to compete against the best teams in Division 2.”

Senior captain Matt Cabral (8-16-24) and younger brother Jake Cabral (15-11-26) have paved the way for the Crusaders offense this season. Sophomore Matt Lumia (12-5-17) and junior Gage Richard (3-11-14) and senior Danny Parent (7-5-12) have also put up solid numbers.

Lowell Catholic’s defense is led by captain James Kierce (13 pts), senior Dante Gentile, junior Andrew Marcucci and sophomore Brady Mulloy. Both Sam DeChaves and Keegan Windsor have seen time in goal this season.

#30 MANSFIELD (9-9-2)

Mansfield showed huge improvements from winning just four games a year ago and are looking for a big upset in their first round match-up with Concord-Carlisle.

“We understand where we are entering the tournament and that it is going to be an uphill battle right from the start with the division’s best teams,” said coach Mark O’Brien. “We know that our success is going to be dependent on playing a complete game from the initial face-off.  We need to keep our energy up, our mistakes in check, and stay out of the penalty box.”

O’Brien will turn to all-star junior defensemen Thomas Gormley (12-17-29) and all-star junior forward Brendan Vokey (8-11-19) to set the tone. Three other forwards that have been key this season are junior Matt Tourigney (6-11-17), sophomore James Warren (3-9-12) and freshman Roman Gerr (11-2-13).

Gormley leads the defense alongside junior Declan Foley (6-9-15) and senior captain Will Cameron in front of senior captain goaltender Josh Hussey, who O’Brien will turn to in net for the big game.

#31 NORTH ATTLEBORO (5-12-3)

North Attleboro may seem like an underdog going in, but don’t underestimate them as they have competed hard this season.

They drew a familiar foe in Hockomock counterpart Canton in the first round, a team they faced earlier in the season and despite a 3-1 loss, played extremely well against the reigning champs.

The two top lines have performed well for coach Neil Hall and they are looking to keep that strong mentality going into the tournament. The offense is led by senior captain Kaden Burns (12-6-18), sophomores Dominic Bertino (3-14-17) and Caiden Alberigo (11-6-16) along with junior Jake Santucci (9-4-13).

The defense will be led by sophomore Jameson Hardy and senior Jack Julio. Sophomore Jacob Conley and junior Ryan Sawyer will also be key as well. The strongest asset for North Attleboro is their goalie, senior captain Kyle Gruber, who is closing in on 1900 career saves.

AJ Robbins
Agawam

#33 AGAWAM (11-8-0)

Despite losing three of their final four games, Agawam is ready for a clean slate. The Brownies had a solid season out of Western MA in the Fay Division and defeated Western MA opponent in #32 Minnechaug 3-2 in overtime on Sunday night in the Preliminary Round.

The Brownies have plenty of players who can score starting with senior Peyton Buffum (10-9-19). Senior Drew Scherban (5-8-13) and junior Cole Buffum (10-3-13) have also been key. Coach Todd Rowley will also turn to junior Landon Ashford (6-5-11) and sophomore Thomas Connery (3-12-15).

AJ Robbins (12 pts) will anchor a solid defensive core which also includes Brett Eggleston, David Newsome, Camden Saltmarsh and Trevor Del Barba. Junior Frankie DiSanti will get the call in net for Agawam. 

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