Mass. Boys HS Hockey – South Coast Conference Preview: Somerset Berkley Still Team To Beat; Dighton-Rehoboth/Seekonk Has Experience

Jim Clark
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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The usual seven-team South Coast Conference is down one this season, as Apponequet will not field a team during the pandemic. Because it has a co-op with Old Colony, which has canceled winter sports, the Lakers will not have enough players. The teams that are back should all be chasing Somerset Berkley once again, while Dighton-Rehoboth/Seekonk and Wareham/Carver have the most experience back. Greater New Bedford brings back some tournament-tested young players, while Bourne and Old Rochester/Fairhaven look to continue to build with youthful squads.

BOURNE (7-12-1)

The Canalmen will be looking to bounce back from a rare sub-.500 season, the program’s first since 2006-07. But third-year coach Frank Carpenito still will have a young squad that features seven freshmen and 13 eighth-graders out of its 29 total players.

“We have upperclassmen who are great leaders and are willing to work with our younger players,” Carpenito said. “We will rely on our upperclassmen’s experience to carry us early on until the younger players feel more comfortable.”

Junior center Tyler Evans (9-12-21) is the top returning scorer, while senior Alex Duval (3-2-5) moves to center after playing as a defenseman last season. Meanwhile, the defense gets back senior Jonathan Sheehy from injury, and senior Alex McCarthy also returns.

Junior forward Max Civilinski, and sophomore forwards Michael Russo and Owen Surrette are newcomers for the Canalmen along with sophomore goalie Paul Case.

Evan Affonso
Somerset Berkley

SOMERSET BERKLEY (16-5-0)

The Blue Raiders were league champions a season ago, and most coaches tab them as the team to beat again.

Senior right wing Evan Affonso (16-19-35) will spearhead the offense for coach Kevin Snyder’s squad, along with junior left wing Max Aguiar (9-3-12) and sophomore center Davis Sullivan (8-5-13).

The defense should be in good hands with seniors Tyler Politano (0-7-7) and Sean Patota (0-1-1) back along with junior Carter Stevens (1-2-3). A pair of freshmen, Brandon Silvia and Brady Camara, were looking to grab the reins in goal. Freshman left wing Jon Rothwell is another newcomer to watch.

Snyder hopes for more scoring from his forwards, saying the “younger boys are going to have to find the net more. [The defense] should be able to do the job.”

DIGHTON-REHOBOTH/SEEKONK (14-6-1)

D-R/Seekonk won’t be lacking for firepower or depth this season, and coach Tom Fecteau’s team is looking to take another step after finishing second in the South Coast a year ago.

Senior captains Wyatt Nastar (4-22-26), Brenden Santos (1-9-10) and Carter Foley (1-7-8) lead a strong blue line that also includes sophomore Colton Nastar (4-8-12) and junior Andre Ashton (0-4-4).

There is just as much talent up front, starting with sophomore center Liam Fecteau (17-25-42). Junior center Devin Dailey (16-14-30) and sophomore right wing Noah Bastis (10-14-24) also are coming off big seasons, while DRS also brings back seniors Michael Agresti (RW, 3-7-10) and Peter Anghinetti (LW, 2-6-8), and juniors Evan Pereira (LW, 4-3-7) and Ryan McCarthy (RW, 4-3-7).

Sophomores Evan Fasteson and Ethan Goudreau join the blue line, while freshmen Aiden Boothe (LW) and Sebastian Rebelo (C) are rookie forwards. All four newcomers are from Seekonk.

GREATER NEW BEDFORD (10-9-2)

Veteran coach Mike Frey expects speed will be a big factor for the Bears this season, with many young players having logged a lot of ice time a season ago.

GNB brings back the forward group of seniors Matt LeBoeuf, Cam Arguin and Trey Teixeira, junior Max Lague, and sophomores Anders Alves, Keaton Marcondes, Brandon Borges, and Nathan Marcelino.

Seniors Christian Araujo and Mason Dupre lead the blue line with sophomores Jacob Belli and Matt Harding. Senior Jovanny Fernandes is among a trio of goalies with sophomores Michael Melo and Logan Marshall.

Freshmen Brady Finn at forward and Josh Lourenco on defense are newcomers to the Bears this season.

OLD ROCHESTER/FAIRHAVEN (0-20-0)

A young team that had 17 freshmen and sophomores last season, the Bulldogs should be better off for those growing pains entering coach Zach Ledogar’s second season.

Only four players graduated, and this time Ledogar will look to a senior group led by forwards Ben Austin and Chris Gauvin, as well as defenseman Brady Pecotte. The Bulldogs also return juniors Michael Tobin and Carson Spencer up front, with freshmen Chase Couture and Lucas Long among the key newcomers.

On the back end, look for junior Ben DeMoranville and sophomore Alec Marsden to lead the way in front of junior goalie James Galavati.

SOMERSET BERKLEY (16-5-0)

The Blue Raiders were league champions a season ago, and most coaches tab them as the team to beat again.

Senior right wing Evan Affonso (16-19-35) will spearhead the offense for coach Kevin Snyder’s squad, along with junior left wing Max Aguiar (9-3-12) and sophomore center Davis Sullivan (8-5-13).

The defense should be in good hands with seniors Tyler Politano (0-7-7) and Sean Patota (0-1-1) back along with junior Carter Stevens (1-2-3). A pair of freshmen, Brandon Silvia and Brady Camara, were looking to grab the reins in goal. Freshman left wing Jon Rothwell is another newcomer to watch.

Snyder hopes for more scoring from his forwards, saying the “younger boys are going to have to find the net more. [The defense] should be able to do the job.”

WAREHAM/CARVER (11-9-1)

The Vikings were a tournament team a season ago, and bring back plenty of experience from that squad. Senior centers James L’Heureux and Tyler Lovendale, as well as senior forward Wylde LaTulippe, all were key parts of the offense in 2019-20. Senior Zac Barris also returns, and the Vikings also will look to junior Liv Sontag, sophomores Brayden Fernald, Nolan Kaiser and Ryan Tripp, and freshman Brayden Hathon for depth.

Defensively, Wareham/Carver had four returning veteran blue liners in seniors Nathan Eldredge and Rob Maloney, and juniors Sean Pollock and Connor Tait. Freshman Madison Butler also is back, and junior Ian Clive gets the call in goal.

Sixth-year coach Rich Valatkievicz also welcomes a new group of forwards – junior Ryker King, sophomore Braden McCarthy, and freshmen Eldon Sears and Cole Blankenship.

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