Mass. Boys HS Hockey – South Shore League Preview: Sandwich Joins The SSL

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 the addition of Sandwich, the South Shore League is now up to seven teams. The Blue Knights will become an immediate rival of Norwell. Cohasset/Hull has a strong group back and will be in the battle.

Chris Cardillo Sandwich

SANDWICH (19-5-1)

MIAA Division: 4

Sandwich is a team you can never count out as they have made the state final in back-to-back years with their winning ways. The Blue Knights make a big jump this year switching over to the South Shore League for the first time. Coach Jordan Mohre is excited for the change especially the two league rematches with Norwell, who outlasted them 4-3 in overtime in last year’s D4 state final.

With a lot of their core offense coming back, they will look to three goalies competing for the starting role after losing standout Mitchell Norkevicius to graduation.

Harry Delman Sandwich

“We have plenty of firepower returning up front, but our true success will come playing for our net with our steady defense,” said Mohre.

The duo of senior forwards Christopher Cardillo (33-18-51) and Jack Connolly (11-16-27) will be forces to be reckoned with. Along with them seniors Harrison Delman (11 pts) and Avery Richardson (8 pts) will also be key for the Blue Knights. Senior Shane Corcoran (11 pts) will anchor the blue line.

Jack Connolly Sandwich

The Blue Knights also have a trio of sophomore forwards returning in Ty Creighton, Nick Buckland and Reese MacKinnon who coach Mohre says are “expected to play bigger minutes and have bigger roles.” They will also have senior transfer Cam Taylor who played last season at New Hampton.

Mohre has three very capable goalies competing for the starting role in juniors Luke Greeley and Quinn Johnston along with sophomore Sean Collins.

Nolan Petrucelli Norwell

NORWELL (25-1-0)

MIAA Division: 4

It was a memorable 22-23 season for the Clippers, ranked at the top of the Division 4 polls all season, and winning the MIAA state title on TD Garden ice. A lot of key players have moved on, but the core remaining will keep Norwell amongst the top teams in the division.

Powering the attack for coach Jim Casagrande will be senior Nolan Petrucelli, senior Quinn Simmons and senior Matt Cerutti, all keys to last year’s title run.

Mainstays on the defensive side will be returning seniors Charlie Booras and Aedan Coyle.

With goalie Sean Donovan having graduated, two sophomores, Will Devaney and Mike Dalia, will be tasked with manning the Norwell net.

ROCKLAND (10-10-1)

MIAA Division: 4

The Bulldogs will have a bit of a different look to them this season as after losing 10 seniors and two other transfers. They will be very young. Coach Stephen Murphy is optimistic though as for a young team, they have a lot of chemistry and he is ready to see what they can accomplish.

“We will be a young team that will have to play fast and smart two-way hockey and we must learn though our mistakes on the fly,” said Murphy. “We will have a few of the more talented forwards in the league, but our key will be defense and goaltending which will help us grow. We already have great team chemistry and we are looking forward to surprising some teams throughout the year.”

Junior captain Patrick McGuirk (18 pts) will be key to the Bulldogs offense along with sophomores Cooper Larouco (12 pts) and Danny Moran. The offense will feature a number of new faces such as freshmen David Kane, Cam McGuire, Bobby Butler and Tommy Reyno. Also joining them will be eighth graders Josh Rivera, Jordan Rubio and Aditya Sugunan.

The defense will be led by junior captain Joey Mann and he will be joined by sophomore Dean Alex and freshmen Jack Blonde and James Levasseur. Eighth grader Joe Barry will also be in the mix.

After losing goalie Joseph Dow to graduation, junior Evan Girouard, who started two games last season, and sophomore Ricky Esancy, who started one, will have bigger roles this year. Freshman goalie Colin Rau could also see time.

COHASSET/HULL (13-6-3)

MIAA Division: 4

After a solid season last year and a good amount of their team returning, the Skippers hope to be in the mix once again. Co-head coaches Mike O’Donnell and Phil Mahoney want to “rely on our returning players to mentor and lead all of our younger players.”

Luke Dunham Cohasset/Hull

They will rely heavily on seniors Robbie Casagrande and Luke Mullen as well as juniors Luke Dunham and Shane Mulcahy to propel the offense. A newcomer hoping to contribute on offense will be Barrett Kelley.

Senior Finn Carragher will be the anchor of the blue line that will feature some new faces.

The biggest question for the Skippers will be goaltending as their lone goalie graduated, so they will be young in that aspect.

EAST/WEST BRIDGEWATER (10-12-1)

MIAA Division: 4

With seven seniors graduating and a lot of new faces, coach Mike D’Errico will rely on his returners to guide the way.

“We have lots of young players joining us to fill in a top heavy class of 2023 graduates,” said D’Errico. “But, we also have Cardinal Spellman joining us in the co-op for this upcoming season.”

Senior Christian Bates (22 pts) had a great junior season and D’Errico will turn to him and sophomore Tyler Henderson to lead the offense. Junior Gavin Badley will join the offense as well as the players from Cardinal Spellman.

On the blue line, D’Errico has two experienced seniors in Evan Brew (10 pts) and Kaleb Silva (10 pts) to lead the way. Junior Aiden Baldner will also log a ton of minutes on defense.

Sophomore Brayden Bates (3.99 GAA) will be back for his second year in net after a solid freshman season.

ABINGTON (11-11-0)

MIAA Division: 4

Lead by their leadership group, coach Bryan Woodford expects his team to be competitive this season.

“This year we have an amazing leadership group with very experienced forward and defense core, but a young goalie who is new to the position but has worked hard all year to get up to speed,” said Woodford. “We expect to be very competitive, make the tournament, and give it a run.”

Senior captain forwards Evan St. Martin (32 pts) and Hunter Grafton (42 pts) and defenseman Zach Buccigross will be relied on heavily by Woodford.

“Evan (St. Martin) currently sits at 58 career points and is coming off a stellar junior campaign,” said Woodford. “Hunter (Grafton) is also at 58 career points and is coming off a huge year with 42 points and a plus 43 rating. Zach (Buccigross) is the team’s returning Norris Trophy winner where he led the defensive core in scoring in only 13 games played last season.”

MIDDLEBORO (7-13-1)

MIAA Division: 3

Middleboro is hungry for another shot at the South Shore League this winter, returning a handful of key players who will lead the way.

Sam Steinman Middleboro

Up front, junior Sam Steinman (32 pts), sophomore Wyatt Goyette (24 pts), senior James Joyce (22 pts), and sophomore Levon Mulready (14 pts) will headline a balanced attack. 

On the back end, Ethan deNormand (5 pts) will play in front of sophomore netminder Greg Mason. 

“Critical to have strong zone defense where all players buy into the system to decrease goals against and create turnovers to head towards the other team’s zone and set up our offense,” said head coach Steven Chamberlain.

** Jason Cooke also contributed to this post

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