The Indians nearly made history a season ago, reaching the Division 3 South final and taking eventual co-state champion Hanover into a scoreless third period before ultimately falling.
Coach Mike Cappello’s squad lost some scoring punch to graduation, but should be just as stout in its end of the ice. A key reason is the return of senior goalie J.P. Kerney, who posted a 1.14 GAA a season ago. Kerney will be ably protected by a veteran blue line led by seniors Sam Canniff (19 points), Kyle Charbonneau (14 points) and Jamison Lima, along with juniors Josh Nelson and Luke Canniff.
The scoring cupboard is not completely bare, however, with junior J.C. Frates (39 points) returning. Fellow juniors Reid Martin (22 points), Damien Medeiros (22 points) and Nick Howarth (20 points) also are back, while seniors Joey Pacheco, John Gamache and Cullen Larrabee will be counted on for depth.
Cappello also welcomes plenty of new faces into the program — junior Nathan Coppellotti, sophomores J.T. Charrier, Evan Moniz and Jacob Kerney, and freshmen Kai Andrade, Charlie Camisa, John Bicho, Ashton Machado and Nick Anderson.
Scott Harlow – the former Boston College All-American and Montreal Canadiens draft pick (1982) and current Edmonton Oilers’ scout – takes over for the Division 1 Trojans, who play only four league games and will face a demanding non-league schedule.
It’s a move with definite purpose by Harlow, previously the head coach at Stonehill College and with the South Shore Kings of the US Premier Hockey League.
“We really are playing a very hard schedule, which I wanted for my first year. We want to be competitive in every game, win the games we should and build for the future,” Harlow said. “We are playing over our heads but to build the program we want to play the best teams. I want each player to be more committed and we want to build for the future.”
Returning players counted on to lead the Trojans are forwards Ryan Concannon (sr.), Sam Hoffses (sr.) and Dean Mason (jr.), defensemen Brian Dale (sr.), Ben Kmito (sr.) and Shane Breslin (jr.), and goalie Brandon Sinclair (sr.).
The Hilltoppers will be trying to make the best of their condensed season for 12th-year coach Kevin Robinson.
Senior Zach Massa, a four-year starter, was named captain according to Robinson. Senior forwards Ethan Beaulieu, Jacob Bigelow, Cameron Jacob and Nick Sardinha also return, along with junior Kamryn Norwood and Zach Smith, sophomore Andrew Medeiros, and freshman Brady Sullivan.
Senior Noah Currin will lead the defense for the Hilltoppers after all three seniors from last year’s squad graduated off the blue line. Senior Xavier Arpa returns in goal.