The last section of Massachusetts to get going with their season is the Western Mass. region. Only 13 teams total will participate this winter, as Belchertown, Easthampton, Drury, Wahconah and Mt. Everett will not play this season.
Last Year’s Record: 11-8-1
With nine returning forwards and a strong sophomore class, the Falcons hope to fly high in this shortened Western Mass. season.
Up front, coach Kyle Bousquet will count on leadership and production from the likes of senior Dominic Terzi (22-17-39) and sophomores David Noel (9-9-18) and Jackson Duquette (6-7-13).
Senior Peter Wurszt anchors the defense in front of senior goaltender Corbi Marini.
Last Year’s Record: 11-9-3
The Lancers came on strong at the end of last season, advancing to the MIAA D3 state title game, which, unfortunately could not be played due to the onset of the pandemic. The D3 co-state champs figure to have another strong club this winter.
Catalysts offensively for veteran head coach Jim Joyce will be senior Cole Guidrey (14-14-28) and senior Simon Higgins (13-15-28).
On defense, look for senior captain Luke McHugh to be the cornerstone. And back in goal is junior Connor Rintoul, who went 9-4-3 last year (2.22 gaa).
Last Year’s Record: 7-8-5
Longtime head coach C.B. Matthews has retired after 30 years behind the Westfield bench. Taking off this winter is Dave Pelletier, who inherits a team that returns nine seniors.
In the forward ranks, senior Aiden Fitzgerald, senior Joe Taupier and junior Kevin Hosmer are key returners. New sophomore Jax Grady hopes to have an impact.
A bevy of experience returns in the defensive zone, led by senior and four-year varsity performer in goal in C.J. Czarnecki. Senior defensemen Connor Fitzgerald and Alex Maggipinto, and sophomore Brandon Shuman are back as well. A couple of younger players hoping to get in the rotation are sophomore Drew Grenzel and freshman Michael Pelletier.
Last Year’s Record: 4-15-1
The Brownies also have a new coach as former assistant Todd Rowley takes over as head coach. He has a host of returners to work with.
Senior co-captain Andrew Grasso is a key fixture at forward. He returns along with junior assistant captain Nate Manser, junior Evan Danek and sophomores Zack Hurley, Connor Adamcyzk, Nick Shead, Kaden Grover and Shane Kendall.
The team’s other co-captain, senior Dean Kadonaga, will backbone the Agawam defense. Senior Kannon Grover, and sophomores Owen Connery and Ryan Maloney also return in the defensive unit.
Junior Brandon Prior returns as a varsity-tested goaltender. The team also welcomes several new youngsters who look to contribute.
Last Year’s Record: 9-10-2
If the Spartans are to have any success this winter, they will have to rebuild almost their entire offense. Ninety percent of last year’s scoring has moved on. The team will be young up front, says head coach Dan Reid.
East Longmeadow will have one of Western Mass’ top defensemen patrolling the blue line in senior captain C.J. Kolodziey. Sophomore goalie Colin Sherwood should be solid as well.
Last Year’s Record: 13-7-0
Coach Rick Williams reports that the Terriers will have a nice mix of veterans this winter. Hope is the group can mesh together for a solid season.
FAY, WRIGHT DIVISIONS
Last Year’s Record: 20-3-0
In the only state championship game that was played last season, it was the Green Wave who emerged victorious, winning the MIAA Division 3A crown with a victory over Lunenburg/Ayer. Greenfield is looking to build on that momentum with a solid core of returning players.
Coach Adam Bouchard’s offensive nucleus projects to be senior Kyle Barnes (18 pts) and Derek Lenois, and sophomores Shane Prusak (13 pts) and Sammy Knight. Adding some depth up front are junior Jake Croteau, sophomores Matt Lavoine and Trevor Kuchieski, and freshman Devin Niles.
On defense, seniors Jacob Bryant (19 pts) and Aidan Roche (19 pts) will be anchors. juniors Kevin Baumann and M.J. Paulin return as well. A new sophomore, Jayson Smith – adds to the group.
Last Year’s Record: 6-12-2
Comp was a sophomore-laded squad last winter, one which coach Brett DiClementi expects to be improved this winter.
Scoring will be expected from returners up front in senior Jacob Girouard and junior Dylan Seymour. Junior Nick Farrell will be a key on defense, and junior Victor Canavan looks forward to another strong season between the pipes.
Last Year’s Record: 4-14-2
The Lions are optimistic for a much-improved season, with a young team that will have some speed.
Two sophomores – Sam Cocchi and Ben Corbin – will be offensive leaders for coach Paul Rivest. Junior Brandon Gomes is another key returner. Look for freshmen Ryan Kurtz, Luke Martin and Benji Steele to contribute right away.
On the back end, sophomore Nolan Wikar will have a key role. The defense also welcomes three new freshmen in Cody Sanderson, Brice Pereira and Thomas Deroin.
Last Year’s Record: 14-4-3
The Hurricanes should be a force again this season with some experienced players back, along with an infusion of youth.
In senior Kouji Ishida (15-19-34), coach Mike Rousseau has one of Western Mass’ top forwards. Juniors Joe Freniere (10 pts), Georgios Aliminos (5 goals) and Gunyoung Choi also return. Yuki Ishida, Cooper Beckwith, Liam Flynn and Skylar Ferro, all freshmen, bring added depth to the forward lines.
Junior Carter Beckwith (10 pts) and junior Nick Paul are key blueliners. Sophomore Charlie May will be in the goaltending mix.
- Also fielding teams this season are Chicopee, South Hadley and Southwick. No information was available as of press time.