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Mass. Catholic Conference Preview

ST. JOHN’S PREP (19-4-1)

The Eagles have enjoyed a strong post-season run in the 1A Tournament the past several years. However, 16 players from last year’s semifinalist were lost to graduation and transfers leaving a young team that will need to learn to compete on the fly.

James Currier

James Currier

Ean Mendeszoon

Ean Mendeszoon

Anthony Selvitella

Anthony Selvitella

Coach Kris Hanson does return a quality core group to lead the way. Senior captain Jimmy Currier (9-11-20) showed a knack for delivering big goals in key situations a year ago. Seniors Evan Leclerc and Ean Mendeszon share the captain’s duties. Senior Anthony Selvitella gets the full-time call in goal.

CATHOLIC MEMORIAL (13-8-2)

Aaron Clancy

Aaron Clancy

The Knights returned to the 1A Tournament last year after a prolonged absence, reaching the semifinal round. Veteran coach Bill Hanson welcomes back 18 players from that team, although no roster spots are guaranteed and all players have to make their way through the tryout process.

Will Conroy

Will Conroy

Junior captain Aaron Clancy (12-10-22) is the heir apparent as the leader of the CM offense. Fellow captain and solid two-way senior Kevin Bletzer joins Clancy on the forward line. Six-foot, three-inch senior defenseman Will Conroy (5-7-12) looks to build off a solid summer with HNIB.   Hanson indicated that goaltending and defense are the Knights’ strength. He anticipates any one of the league’s five teams will be capable of claiming the title.

XAVERIAN (9-8-5)

The Hawks are looking for a fast start under coach Dave Spinale, who expects the league to be as balanced as ever. Xaverian returns quality personnel and balance in all phases, though a few players were delayed in their preparation by the football team’s Super Bowl appearance.

A_MARINI_XAVERIAN

Anthony Marini

Senior Tony Marini (8-27-35) and sophomore Tim Sweeney (10-14-24), both from Hanover, work well together at forward. Junior Jake Farrell (9-5-14) and sophomore Joe Beniers (10 points) add to the offensive attack. Junior Drew Perry gets the call in goal. A physical defense that includes seniors Rickey Smith and Nick Colantuoni, junior Ryan Walsh and sophomore Matt McGlynn provides protection.

MALDEN CATHOLIC (16-6-3)

The three-time defending 1A champions closed last season on a 13-game unbeaten streak. Many of the key contributors to that team return for coach John McLean, whose primary task will be identifying a goaltender ready to meet the challenge posed by one of the state’s most ambitious schedules.

Nick Rolli

Nick Rolli

Pat Wrenn

Pat Wrenn

John McLean

John McLean

Brian Cameron

Brian Cameron

The offense is loaded with seven veteran forwards returning. Junior Ara Nazarian (26-20-46) and senior Tyler Sifferlin (14-19-33) lead the way. Seniors Patrick Wrenn (6-8-14)and Brian Cameron, juniors Austin Goldstein (6-11-17) and Jake Witkowski, and sophomore Matt Filipe (15 points) contributed another 23 goals. Senior Nick Rolli and juniors John McLean and Will Lawrence all return on the back line, tasked with keeping the dangerous areas clean in front of an untested keeper.

B.C. HIGH (15-5-3)

The Eagles return 11 forwards and seven defensemen who have gained ample experience over the past couple of seasons. Coach John Flaherty’s club will be prepared to negotiate the typically rugged league in which each team is capable of prevailing on any night.

Billy Roche

Billy Roche

Patrick Kramer

Patrick Kramer

Trevor Davis

Trevor Davis

Junior forward Pat Kramer (15-13-28) led the Eagles in goals last year and ranked second in points and is being recruited by numerous D1 schools. Four-year senior Steve DeForge (8-7-15), senior Chris LaLiberte (12 points), and juniors Jake Lemanski (7 goals), Tim Larocque and Connor Noonan provide veteran balance. Seniors Sam Topham (4-16-20) and Trevor Davis are the anchors of a seasoned corps of defensemen.  Sophomore Ryan Shea (4-14-18) is already being heavily recruited and is looking to build on a stellar freshman campaign. Sophomore Billy Roche completes the group. A new goalie will emerge from pre-season competition.

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle joined the HNIB team in 1990 and is a Senior Writer and Director of the Northern New England and Mass/R.I. High School Division camps. An award-winning veteran editor/writer of 35 years experience in the print and digital mediums, he has conceptualized, edited and produced original content and coordinated production for local and global publications and their websites. He holds degrees from Merrimack College and Boston University and won multiple NEPA and NEAP awards during his tenure as Sports Editor of The Daily News of Newburyport and News Editor of The Amesbury News. He is the 2016 recipient of the North Shore Lifetime Commitment From the Community award presented by Moynihan Lumber and is a 2017 inductee into the Newburyport High School Wall of Fame. The Newburyport, MA native resides with his family in Epping, NH. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @kdoyle40.
Kevin Doyle
- 7 hours ago