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Mass Girls HS Hockey – Merrimack Valley Conference Preview: Competitive League Race Up For Grabs

The current landscape has Merrimack Valley Conference teams playing just each other this winter instead of the normal MVC/Dual County League grouping. The five teams – Andover, Billerica/Chelmsford, HPNA, Methuen/Tewksbury and Central Catholic – will play each other three times for a 12-game regular season.

ANDOVER 

Last Year’s Record: 10-6-4

Ashley Chiango
Andover

With a strong nucleus of upperclassmen, the Golden Warriors will be their usual tough out again this winter.

Junior Lauren Adams (16 goals) will be an offensive catalyst for second-year coach Tyler Vigue. Three seniors to watch up front are Kalli Archambault (8 pts), Lilly Reeves and Kelsey Dennehy. Two sophomores ready for increased roles are Eliza O’Sullivan and Rose MacLean.

Samantha Fantasia
Billerica/Chemsford

A talented blue line trio that will handle things on the blue line are seniors Kaitlyn Cormier and Vanessa Pierni and junior Ashley Chiango.

BILLERICA/CHELMSFORD

Last Year’s Record: 7-8-5

Julia Williams
Billerica/Chelmsford

Second-year head coach Ray Monroe is looking forward to big things from this group, which missed the post-season by a scant point last year while being in every game it played.

Up front, veteran senior Samantha Fantasia, an Endicott commit, will power the offensive attack with senior Brenna Murray and sophomores Tori Apostolakes, Julia Williams and Molly Sances. Keep an eye on eighth grader Giovanna Guglinello.

Three defensemen return in juniors Lea Gaspar and Gina Sciortino, and sophomore Remore Serra.

Freshman Mia Gonsalves is a returning starter in goal for B/C.

Jessica Driscoll
Tewksbury/Methuen

METHUEN/TEWKSBURY

Last Year’s’ Record: 11-5-6

Graduation hit the Red Rangers hard. The players who are returning will need to be prepared to step into new roles.

Michelle Kusmaul
Methuen/Tewksbury

M/T will have one of the league’s top forwards in junior Jessica Driscoll, who scored 25 goals last winter, along with 10 assists. Sophomores Riley Sheehan (10 pts) and Nikole Gosse (7 pts) will be leaned on heavily as well by coach Sarah Oteri. Two freshmen – Emma Giordano and Kat Schille, and eighth-grader Brooke Harb are ready to step right in.

Senior Alexis Raymond anchors the defense, while junior Michelle Kusmaul takes over in goal for the graduated Kaia Hollingsworth, a six-year starter in goal for the Red Rangers.

HAVERHILL/PENTUCKET/NORTH ANDOVER

Last Year’s Record: 18-1-2

Brooke Duquette
HPNA

It was a magical season last winter for HPNA, one that unfortunately came to a close much earlier than expected after an upset loss to Hingham in a first round tournament game. Experience gleaned from last year’s depth will be a big factor in how this team does this year. HPNA did lose its top four scorers.

Offensive leaders for this year for coach Gary Kane project to be senior Morgan Whitlock (15 pts) and juniors Katerina Yelsits (15 pts) and Emma Skafas (11 pts). Senior Sophie Znamierowski, junior Riley Buckley and sophomores Shelby Nassar, Brooke Duquette and Kaitlyn Bush all return as well in the forward ranks.

Senior Liv Cole, juniors Alyssa Mazzocchi and Ella Roe, and sophomore Cassie Doherty are back to lead the defense. Senior Kira Connors looks to take over in the nets.

Two newcomers looking for big roles are Rachel Keating and Gabby Harty.

Maddie Guy
Central Catholic

CENTRAL CATHOLIC

Last Year’s Record: 3-15-2

The Raiders are under new management with Mike Collett taking over behind the bench. He hopes to have this club competitive in what will be a tough schedule playing just MVC clubs this winter.

Seniors Meggie Briley and Maddie Guy and junior Meghan Malolepszy will key the forward group. Three seniors – Grace Gervais, Jodi Mercier and Kristin Litzenberg – will anchor the defense in front of senior goalie Liz Smith.

Maddie Burke, Ava Iannessa, Cecilia Sinopoli and Marissa MacPherson are new players ready to show what they can do.

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 30 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Daily Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for Mens Prep School hockey since 1988, as well as womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. for almost 20 years. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.
Gary Demopoulos
- 2 hours ago
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