Mass. Girls HS Hockey – Middlesex Freedom Preview: Competitive Campaign Looms Again; New Coaches at Wakefield, Stoneham/Melrose

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopouloshttp://www.hnibnews.com
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.

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As was the case last winter, there are two new coaches in the division again this year, with Cassandra Connolly taking over for Stoneham/Melrose, and Jacqui Mansfield the new mentor at Wakefield. It should be a pretty competitive season amongst these five teams. They will play each other twice for a total of eight league games. Some clubs also have non-league games against a Liberty Division foe.

BURLINGTON

Last Year’s Record: 11-9-2

With a starting goaltender and five defensemen back, expect the Red Devils to be strong on the back end, which will help as the team lost a decent amount of scoring production from the forward lines.

Senior Colleen McMakin is back to handle the goaltending duties for second-year coach Rick Sheehan, while leading that experienced defensive crew will be seniors Sydney Shinopoulos (12 pts) and Ava Petrone (15 pts).

Up front, sophomore Shea McDonald (19 pts) will be a catalyst, with help from returning seniors Alexia Hamilton and Shannon McDonald. A quartet of eighth-graders – Faith Steiner, Lexi MacKinnon, Elena Seremetis and Caitlyn Tremblay – all look to help out offensively.

WILMINGTON

Last Year’s Record: 7-11-3

The Wildcats will look to have their returning players step up a level and continue to be a hard team for opponents to play against.

Up front, the forward group for coach John Lapiana will be led by seniors Ida Bishop, Toni Brunetto and Zoe DeRose.

Defensive anchors look to be seniors Maria Hernandez and Amanda Mercier.

STONEHAM/MELROSE

Last Year’s Record: 0-18-0

Former Woburn HS star Cassandra Connolly takes over the reins of the Stonerose co-op and will look for some improvement.

Three sophomores the Spartans can build around up front are Ava Krasco, Kaylee Cronin and Gabby Sacco. Junior Itaia Figueria will be another key building block.

Veteran leadership on the blue line will come from seniors Katie Oro, Syndney Kroon and Marissa DiPlacido. Returning in goal will be senior Grace Connell.

Two freshmen looking to help out are Lucy Clark and Grace Tobias.

Abby Boudreau
Wakefield

WAKEFIELD

Last Year’s Record: 8-8-4

The Warriors have turned the reins over to an alumnae of the program in Jacqui Mansfield, whose first order of business is to bring the team together.

Junior Kayli Porter will be a major presence in the offensive zone. New freshman Fiona Recene is ready to show what she can do.

Sophomore Charlotte Rossicone is a key blueliner, while junior Abby Boudreau is rock-solid between the pipes.

“I want to use this shortened season to establish a great relationship and team environment that we can capitalize on in the future,” Mansfield said. “Getting back to the basics of  hockey and building a foundation on the fundamentals.”

WATERTOWN

Last Year’s Record: 6-11-3

Erika Kelly built a solid foundation last winter in her first year behind the bench for the Raiders, and a goal in year two is to continue to build on that.

A young club will be led up front by sophomore Maggie Driscoll and freshman Molly Driscoll. Cornerstones of the defensive unit look to be sophomore Lizzie Loftus and freshman Aislin Devaney.

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