The Middlesex League Liberty Divsion is one of the more competitive loops in the state and this season should be no exception. Arlington is the defending champion.
Home Rink: Ed Burns Arena
The Liberty Division defending champion Spy Ponders will feature a more defensive game this winter, returning loads of experience on the back end. If they can generate a consistent offensive attack, they will be a tough commodity.
Junior Makayla Doherty (20 pts) and sophomore Gabby Russo (14 pts) will spearhead the offensive attack for coach Jeff Mead. Senior Carolyn Days will be a solid contributor. A newcomer to watch will be freshman Maddie Krepelka.
On defense, juniors Shea O’Day (9 pts) and Fiona Johnson-MacDonald (9 pts) team with sophomore Grace Corsetti to form a solid blue line nucleus. Add to the mix promising freshman Kailyn Murphy.
Sophomore Elise Rood takes over full-time in the Arlington net.
Home Rink: Burbank Arena
Despite losing some key players, the Rockets will be rely on the experience of seven seniors and leadership from the team’s four captains.
Drivers of the offense for coach Alexa Hingston will be senior veterans Sydney Conte (27 pts – Western New England College commit) and Paige Murphy (10 pts), both captains. Some talented freshmen ready to contribute right away are Lacey Carcerio, Elise Verrier and Victoria Bean. New sophomore Madaket Rzepka will be a plus.
Senior captains Lindsey Joyce and Olivia Caruso will backbone the defensive game. Freshman Cara Joyce hopes to log some decent minutes.
Back in goal for the Rockets is junior Casey Machera.
Home Rink: O’Brien Rink
There is a slight changing of the guard for the Tanners, with long-time head coach Bob MacCurtain stepping back to take an assistant’s role this season, with Steve Kennedy ascending into the top bench job. Woburn should be in the mix for a Liberty title.
Three juniors – MacKenzie Russo, Bella Shaw and Kelsey Ficociello – and sophomore ML Pineros form a solid returning forward cast. Freshmen sisters Angelina and Lucia DiGirolamo should factor significantly in the offense. Also looking to contribute are juniors Aly Haggerty and Gianna Halajian and freshmen Katie Pica and Meghan Keogh.
Senior captains Erin McComiskey and Jackie Lees will be solid two-way players on the blue line. Junior Lily Anderson moves to the back line from her forward position.
There is plenty of experience in goal with senior captain Amanda Essigmann back for her fourth varsity season. Alyssa Wackrow is also in the goaltending mix.
Home Rink: O’Brien Arena
With some key players returning, the Sachems will again be a tough out. A team strength projects to be on defense, with the nucleus all back.
Up front, coach Craig Seabury will rely on senior Whitney Krayer (20 pts) and juniors Niki Micchiche (33 pts), Mary Lou Coakley (15 pts), Mia Legere (11 pts) and Hayley Costello (7 pts). New freshman Irene Madile adds depth.
Senior Issy Brechette (15 pts) will lead Winchester’s defense with junior Ariane O’Rourke (11 pts) and senior Brooke Ross.
Junior Amy Scali returns in goal.
Home Rink: Hayden Arena
The Minutemen are looking to get out of the game fast, and play as a team in all facets of the game.
Coach Arianna Rigano has a nice offensive nucleus back in senior Lilia Dawson (14 pts), juniors Nicole Zermani (9 pts) and Annabel Cincotta (7 pts) and sophomores Lena Cassidy (12 pts) and Erica Riley (8 pts).
Senior Maddie Bryant (8 pts) will be a cornerstone on defense. Junior Audrey Eastridge is back as well.
In goal, look for junior Katie Devine to man the cage.
Home Rink: Skip Viglarolo Rink
The Marauders have some key players back and look to compete in the tough Liberty Division and shoot for a post-season berth.
Up front, coach Ken Murphy will look to senior Katie Guden and junior Emma O’Donovan to be key offensive players. Kendall Whalen will be involved in a big way. Look for freshman Lily Duffy to be a strong skating addition.
Seniors Meghan Noone and Jenna Crowley will be steadying influences on the blue line. Freshman Bridget Gray is ready for a solid season between the pipes.