The Eastern Athletic Conference returns as a three-team league. Coyle & Cassidy is the defending champion, but enters the season with a new coach, and the Warriors will try to fend off Bishop Feehan and Bishop Stang.
BISHOP FEEHAN (11-8-3)
Home Rink: New England Sports Village, Attleboro
The Shamrocks will be built from the goal out as they look to get back to the top of the EAC for the first time in four years.
Rory Geraghty is back for his senior season in net after posting a 2.50 GAA and .872 SP a year ago. Supporting him will be a trio of senior defensemen in Thomas Potenza (2-1-3), Thomas Reilly (3-6-9) and Seth Dunphy (1-4-5).
Senior center Jason Sullivan (12-7-19) is the top returning scorer along with senior center Kevin Borah (10-4-14) and junior wing Kevin Barrera (5-9-14). Senior wing Cam Damaso (2-5-7) and junior wing Peter Cariuolo (3-4-7) also return. Freshman wing Thomas Franzosa and junior wing Ryan Seaver are newcomers to watch.
“A large portion of the team has played together for the past few years so we are looking to jell from the start,” Feehan coach Kevin Dunn said.
BISHOP STANG (14-6-1)
Home Rink: Hetland Memorial Arena, New Bedford
After a successful regular season that earned them the No. 6 seed in Division 3 South, the Spartans had the misfortune of matching up with eventual sectional champ and state finalist Hopkinton in their opening game.
Coach Ken Gouveia and the Spartans will be hoping for better things this time around. Stang returns a solid and experienced cast throughout the line, and Gouveia will be leaning on senior leadership to produce another successful season.
Seniors Devin Allen, William Lafrance, Matt Walsh and T.J. Marcotte return at forward, along with junior Brandon Cardelli, and a strong sophomore group with Jack Jedrey, Justin Gouveia and Tyler Beck. Junior Chris Gauvin, as well as freshmen Adyn Simmons and Matt Quinlan, are newcomers at forward.
Sophomore Matt Dore and senior William Walsh split time last season, and Gouveia will have the luxury of being able to turn to either one again this season.
The defense should be dynamic at both ends of the ice. Juniors Ben Saunders and Ryan Martin are the top returning scorers, while the deep group also includes seniors Andrew Carusi, Vittorio Consoletti, Collin Walsh, and sophomore Seamus Marshall.
COYLE & CASSIDY (14-7-2)
Home Rink: Raynham IcePlex
A new era of sorts begins for the Warriors as former assistant Frank Foster takes the range.
The defending EAC champions enter the season with a smaller but talented roster led by four seniors. Devon Peroni, Gavin Youngclaus and John Hutchinson, as well as defenseman Kolbey Sharpe. The junior class includes forwards Sean Reynolds and Justin Schofield, as well as defensemen Adam Perry and Brendan Flaven.
Sophomore Ethan Bairos will be in net, joined by classmates Duncan Youngclaus and Broden Youngclaus at forward, and Matthew Labollita on the blue line.
Rounding out the Warriors are freshmen Kaiden Mercier (F), Daniel Hill (D) and Tyler Rose (D), and eighth-grader John Bicho (F).