After a two-year trial merger with the Northeastern Conference, the Greater Boston League schools have broken away and reformed the old league. But one thing hasn’t changed in the interim: GBL coaches still point to Division 1 Medford as the clear favorite. Revere/Malden’s merger with Matignon was an interesting storyline leading into the preseason and should make the three-school co-op a team to watch.
Home Rink: Loconte Rink
Medford returns home, so to speak, to this new iteration of the GBL, revived after several years. As the lone Division I program, the Mustangs have set their sites on nothing less than a league title.
“Being back in the Greater Boston League we will be looking to reclaim the league title. We will need to play good team defense (and) have good work ethic by our entire team,” said coach Shawn Bates, now in his seventh year at his alma mater.
Senior Jared McDonald (9-9-18) and junior Shawn Nestor (5-8-13) are the offensive catalysts up front. Senior goalie Michael Corso aims to build on his solid junior campaign while senior Chris Freeman leads the defense.
EVERETT/MYSTIC VALLEY (5-14-1)
Home Rink: Allied Veterans Memorial Rink, Everett
Coach Alex Naumann is hoping the merger between Everett and Mystic Valley will continue to play dividends as they transition back to the re-formed Greater Boston League.
The Crimson Tide will look to build off strong individual performances from a season ago, led by juniors Brendan Currie (18-15-33) and Max Brown (MV, 11-14-25), as well as senior captain Brian Delorey (6-9-15) at forward. Naumann be looking for improved overall team defense with Aaron Hickey (MV) and Kaleigh Snook, with senior captain D.J. Schovanec returning in goal.
A trio of freshmen – forward David Saia and Cameron Cuoto of Everett, and defenseman Matthew Cochran of Mystic Valley – are new players to watch for the Crimson Tide.
Home Rink: Paul Cronin MDC Rink, Revere
After Revere and Malden skated the past several seasons as a combined team, just a month before the season they were approved to add players from one of the storied programs in Massachusetts hockey history. Matignon, which did not have enough players for its own team this season, comes aboard what will be a three-team co-op.
Veteran coach Joe Ciccarello said he still was in the process of evaluating the new faces to his program as the new team hit the ice for the first time in preseason.
“We welcome our new addition and we all cannot wait to see what our potential could be,” Ciccarello said.
In the meantime, the Patriots will lean on a handful of returning players – including forwards Matt D’Annolfo and Corey Rufo, as well as defensemen Joe Papasodoro and Dante Raffa.
Home Rink: Veterans Memorial Rink, Somerville
The Highlanders suffered some key graduation losses, but fourth-year coach Kevin Wilson says those who are back are hungry to return to the postseason following last year’s Division 2 North first-round loss to Boston Latin.
Somerville should have plenty of experience across the board, particularly at forward, where eight players return. Centers Austin Pacheco and Nick Ciccerone, wingers Cosmo Curtatone, Aidan O’Donovan, Jake McDonald, Tenzin Gesar and Brendan Jones, as well as center/wing Nathan Doe all should be contributors to the offense.
On the blue line, look for Joe Carey, Chris Bonney and Josh Amaral to anchor things. Wilson will have a trio of goalies in Jaren O’Brien, Jack Donovan and Jack Marujo.
Dillon Marujo, Alec Morgan and Brady Roche will be newcomers on the blue line, with Chris DeAngelis and Peter Lounsberry adding to the depth up front.