The Greater Boston League was one of the hardest hit across the state by the COVID-19 pandemic. No sports were played in the fall and winter seasons, and the league created its own three-season calendar that finally allowed hockey to hit the ice in March.
In addition to that, the league officially accepted Lynn English and Classical as full members, which means the Lynn Jets will bring the hockey membership to five for this season. Defending champion Somerville has a new coach, while Medford remains a power as the lone Division 1 program. Everett and Revere/Malden/Matignon round out the league.
Coach Shawn Bates will lean on a core group of veterans as the Mustangs shoot for a solid campaign. Working together as a cohesive unit is the goal.
“We want the the team to go out and play hard, make the most of the opportunity in front of us and control what we can control,” Bates said.
Senior forwards Shawn Nestor (12-10-22) and Liam Bernardi (5-6-11) return to lead the offense while senior Don Davis and junior Aidan Doherty are back on the blue line. Senior Connor Carreiro steps into the role of primary goalie.
Lynn Classical and Lynn English — two of the schools that make up to co-op team — already were slated to join the GBL for the 2021-22 school year. But after the Jets were unable to compete in the Northeastern Conference this past winter, the team caught a break when the Lynn schools were accepted into the GBL early.
The Jets will be looking to make some strides for coach Mike Roberts after struggling through a winless final NEC campaign. Senior captain Matt Patrie is poised to be the offensive leader, with senior captain Christian Alquinta back on defense.
A pair of new goalies — sophomore Steven DiFilippo and eighth-grader Richie Avery — are splitting time in goal.
The Patriots enter their second season as a three-school co-op after welcoming Matignon players into the fold in 2019-20. Coach Joe Ciccarello says there is “more competition for spots than previous years, so that can only help.”
Senior center James Marini and right wing Nick Summers are among the top returning forwards along with junior left wing Alexio Trichilo. The Patriots also bring back senior defenseman Dylan Griffith and sophomore goalie Cam Wickens.
Among the new faces who should contribute this season are sophomore right wing Austin Annunziato, and a pair of freshmen — left wing Matt Poirer and center Derek Dejon.
“How fast we jell together and keep playing systems hockey will determine our level of success,” Ciccarello said. “Most of our goals will come from the hard work and grit variety as opposed to the pure goal-scorer’s goals. So if we don’t work hard, we will not score. We don’t score, we cannot win.”
The long wait to get on the ice delayed the debut of coach Chris Capasso, who takes over the reins of a Highlanders program that won the GBL championship in 2019-20.
Easing the transition for Capasso will be a strong senior leadership group led by captain Cosmo Curtatone (center), along with senior alternate captains Aidan Johnson (defense) and Jake McDonald (left wing). Senior John Donovan will be in net, while left wing Christopher Bonney and defenseman Joshua Amaral round out the senior group.
Right wing and alternate captain Tenzin Gesar leads the solid junior class with Nathan Doe (C), Evander Gosselin Neves (D), Nicholas Cicerone (C), Brendan Jones (RW), Aidan O’Donovan (RW) and Jack Marujo (C).
Among the underclass group are sophomores Brady Roche (D), Dillin Marujo (D), Alexander Morgan (D), Christopher DeAngelis (LW) and Peter Lounsberry (LW), as well as freshman center Owen Rosas.