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Mass. HS Boys: Tri-Valley League Team Previews – Exciting Race Looms In Large Division; Medway, Dedham Lead Small Division

A pair of Division 3 teams, Hopkinton and Ashland, stole the thunder last year from their bigger rivals in the Tri-Valley League. Hopkinton won the league title and then held off the Clockers in the Div. 3 South final before falling to Wachusett in the state final. But they will need to fend off battle-tested Medfield, Norwood and Westwood in the Large Schools division. On the Small Schools side, Medway and Dedham look to be the teams to beat again, but Bellingham, Dover-Sherborn/Weston and Norton all are improved.

LARGE DIVISION

ASHLAND (15-6-3)

Home Rink: Loring Arena, Framingham

The Clockers stormed to the Division 3 South final a year ago before falling to TVL rival Hopkinton. Now coach Mike Roman has to fill some big losses from that squad to remain competitive in the tough TVL Large.

Junior forward Matt Milko (4-10-14) is the top returning scorer as the Clockers bring back seven forwards who made big contributions from last season. Seniors Jack Reap (1-4-5), Brett Erwin (7-5-12) and Jake Shapiro also are back, along with juniors Nick Fish (5-5-10) and Nick Cibotti (2-0-2), and sophomore Dom Boccelli (4-1-5).

Sophomore Chris Moriarty is one of lone returnees on what will be a rebuilt defense. However, Roman has a wealth of freshman candidates for playing time on the blue line – Aydin Fish, Jack Reardon, Mark Milko, James Palanzi, Rowan Perry and Jackson Riva. Freshman Jack Rossi is a newcomer in net, and the Clockers also add sophomore Jaron Ames, and freshmen Jake Kaveney and P.J. Kissane at forward.

“Hard work and strong defensive zone play are the key to our season,” Roman said. “We need to protect our net and create traffic in the offensive zone.”

HOLLISTON (1-16-3)

Home Rink: Loring Arena, Framingham

After making the tournament two years ago, the Panthers will be looking for a big bounce-back following a tough 2018-19 campaign.

It will help to have their most experienced player between the pipes, as junior Nico Quatromoni (2.90 GAA, .898 SP) returns for his third season. Quatromoni also will be supported by three returning defensemen in seniors Connor Heffernan (2-6-8), Tommy Labb (0-3-3) and sophomore Ryan Dutcher. Coach Dan Geary expects Dutcher to get plenty of work in helping out the two seniors, and also is looking for another player to step up into a key top-four role.

Offensively, senior right winger Robby Saponaro (7-7-14) lead a speedy group with senior left wing Brendon Geary (2-7-9), senior center Sam Farrell (1-1-2) and junior right wing Christian Schneeloch (3-1-4). Senior Cooper DeCristofaro (1-7-8) transitions from defense to center this season.

Sean Walsh
Hopkinton

“We are going to have to elevate our offensive production if we are going have any success,” Geary said, noting the team still hopes to lean on Quatromoni and the defense to keep the Panthers in most games.

HOPKINTON (17-7-1)

Home Rink: Navin Skating Arena, Marlboro

Kyle Rogers
Hopkinton

It nearly was a dream season for the Hillers, who won their first sectional title and rode all the way to the Garden before falling to coach Chris MacPherson’s alma mater, Wachusett.

So how do they follow that up? Hopkinton did suffer some big graduation losses, but returns one of the top scorers in the state in Sean Walsh (70 points). The forward will be a senior captain along with forward Tommy Hamblet (39), while senior Kyle Rogers (35 points) also was an offensive sparkplug during the deep postseason run. Seniors Dan Kirk (17 points), Will Quinlan (eight goals) and Jake Weinstock also are back.

Quentin Barnes
Hopkinton

MacPherson said the Hillers will continue to focus on a strong defensive game, led by senior captain Drew Saporoshetz on the blue line. Juniors Andrew Gilbert, Ronnie Shamus and Cam Jerrett round out the strong defense as Hopkinton will turn to senior Gray Bailey in net this season.

Quentin Barnes, a junior transfer from St. John’s (Shrewsbury), is another player MacPherson believes can contribute.

MEDFIELD (13-5-5)

Home Rink: Pirelli Veterans Rink, Franklin

The Warriors didn’t lose much from last season’s run to the Division 2 South semifinals. So while there were few spots up for grabs in the preseason, coach Toby Carlow expected any new players to be ready to jump right into the lineup and contribute.

Senior right wing Mike Tyer (12-6-18) is the top returning scorer, but the Warriors bring back plenty of balance and depth with juniors James Wilder (6-8-14), Mike Vachon (4-9-13) and Sam Palmer (5-8-13). Junior center Aiden Perachi is another forward who will play a key role.

Defensively, Carlow will look to seniors John Schofield (1-4-5), Jim Cosolito (1-3-4) and junior Aidan Parker (1-6-7) to shore things up in front of senior goalie Cameron Giunta (1.47 GAA), who split time last season.

“We need to continue playing strong team defense and protect our net, and transition to offense smoothly,” Carlow said.

Andrew Marchant
Norwood

Jake Russo
Norwood

Nick Spadorcia
Norwood

NORWOOD (13-4-6)

Home Rinks: Rodman Arena, Walpole; Bajko Rink, Hyde Park

The Mustangs came on strong last season and reached the Division 2 South semifinals before falling to state champion Canton.

Coach Chuck Allen returns a solid group of skaters led by senior captain Anthony Marchant at forward, and well as a pair of assistant captains up front in senior Harry Gover and junior Jake Russo. Junior Nick Spadorcia also has experience at forward.

Defensively the Mustangs will look to seniors Mike Catalano and Larston Boothroyd, junior Jack Lydon and sophomores George Tolman and Kyle Leger. They will be critical as Allen needs to break in a pair of new goalies, with junior Brendan Bartucca and sophomore Ethan Barrows battling it out for time.

“We have a lot of returning players, we have good speed,” Allen said. “The last couple of years our problem has been goal scoring. We’ve got to get to the dirty areas.”

WESTWOOD (16-2-6)

Home Rink: Canton Ice House

After reaching the Division 2 South final last season before being derailed by eventual state champion Canton, the Wolverines now find themselves needing to replace 13 graduated seniors from that roster.

So second-year coach Matt Sebet will lean heavily on one of his returning veterans – senior goalie Ben Goodrich, who posted a 1.83 GAA with four shutouts last season. Given the relative youth of the squad, the Wolverines also will have three juniors as captains this season – forwards Nick Horsfall and Colin Fahey, and defenseman Kevin McGough.

While Horsfall (9-8-17) and Fahey (7-8-15) are the rare experienced players at forward, Westwood will be able to give Goodrich some help on the back end. McGough (1-3-4) will be joined defensively by seniors Nikita Manakin (5-2-7) and Joey Healy (1-1-2). A.J. Maalouf is another senior on the blue line up from the junior varsity.

Sebet said the team will need to adjust to new roles quickly and keep good team structure, while Goodrich and the defense give the team the ability to pull out close games.

SMALL DIVISION

Reid Slavin
Dedham

DEDHAM (8-9-4)

Home Rink: Flood Rink, Dedham

The Marauders could be a team to watch both in the TVL race and Division 2 South with 17 players back off last year’s tournament team and strong veteran leadership.

Coach Dan Lynch will look to seniors Jack Roslonek (10-17-27), Andrew Mercuri (11-8-19) and junior Pat Derby (7-8-15).

Senior Reid Slavin (9-6-15) has converted from forward to shore up the defense, which also brings back juniors Billy Parr (0-6-6) and Griffin Moulton (2-6-8).

Connor Stamm returns in net after posting a 2.66 GAA and .910 SP for the Marauders a season ago.

Jake Schultz
Bellingham

BELLINGHAM (5-12-3)

Home Rink: Pirelli Veterans Rink, Franklin

Blackhawks coach Joe Robidoux says he will be looking for more consistency in his team’s games this season as they try to battle for a top spot in the TVL Small race.

Junior goalie Cameron Lahue will be one of the key players for the team, supported by a pair of returning defensemen in senior Jake Schultz (2-7-9) and junior Brennan McCann.

Senior forward Matt Pelletier (9-7-16) is the top returning forward, joined by juniors Brady Swain, Roger Belanger and Thomas Mailhot.

Freshman Liam Keating is a newcomer to the program.

Billy Rooney
Dover/Sherborn-Weston

DOVER-SHERBORN/WESTON (6-10-2)

Home Rinks: Chase Arena, Natick; McDowell Ice Arena, Weston

Coming off its first season as a co-op program, D-S/Weston should be a little more comfortable as it enters 2019-20.

Cooper Griffin
Dover/Sherborn-Weston

Cooper Griffin, a forward from Weston, is one of the most experienced forwards along with a trio of juniors – Standish Carothers and Tommy Higgins of D-S, and George Herlihy of Weston.

The Raiders will look to juniors Billy Rooney (D-S) and Liam Falvey (Weston) on defense in front of Dover-Sherborn goalie Ethan Blanchard. Coach Tom Bourque expects team defense will be the key to getting over the hump in the TVL Small and into the postseason.

MEDWAY (9-10-2)

Home Rink: Pirelli Veterans Rink, Franklin

Medway won the TVL Small championship a season ago before bowing out in the first round of the Division 2 South tournament. Now second-year coach Derek Harrington will be looking for the team to continue its momentum behind “team chemistry, hard work ethic and solid team defensive play.”

Cole Theodore
Medway

Colin Stover (5-4-9), Tommy Dwyer (8-1-9) and Jack McCarthy (3-6-9) are a trio of seniors at forward. Junior center Cole Theodore (8-7-15) is the top returning scorer, and sophomore left wing Alex Infanger (6-2-8) also is back.

Defensively the Mustangs will look to sophomore Sam Marchionni (1-3-4) and junior Nick Zanella (0-5-5). Sophomore Evan Monaghan is poised to step into the starting role in net.

McCarthy and Zanella both come to the program from Milford.

NORTON (4-14-2)

Home Rink: Foxboro Sports Center

Jay Thebado is looking to step a big step forward in his second season as coach of the Lancers, who also get players from Sharon as part of a co-op arrangement.

Seniors Jeremy Cross (right wing) and Pat Donahue (center) will be the top returning foewards, with senior Billy McCarthy and junior Joe Fasolino back on defense.

“We need to prioritize playing strong defense, staying out of the penalty box, and remaining focused for entire games,” Thebado said.

Jim Clark

Jim Clark

Jim Clark has covered Massachusetts high school hockey for three decades, and joins Hockey Night in Boston for the 2019-20 season. Previously he was the lead high school hockey writer for 19 years for the Boston Herald, where he also worked full-time on the copy desk in the sports department and served as the paper's high schools editor from 2000-06. Clark was honored by the Mass. State Hockey Coaches Association with its William Stewart Award for contributions to the sport in May 2019, and also received the Joel Perlmutter Award for media coverage in 2006. A graduate of UMass, he also spent eight years as sports editor and reporter for the Sentinel & Enterprise in Fitchburg, Mass.
Jim Clark
- 15 mins ago