WESTFORD ACADEMY (13-6-5)
The Grey Ghosts quietly reached the D1 semifinals last season and with a good core group back, will challenge for a wide-open league crown.
Senior Colleen Ellis (26 pts) and junior Hannah Keefe (32 pts) will power the attack for coach Bob Ware. New sophomore Kayleigh Butler will have a role.
Senior Kelly DeMarco (12 pts) headlines the defensive group in front of returning senior goalie Alyssa Lopez (1.57 gaa).
Youth will be served at Acton-Boxboro, where coach Dan Fontas says he will have his youngest team since being head coach. However, there are some talented players, so expect the Colonials to challenge for the league title.
Up front, eighth-grader Lily Zavolas is coming off a 42-point season as a seventh grader. Sophomore Corlene Guerard (17 pts) is another key returner in the forward lines.
On defense, freshman Alicia Souliotis (23 pts) is a quality two-way blueliner, while fellow freshman Haley Sundstrom (16 pts) is adept in both ends of the ice as well.
A-B graduated a pair of veteran goalies, so the job looks like it will go to seventh grader Madigan Anderson.
These rivals are joining forces for this season when both programs realized some dwindling numbers. Tina Carrabba, who coached Billerica last winter, will coach the co-op squad.
Senior defenseman Madison Dechristoforo (a co-captain), and junior forward Clare Conway will be key players from Billerica. Junior forward Julia Maybury from Chelmsford will contribute. Junior Maya Dube, from Chelmsford, is also a co-captain of the team. Eighth grader Samantha Fantasia saw time at forward last year for Billerica.
Seniors Courtney McCann and Taylor Roderick will be forwards. New sophomore Samantha Lawler will have a key role.
The Warriors will focus on increasing, and finishing off scoring opportunities, as offense has been a bit of an issue the past few seasons.
Returners ready to accept the challenge include senior Michelle Durling, and sophomores Alex Johnson, Callie Willey and Emily Wagner. Senior Katie O’Reilly, sophomore Emma Gilmartin and freshman Lauren Fraser will provide depth.
Coach Kevin Drew welcomes back three veteran defensemen in seniors Caroline Ingram and Katherine Devaney, and sophomore Katie Adams. Sophomore Laura Olson and freshman Sarah Carleo will be in the mix as well.
In goal, sophomore Shauna Durso hopes to win the starting job.
The Warriors should be competitive again in the MVC/Dual Small Division, but they will need to score more consistently.
Centers Izzy Nelson (senior) and Kerri Maron (sophomore) will have big roles up front for coach Paul Hardy. Look for eighth grader Catrina Tobin to step in and contribute.
Junior Kayla Bain anchors the defense in front of senior goalie Alyssa Lee.
Coach John McCue will have a very young club this season, and those younger players will need to step up immediately and score some goals. Playing solid team defense will be a must as well.
Goal scoring should come from senior Kasey Antonellis (10 pts) and freshman Janice O’Neil, who had five goals before an injury ended her eighth-grade season before the halfway mark. Expect freshman Victoria Sarkissian and junior Katharine Santiago to be involved.
Senior Cora Casteel leads the defense, while eighth-grader Caitlyn Burke projects to be in goal for the Hawks.
HAVERHILL/NORTH ANDOVER (12-3-6)
HPNA proved to be one of the top teams in Division 1 last season and if they can replace some key components from that club, mainly All Scholastic goalie Michaela Kane (now at St. Anselm), they will be tough again.
Senior captains Jess Chicko (31 pts) and Rebecca Harty (16 pts) are back to lead the offense for coach Gary Kane, along with senior Katherine Capobianco (23 pts) and sophomore Gina Albano. Freshman forwards Hannah Keating and Deanna Bosco look to get on the scoresheet.
On defense, senior captain Andrea Albano and juniors Tamara Hoar, Maddie Fredo and Amanda Regan all return to form an experienced group. Freshman Eliana Kane joins the group.
And the task of replacing Kane in goal will fall to freshman Jenny Hubbard.
The Red Rangers will need to create offense to offset some key losses up front if they hope to duplicate last season’s success. This team will be young.
Senior Amanda Mambro (17 pts) and junior Riley Cote (11 pts) will be asked to provide that needed scoring, as will sophomore Carolyn Curley, injured for most of last season. Sophomore Megan Forbes can play either forward or defense.
Senior Niamh Cote will backbone the defense for coach Sarah Oteri, who does have the luxury of freshman Kaia Hollingsworth returning between the pipes.
CENTRAL CATHOLIC (5-15-0)
The Raiders move back into the MVC/Dual County Small division this winter with a club that lost seven players from last year, including the top three scorers. A goal is to return to the post-season.
Senior co-captain Meghan Dunbar and juniors Colleen McAnespie and Tori Small will be relied on by coach Jeff Marggraf for production. Four freshmen – Caremella Hillner, Sara Biddle, Casey Jackson and Audrey O’Connor – provide depth up front.
On the blue line, senior captain Emma O’Neill, junior Mikala Magner and sophomore Michela Ferris all return. Freshman Julia Strorniolo joins the group.
In goal, both netminders, sophomore Julie Thing and junior Gabby Foreman, are back for Central.
The Patriots lost six seniors to graduation, including league all star Carmen Braceras and her 37 goals. They will be young this winter.
Freshman Skylar Rice is expected to lead the offensive attack, along with senior captain Kristina Webster. Sophomore Lily Langrid will anchor the defense for coach Barbara Southcote.
Newcomers needed to contribute are eighth-grade forward Gabriela Braceras, eighth-grade defensemen Katie Rice and Lila Trussell, and freshman defenseman Brennah McCloskey.
BOSTON LATIN (10-10-2)
After qualifying for the post-season a year ago, the mantra for this season is easy: “The Pack wants to go back.” The Wolfpack will be young.
Spearheading Latin’s offense will be senior captain Rachel Tassinari, who leads a list of returnees up front that includes sophomores Kerriann McLaughlin, Maggie Young and Emma Tobin, and Ally Keough.
Senior captain Kerry Keaney, junior Joyce Welch and freshman Emma Kelly are the defensive nucleus for coach Mary Balaconis.
Goaltending duties will fall on either senior captain Gracie O’Neil or Ellen Linso.