The Northeastern Hockey League should be one of the most competitive loops in Mass. Girls HS hockey this winter, with no clear-cut favorite heading into the season. Former Masconomet coach Ryan Wood is now behind the bench at Marblehead.
Home Rink: Haverhill Valley Forum
A decent-sized returning cast will be vital to any success the Chieftains attain this winter.
Up front, coach Ryan Sugar will lean on juniors Cali Caponigro (10pts) and Sierra Harris and senior Erin Irons (10 pts) for offensive production. A big group of newcomers joining the forward lines are juniors Lauren Dillon and Bella Cahill and freshmen Avery Luskin, Hannah Gross, Elisabeth King and Kiara Farrar.
Defensively, senior Meghan McElaney (9 pts), juniors Sophia Grutti and Brooke Rogers and sophomore Izzy Kirby form a solid nucleus.
In goal, the Chieftains have Molly Elmore back for her senior season. Elmore is a Sacred Heart commit.
Home Rink: Larsen Rink
Youth will be served in Winthrop this season. Coach Butch Martucci is hoping his club can compete for a title in what he calls a tough conference.
Senior captain Olivia Driscoll (24 pts) will be an offensive leader for the Vikings, along with junior Mia Martucci (30 pts) and freshmen Julia Holmes (18 pts), Emma Holmes (16 pts) and Mia Norris (18 pts). New junior Jenna Lindinger and eighth-grader Hanna Parker add depth.
Expect the Vikings to be strong on the blue line with the return of juniors Antea Schlicting and Brooke Costin, sophomore Elle English (12 pts) and freshman Abby Holmes.
The backbone of the team will be in goal with the return of sophomore Summer Tallent (1.60 gaa).
Home Rink: Bourque Arena, Endicott College
The Panthers are banking on improving this winter under second-year coach Danielle Finocchiaro.
Seniors Emma Thibodeau and Sophia McNeil, juniors Catie Nemeskal and Emma Knott and sophomores Jamie DuPont and Kayleigh Crowell all return up front. Freshmen hopefuls include Amanda Forziati, Shea Nemeskal and Sadie Papamechail.
At defense, senior Tori Shea and junior Cayla Greenleaf will take care of things. Freshman Katherine Purcell and Kaylee Rich add depth.
A new goalie vying for time is junior Madison Delano.
PEABODY/LYNNFIELD/NORTH READING (17-5-2)
Home Rink: McVann-O’Keefe Arena
It was a banner season last winter for PLNR, knocking off St. Mary’s in the first round of the post-season tournament. The team wants to build off that success entering the new year.
Offensively, senior veteran Sammie Mirasolo (35 pts) will be the catalyst and will hit the 100 career point mark early in the season. Juniors Paige Thibodeau, Jen Flynn and Elise Staunton and sophomore Ella McTeague (who played defense last year) will add power to the attack. As many as six freshmen could see time in the forward lines.
Senior Carolyn Garofoli (a UNH field hockey commit), junior Reilly Ganter and sophomore Catherine Sweeney will be crucial on the blue line for coach Michelle Roach. New junior Chloe Shapleigh and freshman Penelope Spack look to contribute.
In goal, senior Jeny Collins is a returning varsity netminder.
Home Rink: Rockett Athletic Center, Salem State
The Magicians have their third new coach is as many years, as former Masconomet leader Ryan Wood takes over the program. He hopes to drive this group back to a post-season berth.
Marblehead does return senior Cate Delaney (25 pts) and sophomore Mia Salah (20 pts) to power the forward lines. Junior Abby Kalinowski will be an anchor on the blue line.
- Medford/Malden also will participate in the Northeastern Hockey League this winter.