A strong senior class will the impetus for a solid season for the Falcons, who hope to build off last winter’s drive to the North sectional semifinals.
In the forward lines, coach Kevin Brown will have a host of battle-tested seniors to send over the boards, including senior tri-captains Matt Flynn, Jay Calcagno and Kevin Hodgkins. Other seniors ready to contribute are Trevor Daly, John Milne and Tyler Dustin.
Defensive cornerstones for the Falcons should be senior Alex Littlefield and senior Ryan Cassidy.
With a group of nine seniors returning to lead the way, the Panthers could be in for another banner season, one they hope goes further than the quarterfinal round of the post-season.
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One of those seniors – Connor Irving – will drive things offesively for coach Bob Gilligan. Senior Graham Doherty will look to build on his impressive 19 point-campaign of last winter. Also back ready to produce are senior Ryan Santo (13 pts), senior J.J. Bachini, and senior Kevin Lally.
Junior Nick Albano will be an anchor on the Beverly defense. Other rearguards with key jobs are senior Mitch Hamor, senior Jack Morency and senior Sean Munzing.
In goal, junior Tim Biarelli is a returning starter, giving the Panthers a solid choice between the pipes.
Do the Patriots have what it takes to turn around their fortunes and improve on last winter’s two-win season? That is the question heading into the season.
Coach Joe Ciccarello will lean on seniors Marco Mazzarelli and Cam Whelan to be intregal parts of the Revere offense.
There is some experience on the blue line, with seniors Brandon Mastropietro and Mike Martorelli back, and new senior Anthony Matos ready to help out.
A return to the post-season could be in the cards for the Fishermen, with a decent returning group.
Senior captain Casey Noyes (13 pts) will be an offensive leader for coach Don Lowe. Also key to the offense are captain Matt Lane and Jared Favazza. Steven Tettoni will be a key defenseman and Owen Parisi returns in goal.
Newcomers hoping to have an impact are Jack Constanzo and Eric Chalmers.
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With solid leadership and talent at the skilled positions, the Vikings should contend for the NEC title and be a threat come the post-season.
Winthrop should have no problem scoring, led by senior co-captain Chris Page (36 pts), a returning league all star. Junior Dillon Driscoll and junior Pat Todisco will be key players up front as well for coach Dale Dunbar. New senior John Orlando, a transfer from Pentucket, will contribute right way. Freshman Charlle Page could have an impact.
The defense will be led by senior co-captain Stephen Goddard (16 pts), also a returning NEC all star.
And in goal, junior Ray Feeley, a conference all star, returns with his miniscule 1.24 gaa.
Despite returning 19 players to the roster, the Tanners will still be on the young side, with only four seniors. Peabody projects to have a good blend of size and speed and build off last season’s strong finish that saw them defeat Winthrop, Danvers and Beverly.
Up front, senior Derek DeMild (16 pts) and senior Mike Vadala (16 pts), both quad-captains and returning NEC all stars, will drive things offensively for coach Mark Leonard. Senior quad-captain Andrew Bisconti and junior Reed Foster will be key cogs as well.
On the blue line, senior quad-captain Giuseppe Zarro (6’2″), junior Cam Smullen (6’1″) and sophomore Don Shaw (6’2″) are bring good size to the defensive zone.
Junior Steve Ferrante, last year’s back-up, projects to start in goal for the Tanners.
Second-year coach Ted Hanley hopes the team continues to break a long losing spell. The Witches went 5-12-3 one year ago, a dramatic improvement from the prior year.
Matt Jalbert, a senior center with five goals and 12 assists one year ago, is back. He’s a four-year varsity player. Eli Spector, a junior defenseman, and Eamon Williamson, sophomore defenseman, had solid seasons. Senior goalie Brett Harring is a four-year starter.
“We are hoping to continue improving and building a program that Salem will be proud of,” Hanley said. “We took a few positive steps last year and look to continue improving and competing hard.”
Last year’s Eastern Mass. champion and state runner-up, the Big Blue of Swampscott are back after going 19-6. It was their best season to date.
Back for Swampscott are senior defenseman Griffin Hunt, senior forward Joey Silva, junior forward Ryan Cresta, junior defenseman Joey Faia, sophomore forward Noah Maercklien, junior goalie Trent Gallagher and sophomore goalie Tristan Bradley.
It’s a young team that is inexperienced at defense, and it does not have a lot of depth.
“We will have to rely on a total team defense concept to get back to tournament,” Swampscott coach Gino Faia said.
The Lynn Jets, playing in the always-tough Northeastern Conference, went 8-11-1 last winter.
It has its leading scorer back – Ryan MacDonald, who had 21 points – plus its three captains are returnees: Brett Erelli, defense, Pat Finnigan, defense, and Tony Uva, a forward.
“We have a good group of seniors (11 total), including four captains,” Lynn coach Joe Conlon said. “We need to replace our goalie, and two captain defensemen look to anchor the blue line. We expect to be competitive in NEC South.”
With the move to the NEC North and Division II status, the Headers will have a much tougher schedule. Coach Bob Jackson is hoping his club will be able to be competitive each night. With a host of returners, it should be a distinct possibility.
Marblehead returns a trio of senior forwards in Tom Koopman, Dean Fader and Eric Powers. They also welcome back a host of sophomore forwards that got varsity experience in Matt Koopman, Tim Kalinowski, Owen Picariello and Colin Daly. Newcomers looking to chip in are seniors Chris Cormier and Colby Shepard, junior Cam McDonald and freshman James McCarthy.
Senior rock Liam Gillis is the general on the Headers blue line. Sophomore Kyle Koopman is a key blue liner as well. Senior Trevor Gelineau and sophomore P.J. Roy are also back. Freshman Alex Delvento hopes to crack the rotation.
Three goalies also return in seniors Miles Barry and Harrison Young, and junior Mark Scribner.