Home / High School Hockey / Massachusetts / 2019 MIAA Playoffs / MIAA Boys Division 1 North Tournament Preview: Field Packed With Middlesex, MVC/DCL One Clubs

MIAA Boys Division 1 North Tournament Preview: Field Packed With Middlesex, MVC/DCL One Clubs

Middlesex League Liberty Division runner-up Reading returns to the Sectional as the top seed following its gut-wrenching 3-2 2OT loss to Framingham in a 1A play-in game on Feb. 23. Reading last won a D1 title in 2014 and owns the distinction of being the first public school to win the 1A in 2008.

The draw also features three recent State Champions – No. 2 seed Waltham won the 2018 D1 title; No. 3 seed Shrewsbury (now in its second year in D1) claimed the last of its five D3 crowns that same year; and No. 5 St. Mary’s captured the 2017 D1 championship. Finally, don’t be deceived by No. 11 St. John’s (S) record – the Pioneers played nine games against 1A teams.

A look at the field, in order of seeding:

Reading (10-6-6)

League: Middlesex League Liberty

Coach: Mark Doherty

State Championships (2): 2014 D1, 2008 D1-A

Sean Barbera
Reading

Matt Fiorenza
Reading

Cam Lawhorne
Reading

Landyn Greatorex
Reading

The Rockets dropped three of their first six contests then put together a nine-game unbeaten string (5-0-4) before closing 3-2-1. They showed well at The Ferreira Classic and, provided Sunday’s loss hasn’t drained them, will look to build off that performance.

Junior Landyn Greatorex (8-16-24), freshman Evan Pennucci (9-10-19), senior captain Sean Barbera (8 goals) and senior Kevin Donaghey (15 points) lead the forward group. A stout defense in front of senior captain and goalie Dylan Emery includes senior captain Matt Fiorenza, seniors Cam Lawhorne (5 goals) and Brandon Millerick (3 goals) and junior Charlie Miele.

Waltham (13-6-1)

League: MVC/DCL One

Coach: John Maguire

State Championships (2): 2018, D1; 2002, D1

Brian McNamara
Waltham

Justin Moran
Waltham

Dylan Fogg
Waltham

Matt O’Toole
Waltham

The Hawks finished second in the MVC/DCL One and posted a pretty impressive non-league resume. They defeated South Sectional qualifiers Falmouth, Marshfield and Wellesley and were a gaudy 4-0 against Bay State Conference opponents.

Seniors Brian McNamara (17-14-31) and captain Justin Moran (11-16-27) and juniors Dylan Fogg (12-8-20) and Matt O’Toole (11 goals) drive the offense. Senior Ryan O’Toole, junior D.J. Caissie, and sophomores Justin Cormier and Paul Leonelli form the final line of defense in front of sophomore goalie Jack Perry (2.25 GAA). The Hawks were 9-3-1 from mid-January on.

Jamison Alicandro
Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury (12-6-2)

League: Independent

Coach: Terry Virtue

Sam O’Connor
Shrewsbury

State Championships (5): 2018, D3; 2017, D3; 2014, D3; 2009, D3; 1999, D3

Though grouped in the North, the Colonials played only a handful of North teams, going 3-1-1. They are not to be overlooked, having defeated 1A play-in pick Framingham, 2-1, in mid-January.

Junior defenseman Nicos Evangelous (8-14-22) is a premier two-way performer, leading the team in scoring. Junior forwards Jamison Alicandro (10-7-17) and Matt Nuzzolilo (8-5-13), senior forward Sam O’Connor (17 points), junior defenseman Owen Cardosi (4-8-12) and freshman forward Eli Cardosi (6-4-10) add to a balanced attack. Senior Matt Sande and junior Ryan Sande man the goal.

Belmont (10-5-5)

League: Middlesex League Liberty

Coach: Fred Allard

State Championships (0)

Ben Fici
Belmont

Nico Carere
Belmont

Nolan Duffy
Belmont

The Marauders rely almost exclusively on the talented group of junior Ben Fici (12-16-28), senior captain Matt Brody (11-14-25), and senior assistant captains Justin Rocha (8-17-25) and Marco Santagati (6 goals) for their offense. Juniors Nolan Duffy, Thomas Grace and Peter Grace are the defensive anchors in front of standout senior goalie and captain Nico Carere, who has eight shutouts and counting heading into the tournament. A strong finish included ties with Arlington, the 1A Tournament’s top seed, as well as 1A play-in winner Burlington and a 4-0 shutout of D1 South qualifier Braintree.

St. Mary’s (11-7-2)

League: Catholic Central Large

Coach: Mark Lee

State Championships (1): 2017, D1

Brady Carpenter
St. Mary’s

Brady Bullock
St. Mary’s

Davis Kinne
St. Mary’s

Kory Ouellette
St. Mary’s

The Spartans played well at the season-ending Cardinal Classic and are shooting to regain the form that saw them race out to an 8-1-2 start.

Freshman Brady Bullock (12-8-20) leads an attack that includes juniors Brady Carpenter (11-5-16), Kyle LoNigro (8-7-15) and Colby Magliozzi (13 points) as well as senior Owen Maguire (15 points). Stellar sophomore Davis Kinne (4-13-17) is among the top defensemen in the division and is joined in back by seniors Alex Nazarian and Chris Kolodziej, junior Kory Ouellette, and eighth-grader Harrison Kinne. Senior Sal Caruso handles the goal and is backed by a proven sophomore in Owen Giangrande.

Melrose (11-7-3)

League: Middlesex League Freedom

Coach: Vin Mirasolo

State Championships (2): 1962, D1; 1950, D1

Quinn McCarthy
Melrose

Joe Lucien
Melrose

Cam Marks
Melrose

Will Pierce
Melrose

The Red Raiders boast some serious firepower, ranking third in D1 with 76 goals scored. A significant portion of that production – 54 goals – came from the junior trio of forwards Brendan Fennell (22-28-50), Charlie Haggerty (13-22-35) and Quinn McCarthy (13-16-29) and senior Cam Marks (6-15-21).

Senior Joe Lucien (4-14-18) and junior Will Pierce lead the defense. Senior Joey Shields (2.86 GAA) and junior Nick Sicurella have split time in goal. The ML’s Freedom Division runner-up closed on an 8-1-1 surge, including wins against Bishop Fenwick, Malden Catholic and 1A play-in qualifier Burlington.

Cam Martin
Bishop Fenwick

Bishop Fenwick (11-7-3)

League: Catholic Central Large

Coach: Jim Quinlan

Aidan Anthony
Bishop Fenwick

State Championships (0)

The Crusaders best season in a number of years saw them finish second in the Catholic Central Large on the strength of a season series sweep of old rival St. Mary’s; and also included a 5-3 non-league win against Shrewsbury. They closed unbeaten (4-0-2) in their final six.

Seniors Ian Worthley (15-13-28), Nick Muzi (11-11-22), Diego Alvarez-Segee (11-11-22) and Thomas Estrella (12 points) and junior Cam Martin (10-8-18) pace the offense. Alec Mihalec, Aedan Grenham, Matt Roscoe, Gavin Belt and Aiden Anthony form up a stout defense for goalies Jack Viera (1.95 GAA) and Dillon Bloom.

Austin Prep (10-7-4)

League: Catholic Central Large

Coach: Bill Pappas

Aidan Elkins
Austin Prep

State Championships (2): 1989, D2; 1986, D2

The Catholic Central Large champion posted impressive shutouts of 1A play-in qualifier Hingham and Central Catholic in late December but are a modest 3-2-1 against other teams in this field. The Cougars will lean heavily on senior goalie Andrew MacDonald (1.52 GAA).

Consistency on offense has been an issue – AP scored three or more goals only eight times. Junior assistant captain Joe Thibodeau (6-8-14), junior Brady McGrath (8-5-13), freshman Ty Wood (7-6-13), senior captain Chris Roy (4-8-12) and senior Nolan Ricci (4-6-10) lead the offense. Junior Colin McGrath and sophomore Aidan Elkins are strong on defense.

Woburn (9-7-4)

League: Middlesex League Liberty

Coach: Jim Duran

Kevin Burkett
Woburn

State Championships (0)

The Tanners return to tournament play on a 4-1-1 roll and with the Irish-American Shootout championship in tow. Their signature win was unquestionably a 5-1 decision of Reading earlier this month and they also own a 2-all tie with Arlington.

Senior goalie Kevin Burkett has enjoyed a solid campaign. Captains Jonathan Surrette (21-16-37) and Lance Anderson (15-10-25), both juniors, are the offensive leaders while freshman Jackson Powers (4-9-13) has emerged as a viable option. Senior captain Joey Guarino (1-8-9) and sophomore Mike Arsenault (3-4-7) are top defensemen.

Westford Academy (10-8-2)

League: MVC/DCL One

Coach: Bob Carpenter

State Championships (0)

Jason Bunyon
Westford Acad.

C.J. Pacifico
Westford Acad.

Kevin Egan
Westford Acad.

Sean Milanette
Westford Acad.

As one of only seven D1 teams to surpass 70 goals in the regular season, the Grey Ghosts will rely on that offense to push them forward. It’s a balanced bunch up front, driven by senior captain Jason Bunyon (12-20-32) and senior sniper C.J. Pacifico (17-10-27). Kyle Wizst (C) (8-14-22), juniors Matt Cielakie (6-14-20) and Sean Milanette (8-10-18) and sophomore Ryan McCarthy (12-6-18) have all done their part.

Sophomore C.J. Guglielmo handles the goaltending. Senior captain Kevin Egan (3-8-11) leads the defense.

St. John’s (S) (9-8-5)

League: Independent

Coach: G. Michael Mead

State Championships (2): 2004, D1; 1999, D1

Andrew Dowd
St. John’s (S)

Do not sleep on the Pioneers, who tackled as tough a schedule as any team, facing off nine times against eventual 1A picks. Their post-season clincher came against Catholic Conference champion Catholic Memorial. Senior assistant captain Sean Clark (10-13-23), senior captain Matt Myers (9-9-18) and seniors Brendan Doherty (10-5-15) and Griffin Burns (7-5-12) are the top point producers at forward.

Senior goalie Dan Laursen had a number of sensational outings down the stretch. Senior assistant captain Evan MacDonald, junior Andrew Dowd, sophomore Josh Sacco and freshman Will Brophy are key defensemen.

Michael Dinges
Central Catholic

Central Catholic (10-9-3)

League: MVC/DCL One

Coach: D.J. Conte

State Championships (0)

A.J. Grenier
Central Catholic

The MVC/DCL One’s runner-up started hot (7-3-1) – including December wins against 1A automatics Catholic Memorial and Pope Francis – but cooled considerably in the second half and hits the post-season winless in five (0-3-2).

Senior forwards Michael Dinges (13-10-23) and James Doucette (10-2-12), junior forward Mike Collett (11 points) and junior defenseman Tyler DiBurro (5-5-10) are the only players in double figures. Seniors Colin Ferris and Robert DiBiaso, juniors A.J. Grenier and Nick Peters, and sophomore Cam Marzilli round out the defense in front of senior goalie Michael Abdoo (.915 save pct.).

Jake Brezner
Andover

Andover (9-9-2)

League: MVC/DCL One

Coach: Kevin Drew

Anthony Previte
Andover

State Championships (0)

It’s odd to see a league champion as the last seed in a Sectional but that’s how the season unfolded for the Golden Warriors, who were 0-6-2 against non-league opponents. A pair of wins against Central Catholic, 3-0 and 5-3, provided the separation necessary for the title.

Junior Jake Brezner handles the goaltending. Juniors Steve Ingram, Tim Kobelski and Anthony Previte, senior Leo Byers and sophomore Nate Byers are key forwards. Junior Tommy Tavenner and seniors Jackson Gress, Tyler Durling and Jayden Amirault solidify the defense.

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Kevin joined HNIB in 1990 and is a Senior Writer and Director of the Northern New England and Mass/R.I. High School Division camps. A veteran editor/writer of 40 years in the print and digital mediums, he has edited and produced original content and coordinated production for local and global publications and websites. He holds degrees from Merrimack College and Boston University and won multiple industry awards as Sports Editor of The Daily News of Newburyport and News Editor of The Amesbury News. He is the 2016 recipient of the North Shore Lifetime Commitment From the Community award presented by Moynihan Lumber and a 2017 Newburyport High School Wall of Fame inductee. He resides with his family in Portsmouth, NH. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @kdoyle40
Kevin Doyle
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