MIAA Boys Division 3 Tournament Preview: #1 Seed Scituate Enters Post-Season On Hot Streak; Lynnfield, Medfield Will Challenge

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The second year of the MIAA’s state-wide tournament format features 34 teams that made the cut in Boys Division 3. 

Defending champion Hanover is among the teams that are in the field while the Hawks’ Patriot League rival Scituate is the top seed.

Tournament play begins on Monday, February 27 with a pair of preliminary round games. Bishop Stang, the 32nd seed, plays 33rd-seeded Ludlow and Foxboro, the 31st seed, plays Easthampton, the 34th seed.

Here is a look at each of the competing teams in this year’s tournament.

#1 Scituate (16-4-2)

The Sailors repeated as the Patriot League Fisher Division’s champion and claimed two wins and a tie against defending state champion Hanover this season.

James Sullivan Scituate

Teagen Pratt, James Sullivan and Johnny Donahue have been Scituate’s top scorers this season. In goal, Thomas McMellen has posted a 2.21 goals against average.

Captain Matt Seghezzi headlines the defense. Both junior Dylan Richman and freshman Peter Cappadona have played well.

“The reason Scituate will make a deep run into the tournament is our senior leadership’s will to win,” said Scituate coach Brian Hurcombe. “They will not be denied and will do whatever it takes, give up their body to get a puck out,dive on a backcheck or block a shot. Our team strength is resiliency and max effort. Because of our captains’ example, all players give everything they have.”

Drew Damiani Lynnfield

#2 Lynnfield (18-1-1)

The Pioneers won the Cape Ann League Kinney Division title and did not lose a game until the final week of the season when they bowed to Hopkinton in the opening round of the Fairleigh Dickinson Tournament.

Jack Carpenter (18-11-29) and defenseman Drew Damiani (11-18-29) have been the top scorers. Will Norton (15-5-20) and Joe Raffa (9-10-19) have also contributed considerably. 

In goal, Dan McSweeney has posted a 1.68 goals against average.

“Lynnfield will make a deep tourney run if we continue to lean on our depth and timely scoring as well as our team defense and goaltending,” said Lynnfield coach Jon Gardner.

Andrew Ladd Medfield

#3  Medfield (17-2-1)

After losing to King Philip, 5-4 in its season opener, Medfield won 10 straight and took home the Tri Valley Large title under first-year head coach Bill Ladd. The Warriors’ only other setback was 3-0 against Somerset/Berkley back on January 23.

The Warriors’ top scorers are senior Kevin Arthur (25-9-34), senior James Tyler (14-12-26), senior William Perachi (7-15-22) and junior Charlie Hardiman (9-12-21). Freshman Matthew Dickson contributed in a big way.

Senior Ryan Dolan headlines the Warriors defensive crew, while senior Andrew Ladd in in goal.

#4 Nauset (15-5-0)

Nauset enters the postseason as winners of five straight. Two of its losses were against Barnstable, a Division 1 team. Nauset also split with another Division 1 team, Falmouth, in two games. 

Sophomore forward Logan Poulin finished with 41 points (23 goals and 18 assists). Logan Valine (9-13-22), Cam Connery (8-13-21) and Cooper McIntire (10-10-20) also have had big years offensively.

Captain Sam Weiner (19 pts) is a catalyst on Nauset’s blue line.

“We have a lot of players that contribute on the offensive side of the puck, making us difficult to scheme on trying to take away one player,” said Nauset coach Connor Brickley. “If we execute the way we are capable of within our systems we will not allow many opportunities against, wear teams down and dictate the pace of play.”

Anthony Venezia Watertown

#5 Watertown (11-6-3)

The Raiders returned 13 players from a team that reached the Division 4 state final last season. Players from Wayland High joined the fold this year as part of a co-op team, which bumped up Watertown to the Division 3 level. After bowing to Division 1 power Reading 3-0 on January 28, Watertown was 6-0-1 to finish the regular season.

Mauricio Souza Watertown

“Playing in the Middlesex League, one of the toughest leagues in Massachusetts, will help us,” said Watertown coach John Vlachos.

The Raiders scoring is balanced, with Anthony Venezia, defenseman Jack Dickie and Aidan Campbell (5-4-9), Junior Mauricio Souza is another key two-way player.

Goalie Casey Williams has a 2.35 goals against average and a .901 save percentage.

Gavin Daly

#6 Marlboro (12-5-2)

Before losing to Westboro in the CMADA Class A tournament, 1-0 in its final game before the MIAA tournament, the Panthers were 5-0-1 in the preceding six games.

Dan Esteves

Gavin Daly (7-14-21), defenseman Luc Masse (9-9-18) and Colin Glynn (11-5-16)are the top scorers this winter.

Senior Dan Esteves has seen the bulk of the action in goal for Marlboro.

After reaching the state finals and falling to Hanover last year, the Panthers are hoping to get back to the Garden.

“The strength of this year’s team is that we have received contributions from everyone,” said Marlboro coach Mike O’Brien. “We have had a lot of different lineups and whoever has been in there has performed well for us. I think that also will be the key for any success we have in the tournament. We will need to get solid play throughout our lineup.”

Liam Monahan Hanover

#7 Hanover (7-10-3) 

Last year’s state champion battled its way through a tough Patriot League schedule. The Hawks won three straight before their season finale when they took Scituate, the top seed in the Division 3 state tournament, to overtime before losing 5-4.

The Hawks’ top scorers heading into the post-season are senior Ben Lines (19 pts), junir Mehki Bryan (17 pts), and senior Liam Joy (16 pts). Senior Ryan Coutts chipped in with 15 points.

Senior Liam Moynihan was a workhorse is goal for coach Johnny Abban. Senior captain Tyler Richards headlines the defense.

Brady Leonard
Essex Tech

#8 Essex Tech (17-1-2)

The Hawks won their second straight Massachusetts Vocational State championship and earned a share of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference title in their final year in the league. Essex Tech’s only loss was against Shawsheen Tech on February 4.

Armani Booth
Essex Tech

The Hawks boast two players on different lines with at least 40 points, Logan Casey (16-27-43) and Brady Leonard (18-24-42). They also have 11 players with at least 10 points, including sophomore Jayden Vargas and junior Chris Maher.

Kyle Mahan
Essex Tech

Senior captain Cam Doherty and junior Armani Booth have a huge presence on defense. Goalie Kyle Mahan is 17-1-2 with a 1.49 goals against.

“We have a good mix of size and speed, mobile defensemen and a strong goalie,” said Essex coach Mark Leonard. “I believe if we use our speed to apply pressure on other teams and take care of the puck in our own zone we can be successful.”

Brendan Abban Pembroke

#9 Pembroke (8-10-2)

The Titans opened the season with victory over Scituate, the top seed in this tournament, then battled their way through a tough Patriot League schedule.

Junior Brendan Abban and senior Kevin Piccariello have been among Pembroke’s top players.

“In order to have success in the tournament, we are going to have to put team defense as our top priority and be disciplined,” said Pembroke coach Christopher Googins.

#10 Triton (11-7-2)

After dropping the first two games of the season, the Vikings earned ties against Chelmsford and Danvers. They suffered losses against teams in higher divisions such as Newburyport, Norwell and Billerica but did well within the Cape Ann League and finished the season with a 2-1 win against Marblehead.

Tyler Egan (10-9-19) was the top scorer amongst the forwards for Triton, followed by senior Andrew Johnson (13 pts) and sophomore Luke Sullivan (12 pts).

Freshman defenseman Michael Taylor has been impressive with a line of 9-6-15 while junior captain Jack Lindholm has been solid. Triton has used two goalies, Wesley Rollins and Gavin Marengi.

“We have good team defense and goaltending,” said Triton coach Ryan Sheehan. “We have a senior-laden defensive corps which we have relied on all year. Our team strengths have been depth and speed. We have the ability to run three consistent lines and three consistent defensive pairs.”

#11 Nashoba Regional (10-5-5)

The Wolves did not lose a game until the 10th game of the season when they lost to Westboro. In the final two games of the season, Nashoba tied North Middlesex in the CMADA Class A tournament and defeated Wachusett, 3-2 in the consolation game.

Joseph Quinn (15-12-27), Dillon Kelleher (10-9-19) and Ryan May (7-13-20) are the top scorers. Senior Dillan Lowe (17 pts) backbones the Nashoba defense.

“A major reason we make a tournament run is our depth,” said Nashoba coach Matt Biggs. “We have the ability to roll multiple lines that have the ability to control the play, especially on the backend. We have often limited teams’ ability to score. Now if we can put the puck away, we can make a deep run.  Our team’s strengths have been special teams and team defense. Our starting goalie, Charlie Mattocks, is peaking at the right time, as well.” 

Tommy Workman Dracut/Tyngsboro

#12 Dracut/Tyngsboro (15-4-1)

Dracut/Tyngsboro won its first eight games before losing to Methuen. The Middies lost four of six after the first eight games, but were 5-0-1 in their final six, heading into the post-season. They have scored 108 goals this winter.

Drew DuRoss Dracut/Tyngsboro

Senior Tommy Workman (15-31-46) and sophomore Drew DuRoss (18-23-41) have been the top scorers. Colin Underwood finished with 35 points (18 goals, 17 assists). Sophomore Nathan Freelove (29 pts) is adept both up front and on the blue line.

Connor Cole has a .927 save percentage and a 1.66 goals against average.

Nathan Freelove Dracut/Tyngsboro

“For us to make a run we need to continue to play strong defensively and continue to get scoring from the top two lines and top two defensemen,” said Dracut/Tyngsboro coach Jeff DuRoss.

#13 Hopedale/Milford (9-9-2)

In the CMADA Class B tournament, Hopedale/Milford reached the final before bowing to Assabet Valley, 6-5 in overtime.

Captains Brady Butler (20-17-37) and Jake Frohn (8-25-33) have led Hopedale/Milford offensively.

Captain Joey Mahoney has been the top defenseman and has scored four goals and eight assists. Sophomore Nathan Morin should get the call between the pipes.

“We have speed up front and have played hard every game,” said Hopedale/Milford coach Mike MacQuarrie. “We have played a solid D-zone game all year.”

#14 North Middlesex (9-10-1)

The Patriots wrapped up their regular season with a 3-0 loss to Algonquin in the CMADA Class A final. They won the semifinal against Nashoba Regional in a shootout.

Goalie Aaron Scarelli has a 1.94 goals against average and a .940 save percentage. Jimmy O’Keefe (13-11-24) is the top scorer. Sean Myers has 16 points.

“For us, it’s a goalie on out mentality,” said North Middlesex coach Steve Trundle. “We need to play a gritty style in our own end, smart in the neutral zone and take our scoring opportunities when we can get them. Our best games this year have been low-scoring affairs.”

Owen Kneeland Methuen

#15 Methuen (12-5-3)

The Rangers are led by last year’s Merrimack Valley Conference Division 3 League MVP Owen Kneeland and sophomore goalie Owen O’Brien.

Owen O’Brien Methuen

Junior Noah Kneeland and sophomore Zach Anderson have also been among the top scorers. Senor Jack Allard is another offensive option.

“We have nine seniors,” said Methuen coach Bill Blackwell. “Their leadership and experience will need to play a role.”

#16 Dighton-Rehoboth/Seekonk (15-4-1)

D-R/Seekonk won 10 of it first 12 games and reached the finals of the Spartan Cup before falling to Watertown.

Senior captain Noah Bastis headlines a potent offense. Captain Colten Nastar leads the defense.

Colton Scheralis Taunton

#17 Taunton (13-9-0)

Going into the tournament the Tigers won four of their last six games, avenging a loss to Foxboro and defeating Stoughton/Brockton, Everett/Revere and East/West Bridgewater.

Connor McGrath Taunton

Sophomore goalie Cam Tomasczycki (2.55 gaa, .900 save percentage) picked up his 1,000th save during the season.  Colton Scheralis (41 points) and Connor McGrath (38 points) have been the leaders offensively.

“The team chemistry of this squad is what propels the group forward,” said Taunton coach Kris Metea. “To make a run with a young team would require an unrelenting work ethic, a go-getting attitude, senior leadership and team defense. A little luck also never hurts.”

Chris Woo

#18 Bedford (9-9-2)

After a 2-7-1 start to the season, the Buccaneers rattled off seven straight wins, avenging losses to Dracut/Tyngsboro, Haverhill and Cambridge Rindge & Latin during the streak. They tied Lexington, 2-2 before finishing the season with losses to Division 2 tournament qualifiers Concord-Carlisle and Melrose.

Senior defenseman Christopher Woo leads Bedford with 26 points (7 goals, 19 assists). Alex Frost (8-10-18) and James Naylor (8-8-16) are the second and third-leading scorers.

“We will be successful if we get solid goaltending and are defensively sound,” said Bedford coach Brian Seabury. “Our power play and defense have been key strengths for us throughout the season.”

Luke Castor
West Springfield

 #19 West Springfield (10-7-3)

West Springfield was 0-2-1 in its final three regular-season games but got off to a strong start this season.

Senior Liam Pouliot (23 pts), junior Owen Hall (23 pts) and senior Christopher Torres (19 pts) are the Terriers’ top scorer. Defenseman Luke Castor (22 pts) gets involved offensively.

“We are not looking past the opponent in front of us and taking the tournament one game at a time,” said West Springfield coach Rick Williams.”Our biggest strength has been our resilience. We will play to the final whistle.”

#20 East Longmeadow (11-5-2)

East Longmeadow finished its regular season by reaching the finals of the Western Mass. Class A tournament, where it lost to Longmeadow, 4-0.

Theodore Kuhn (6-14-20), Aidan Asher (10-5-15) and Carson LePage (10-4-14) have been the team’s top scorers.

“(We’re) hoping our seven seniors can lead our team to make a run,” said East Longmeadow coach Dan Reid. “They have been the backbone of the team this year. We are getting stronger defensively as the year has progressed and have a solid goalie in Colin Sherwood.”

#21 North Quincy (5-14-1)

North Quincy battled its way through a tough Patriot League schedule and closed out the regular season with a  4-2 victory against Pembroke.

“I would say that the reason why we can make a run in the tournament is the league we play in,” said North Quincy coach Matthew Gibbons. “We play in one of the toughest leagues in the state with a mix of D1, 2 and 3 teams. We feel battle-tested. Also, the growth of the kids this season. Our seniors have done a great job keeping this team together and you would never know if you came to a practice we had won or just lost four in a row. The kids were always ready to work hard and get better and now that hard work is starting to pay off with some late-season wins. 

“Our team’s strengths are that we work hard, we play tough in our own end and our goalie, Aidan McGuinness, has been great playing down the stretch.”

Seniors Vinny O’Leary, Noah Kearney and James Rogers will be key offensively.

#22 Groton-Dunstable (6-14-0)

The Crusaders have three players, Jerry Fang (11-10-21), Jack Van Pelt (4-12-16) and Cole Beigel (5-8-13), who have provided most of their scoring.

Goalies Caden Woolfrey and Cam McCretton each have save percentages over .900.

“Our team defense has improved overall,” said G-D coach Brendan McCann. “There’s also the mental toughness the team has shown. We have some good quality wins in the second half of the season that should give the group confidence in their abilities.”

#23 Danvers (6-11-3)

The Falcons enter the postseason believing that their best games are still ahead of them.

“We don’t think we’ve played our best hockey yet,” said Danvers coach Kevin Fissette. “We still have to put together a complete 45 minutes. We have to keep the game simple and play good team defense.”

Juniors Nicholas Robinson, Michael DeLisio and Ty Langlais lead the Falcons up front, along with senior captain Trevor McNeill.

Sophomore Josh Henry is a key on defense and will be involved offensively.

Colin Kruez
St. Paul

#24 St. Paul Diocesan (12-7-1)

Though St. Paul lost its last two games to Grafton and Assabet Valley  it was 6-1-1 in the eight games before that.

Colin Kreuz (21-36-57) and Evan Waden (24-10-34) have put up some big numbers up front. Freshman Cameron Joinville (31 pts) and Curtis Patrick have been heavily involved as well.

“Our strengths this season have been our speed and puck movement,” said St. Paul coach Jay Monfreda. “We move the puck well out of our zone and through the neutral zone to gain zone entry. We have the ability to score on the rush as well as working the puck low to high in our offensive zone.”

#25 Northbridge (10-10-0)

The Rams will enter the postseason trying to end a five-game losing streak.

Brett Flanders (31 pts), Joe Sullivan (26 pts) and Jack Nummela (21 pts) are offensive catalysts for Northbridge.

Seniors Derek Lewis and Patrick Schrafft are keys on defense. Senior Zach Menard handles the goaltending.

“If we can play disciplined in our own end and look for second and third scoring chances we can make a deep run,” said Northbridge coach Ryan Neville. “Our strengths are balanced scoring, resilience and scoring in bunches.”

#26 North Reading (7-13-0)

Included in the Hornets’ seven wins are victories over tournament qualifiers Bedford and Pentucket.

Freshman Robert Daley (17-13-30) has had a big year up front. Senior Matthew Young and junior Luke Baker will be in the mix.

Defensively, sophomore Max Forristall (3-12-15) has been solid all year.

#27 Middleboro (7-12-1)

The Sachems will look to build on the momentum of their 2-1 overtime victory against Cohasset/Hull in their regular-season finale.

Sam Steinman (21-11-32), Wyatt Goyette (8-16-24) and James Joyce (2-14-16) lead the team in scoring. Greg Mason has a 3.84 goals against average.

“The tri-op of Middleboro, Carver and Wareham improved each game as the players became more familiar with each other,” said Middleboro coach Steven Chamberlain. “The team is composed of multiple players who contribute to our offense and defensively we’re led by juniors and seniors with postseason experience.

“Our greatest strengths this year have been consistently strong goaltending from freshman Greg Mason and this team has a strong compete level and never gives up regardless of the circumstances.”

#28 Southeastern/Bristol-Plymouth (11-8-1)

Southeastern/Bristol-Plymouth dealt with extreme adversity when goalie Dylan Quinn died in a car accident in the middle of the season. After that tragic loss, the team did put together a five-game winning streak. The Hawks finished second in the Mayflower Division.

“Three balanced lines will be the key for us (in the tournament),” said coach Mark Cabral, who notched his 200th career win earlier this season.

Ben Guertin

#29 Pentucket (10-10-0)

The Panthers won three of their last four games to take a .500 record into the postseason.

Jack Stewart (18-4-22), Nolan Cole (14-6-20) and Cameron Smith (4-12-16) lead Pentucket in scoring. 

Senior Ben Guertin should get the call in goal.

“We have veteran leadership,” said Pentucket coach Dan Bly. “We have nine seniors this year and rely on them heavily. Our goaltending has been great as well.”

#30 Old Rochester/Fairhaven (9-10-1)

The Bulldogs are led by Derek Gauvin (10-19-29), Caleb Bousquet (9-13-22) and Nate Guerreiro (8-13-21)

Since February 1, Old Rochester/Fairhaven has been 4-3-1.

#31 Foxborough (7-12-1)

The Warriors are a young team with 10 sophomores and three freshmen. Ninety percent of them played both varsity and JV games. Since February 1, Foxborough has been 3-2-1.

Owen McAuliffe (9-5-14), Dan Jacobs (6-8-14) and Connor Hayes (7-6-13) have been the top scorers. 

Goalie Trevor Marder has a 3.32 goals against average.

“While there is plenty of development to come, we have seen great improvement by the players and the team,” said Foxborough coach Eric Galanti. “Along with that we have seen glimpses of the great potential these young players have. The key will be for the players and coaches to unlock that greatness on a consistent basis.”

Adyn Simmons Bishop Stang

#32 Bishop Stang (7-12-1)

Bishop Stang won its last two games, defeating Middleboro 4-2 and Southeastern/Bristol-Plymouth, 3-2.

Michael Russo and Adyn Simmons are key offensive players for the Spartans.

“We are playing our best hockey of the season right now,” said Bishop Stang coach Ken Gouveia. “We have been resilient all winter.”

#33 Ludlow (12-6-0)

Ludlow wrapped up the regular season with a 4-3 win against Belchertown for the Western Mass. Class B title.

The Lions lost forward Ryan Kurtz (41 points) to a broken wrist last week but Sam Cocchi (61) points) and Ben Corbin (51 points) are still factors.

Freshman Nick Deroin (16 points) and defenseman Sean Kefalas (15 points) have also made an impact.

On defense, Ludlow has allowed more than 20 shots on goal once all season.

“Everyone will need to step it up as, aside from Kurtz, we recently lost two players due to concussions,” said Ludlow coach Paul Rivest. “It will be interesting to see how we do in the tournament.”

Paige Galpin Easthampton

#34 Easthampton (12-7-1)

The Eagles were 5-2 in February and finished the season with a 6-1 loss to Ludlow in the Western Mass. Class B tournament.

Zach Roy (16-23-39), Mikey Thompson (19-6-25) and Ethan Marowitz (15-7-22) lead Easthampton in scoring. Senior Owen Duda and senior Pete Sullivan provide solid secondary scoring.

Goalie Paige Galpin has a .876 save percentage. Junior Drew Thompson is a key on defense.

“A total commitment to defense will be our key to success,” said Easthampton coach Timothy Plau. “Special teams have been great. The penalty kill is at 90 percent. The power play is doing well at 29 percent.”

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