The MIAA Boys D3 North sectional gets underway Wednesday night with one first round game. A total of 13 teams qualified. Here’s a rundown:
#1 Newton South (13-2-5)
Newton South is poised to move past the quarterfinals this season. Last year, it lost to St. Joseph Prep in that round.
The Lions lost just two games this season and only allowed 37 goals, or less than two per game. They’re getting hot at the right time, going unbeaten in their final seven games. Johnny Baker leads the way offensively and is one of the top goal scorers in EMass D3. Baxter Cardamone and Eric Donlan have chipped in as well. Juniors Michael DeFranco and Alex Klapes have been solid on defense.
#2 Lowell (13-5-2)
Who wants to win a tourney game more badly than the Red Raiders? Last year, the No. 1 seed lost in the quarters to Swampscott. The Big Blue turned the tables on the Lowell squad, which had knocked off No. 1-seeded Swampscott the year before.
Lowell has a lot of firepower with Brendan DeMarco (18-16-34), Thomas Hassett (11-21-32) and Benjamin Asselin (9-15-24) leading the way. Patrick Cote is a solid goalie with a 2.55 GAA. Shawn Spring (19 pts) and Keegan Cote (15 pts) have had solid offensive years from their blue line positions.
#3 Lynn (12-4-4)
Lynn finished last season on a sour note – a loss in the semifinals to next-door neighbor Swampscott, which won the North title. This season, Lynn was one of the best in the North. Its 109 goals was one of the best in the division.
The Jets went 5-1-3 in their final nine after losing to Gloucester, 6-5, Jan. 19.
John DiFilippo (25-36-61), Brian Clougherty (23-34-57) and Andrew Patrie (28-19-47) have been absolute beasts for Lynn. The Jets’ 83 goals allowed this season may be a concern heading into the postseason.
#4 Dracut/Tyngsboro (10-7-3)
The Middies may be the North sleeper, kind of a team you’d like to avoid. They looked really good with wins over Newton South (5-2, Jan. 25) and Swampscott (5-2, Feb. 20), and they also tied Newton South, 2-2, in the season-opener (Dec. 12). After losing two straight to Lowell, the Middies finished 2-0-1.
Jake Callery (18-11-29), Brian Workman (13-18-31) and defenseman Kyle McManus (10-12-22) were hot on offense have led the offense for coach Jeff DuRoss. Sophomore Mikey Collett has 10 goals. Sophomore Jared DeBruin has 17 points.
#5 Wayland (9-8-3)
Last year’s North finalist returns to the postseason. Wayland came on strong late this year just as it did last season. It won four of its last five games in order to qualify for the state tourney.
The top producers for the Warriors this season were Michael Boschetto (17-17-34), Aiden Chitkara (9-17-26) and Aidan Bonner (8-14-22). Ryan Nolan mans the net and has been strong (2.56 GAA, 0.911 save percentage).
Shawsheen won the Commonwealth Athletic Conference with an 8-1-1 mark. It went 0-6-4 out of its conference, though, and was outscored this season, 63-55. Shawsheen lost to Lynn in overtime in the North semis last year.
Up front, Nathan Silva has 10 goals and nine assists. Freshman Dylan Timmons clocked in at 7-7-14. Junior Dan McGaffigan has five goals and 10 assists.
The Rams will be looking to pick things up after finishing with three losses to close out the season to Dracut/Tyngsboro, Wilmington and Stoneham, in which they were outscored, 17-3.
#7 Hamilton-Wenham (8-7-5)
The Generals needed a win in their final game in order to qualify for the tourney and did so with a 4-3 win over Amesbury. Goalie Finn Brophy stopped 25 shots out of 28 in that clutch win, punching the Generals’ ticket to the postseason for the second time in three seasons back as a varsity.
Aidan Daly, Cam Guyer, Colby Guyer, James Horgan and Keegan O’Shea are some of the Hamilton-Wenham players producing this season.
#8 Essex Tech (8-7-5)
The Hawks are back in the postseason. Last year, they made it in Division 2, losing to North Reading in overtime in the preliminary round.
Essex Tech fell to Somerville and Stoneham in its last two. But the team has shown flashes throughout the season, and goalie Shane Ahlin has been steady with a 1.84 GAA and .924 save percentage.
Meanwhile, Chris Masta (23-12-35) and Colin Levesque (6-17-23) have been the 1-2 scoring punch.
#9 Bedford (9-9-2)
Bedford storms into the postseason with some momentum. The Buccaneers won their final three matchups – 3-1 over Watertown, 9-2 over Minuteman and 5-3 over Holliston.
The team is glad to be back in the dance after winning only six games last winter.
#10 Latin Academy (8-8-4)
The Dragons are in. The team beat O’Bryant, 10-1, in the Boston City Championship at Matthews Arena Feb. 20. The team has scored 72 goals this season.
Give credit to Latin for a season sweep over Division 2, tourney-bound Somerville and ties with Dracut/Tyngsboro and Hamilton-Wenham.
The defending North champions are certainly happy with their 3-2 win over Saugus because that’s what got them in the tourney. They closed out the season after the Saugus victory with losses to Marblehead and Dracut/Tyngsboro.
The Big Blue first line of Zach Elwell, Conor Donovan and Drew Olivieri have combined for a total of 134 points: Elwell (23-23-46), Olivieri (19-26-45) and Donovan (16-27-43), which is the most by any Swampscott line combo. They have scored 58 out of a total 66 goals, which is an amazing 88 percent.
Swampscott also had a record-low 36 minor penalties in 19 games, which is 1.90 penalties per game. There was not one game all year where Swampscott had more penalties than the other team. Senior Victor Kratik has seen the bulk of the time in goal.
#12 Watertown 8-8-4
Kudos to Watertown. It made the postseason after two down years. After winning the state title in 2015, Watertown made it to the North finals and lost to Wayland in 2016.
But it didn’t have a program in 2017 and won seven games last season and missed the postseason. The team got nine goals and 10 assists from Brett Sutherland and contributions from Nick Dipace (8-5-13) and Mason Andrade (4-8-12). Senior Luke Murphy leads the defense.
#13 Northeast (8-8-4)
The Golden Knights head into the postseason after a cold finish. They went 2-3. The team has no trouble scoring with 71 this season but has given up 59.
They finished much stronger last season before the postseason. It was an early exit, though. Wayland beat Northeast, 1-0, in overtime.