NH D3 Preview: Defending Champ Belmont/Gilford Returns Veteran Club

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

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BELMONT/GILFORD (18-2-0)

A strong core group returns for the defending State Champs. What’s the key to the Bulldogs positioning themselves for a repeat shot? “Buying into the system, good leadership (and) making the most important thing the most important thing,” says coach P.J. Londer.

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Caleb Drouin Belmont-Gilford
Caleb Drouin
Belmont-Gilford
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James Buckley Belmont-Gilford
James Buckley
Belmont-Gilford
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Dillon Treamer Belmont-Gilford
Dillon Treamer
Belmont-Gilford
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Hunter Dupuis Belmont-Gilford
Hunter Dupuis
Belmont-Gilford
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There is ample firepower among the forwards, powered by senior center Caleb Drouin (22-22-44), senior wing Dillon Treamer (17-14-31), sophomore wing Mile Defosses (9-8-17) and sophomore wing Harrison Parent (7-8-15). Junior James Buckley (10 points) returns as the leader on the back line.

New freshmen Troy Gallagher, Alex Muthersbaugh and Conner Dupuis could make an immediate impact.

BERLIN/GORHAM (14-3-1)

The Mountaineers were so very close – 41.8 seconds to be exact – to claiming the D3 crown last year. A large returning core group hopes to take the next step. An ambitious schedule includes dates with D1 foes Pinkerton and Salem and D2 programs Keene and Lebanon.

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Justin Vien Berlin-Gorham
Justin Vien
Berlin-Gorham
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Brenden Williams Berlin-Gorham
Brenden Williams
Berlin-Gorham
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Nathan Trull Berlin-Gorham
Nathan Trull
Berlin-Gorham
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Owen Dorval Berlin-Gorham
Owen Dorval
Berlin-Gorham
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Coach Mike Poulin said “we have to control our end of the ice first. From the goaltender out, we need to take care of our own zone. The offense will come.”

Seniors Justin Vien (17-17-34) and Trevor Labrecque (15-7-22) and junior Owen Dorval (9-15-24) fuel what projects as a high-octane attack. Sophomores Hunter Fauteux (8-9-17), John Arguin (6-10-16) and Cam Cochran (6-9-15) provide quality depth. Senior defenseman Nate Trull (8-11-19) is a strong two-way presence while senior Brenden Williams (1.96 gaa, .928 save pct.) returns in goal. Sophomore Noah Schoenbeck steps in on the blue line.

CON-VAL (4-14-0)

The Cougars will once again battle youth and a lack of depth. “We’re a very young team. We need to focus on our speed but can only run two lines,” says coach Mark Leger.

ConVal will lean heavily on senior captain Cameron Henke, a four-year varsity regular. Sophomore Matt Kolk looks to build on a solid freshman campaign and Cam Tracy leads those moving up from the JVs.

KENNETT (14-6-2)

Mackenzie Murphy Kennett
Mackenzie Murphy
Kennett
Colby Couture Kennett
Colby Couture
Kennett

After advancing to the semifinals last winter, the Eagles (13-5-1 in NH) return a roster that is very nearly intact but must overcome the graduation losses of All-State goalie Josh Kondrat and All-State forward Robby Moody. Nine forwards and the entire defense return for coach Mike Lane.

Senior center Nick Ansaldi begins the season just two points shy of 100 for his career. Sophomore center Colby Couture stood out as a freshman. Four-year senior defenseman Dan Nusbaum is a team leader on the ice and in the room. Sophomore Mackenzie Murphy also returns on defense. Five incoming freshmen will be asked to contribute.

“Keys to success will be team play in all three zones. It needs to be a collective effort,” Lane says.

KEARSAGE/PLYMOUTH (7-9-0)

Coach Mike Fisher and his staff will be tasked with joining players from two schools nearly an hour apart into a single cohesive unit pulling in the same direction with the shared goal of growing into a perennial contender.

Returning with experience from Kearsage are senior defensemen Duncan MacIntyre and Elliot Tucker, junior defenseman Maddie Folcik, junior forwards Jakob Arnold, Doug Breault Jr. and junior goaltender Cody Rowe. Joining the Cats from Plymouth are senior goalie Richie Caron, senior center Andrew Chabot and junior defenseman Gordie Hoyt.

“Having two experienced goaltenders backstopping the team defense will be a key to building the team out from the goal during the adjustment period,” says Fisher.

SANBORN (3-14-0)

“We are looking forward to our second varsity season. We have a solid mix of returning and new players. Positive leadership from our returning players will be key this season,” said coach Kevin Merrick.

Key returnees at forward include seniors Andrew Metz and Erin Thompson, junior Liam Dolan and sophomore Nick Frost. Senior Brennen MacDougall and sophomores Luc LeBlanc and Hunter Holmberg are back on defense in front of junior goalie Corey McLaughlin.

Sophomore defenseman Dylan McManus and a large freshman group of goalie Austin Conely, defensemen Aiden MacDougall and Owen Snively and forwards Dalton McCann, Zach Merrick, Jake Pike and Ethan Paul will provide depth.

MOULTONBOROUGH/INTER-LAKES (8-10-1)

Coach Chuck Yaeger’s squad essentially returns intact, having graduated just a single player from last season’s quarterfinalist. Veteran leadership and solid team defense will drive the Renegades.

Seniors Cody Burns (18-19-37) and Gus Kromer (16-9-25), juniors Mike Dalzell (12-9-21) and Collin Sheehan (6-10-16) and sophomore Garrett McCarthy (11 points) all return at forward.

Junior Dominic Doliber returns as the most experienced defenseman in front of sophomore goalie Nick Spicuzza. Look for freshman Ryan Hale to hold down a regular role on the back line.

JOHN STARK/HOPKINTON (15-3-1)

Callahan Loos John Stark/Hopkinton
Callahan Loos
John Stark/Hopkinton

The Generals lost nine to graduation from last year’s semifinalist. Still, coach Denis Kolehmainen figures stout team defense and the ability to roll three lines will keep JSH in the mix.

Returning senior forwards Callahan Loos (20-21-41) and Jake Blanchette (19-21-40) are among the division’s best. Juniors Tim Sawitsky, Aidan Molnar and Tim Meserve and sophomores Joel Hawkes and Nick Gagne also return.

Senior Alex Lajeunsse and juniors Justin Brown and Cam Bourque form the nucleus of the defense while junior Moses Greene gets the call in goal. Eight freshmen will vie for regular time.

 

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