New Hampshire HS Hockey – Pre-Season Division 2 Top 8: St. Thomas, Dover Early Favorites

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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New Hampshire Boys D2 Top 8

RankTeam[tooltip text="PR*" gravity="ne"]Previous Ranking[/tooltip]WLT
1St. Thomas Aquinas1541
2Dover1390
3Oyster River1461
4Merrimack1441
5Goffstown1360
6Somersworth/Coe-Brown 1371
7Portsmouth/Newmarket8100
8Manchester Memorial---
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Manchester Memorial drops down from Division One, having swapped places with Keene, while Lebanon/Stevens/Mount Royal has moved to Division Three. The division is in a state of flux with 12 teams and just 11 will hit the ice with the cancellation of Kingswood’s season due to ongoing COVID concerns. The only new coach is Memorial’s Chuck Goss.

The departure of one declared co-champion puts the other, No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas (15-4-1), in prime position to claim its third consecutive State title. The Saints return a large veteran group and do not have a single senior on the roster.

The primary challenge may well come from crosstown rival No. 2 Dover (13-9-0) although the Green Wave await a Jan. 19 vote by the district’s School Committee to determine whether their season will be allowed to move forward. The Green Wave are deep across the board, especially on a defense anchored by a pair of seasoned senior keepers.

No. 3 Oyster River (14-6-1) has a luxury no other team in the division does – a returning First Team All-State goalie in junior Claden Daubney (1.77 GAA). The Bobcats have depth on the blue line and ample firepower at forward.

No. 4 Merrimack (14-4-1) has the personnel to exceed its semifinal appearance of last season. Sophomore forward Evan Roy (16-17-33) and senior goalie Ben Hardy (2.13 gaa, .918 save pct., 3 SO) look to build on their stellar seasons.

No. 5 Goffstown (13-6-0) features a potent group of forwards, driven by senior Grady Chretien, a First Team All-State selection a year ago. Four regulars are back on the blue line.

No. 6 Somersworth/Coe-Brown (13-7-1) graduated 10 and will rely on its experience in goal and on defense.

No. 7 Portsmouth/Newmarket (8-10-0) will count on a junior class that picked up a ton of experience last season.

Taking a flyer here. but you have to figure No. 8 Manchester Memorial – the D1 champ in 2013 – will be playing with renewed purpose after dropping down.

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