Northeast Conference Preview: Is This Peabody’s Year?

HNIB Staff
HNIB Staff
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PEABODY (5-13-2)

A team certainly capable of making a big turnaround this season is the Tanners, who return 20 players from last winter, where they lost a lot of close games.

Cam Smullen Peabody
Cam Smullen
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Matt Pino Peabody
Matt Pino
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Bobby Capproni Peabody
Bobby Capproni
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Reed Foster Peabody
Reed Foster
[/one_fourth_last] Senior co-captain Reed Foster (13 pts), seniors Bobby Caproni (12 pts) and Ryan Carney, and sophomores Chris Gillen and Nick Merryman all return up front for coach Mark Leonard.

Senior co-captain Cam Smullen, senior Matt Pino and junior Donny Shaw are nice blue line nucleus for the Tanners.

Peabody has three guys – senior Stephen Ferrante, junior Freddy Robitaille and sophomore Aaron McDonnell – who will fight for the starting goaltender’s job.

WINTHROP (15-6-0)

Team defense, a hallmark of this program for the last several years, will again dictate how much success the Vikings will have this year. They should be considered a serious challenger to the NEC North title.

Production up front for coach Dale Dunbar will come for senior Pat Todisco (23 pts), senior Dillon Driscoll (10 pts) and sophomore Charlie Page (16 pts). Newcomers ready to help out are Steven Holgerson and Henry Brooks.

The Vikings return six defensemen, led by senior Sean Gillis and senior Marc Ferullo. New sophomore Dave Barry hopes to crack the rotation. They also have the luxury of a four-year starter in goal with the return of senior standout Ray Feeley (1.70 gaa).

BEVERLY (22-1-1)

Sean Hanlon Beverly
Sean Hanlon

Longtime assistant Justin Shairs takes over as head coach of the defending state champion Panthers, who have a lot of spots to fill thanks to graduation and defections. Shairs says meshing the returning players with newcomers will be key.

Returning forwards like seniors Jesse McLaughlin (13 pts), Brendan Boyle, Clinton Cabral and Ted Leathersich, and juniors Ross Wahl and Hunter Spencer all will have increased offensive roles. New junior Ben Cotreau and freshmen Anthony Damato and Tim McCarthy hope to be contributors.

Ross Wahl Beverly
Ross Wahl

On defense, the top four blueliners have moved on, leaving plenty of ice time for guys like senior Chris McKenna, juniors Tyler Cloutman and Sean Hanlon, and sophomores Luke Samperi and Terran Mazzaglia.

In goal, junior Tim Casagrande and freshman Troy Doyle are in the mix to take over.

SAUGUS (5-12-2)

After a one-year stint in the Cape Ann League, the Sachems return to the NEC.

Up front, look for guys like Nick Straticos, Chris Sanderson, Brandon Ronan and Mike Sarnachiarro to be involved heavily in the offense. Christian Patterson and Jim Alcott are key defensemen for coach Jeff Natalucci.

Freshmen looking to make an impact at forward are Pat Groark, John Torres and Ryan Granara.

DANVERS (11-10-1)

Steve Ganley Danvers
Steve Ganley

Strong team defense and finding a top scorer will be keys to the season for the Falcons. There is not much offensive production returning to the roster.

Coach Kevin Brown will have the luxury of senior tri-captain Alex Taylor in goal. He will be fronted by senior tri-captain rearguard Steve Ganley. Both were NEC all stars a year ago.

The third tri-captain, senior Sean Lundergan, will be an important cog in the Danvers offense.


Like many high school teams, the Magicians saw some significant losses due to graduation and transfers. But, make sure coach Bob Jackson will have his team compete hard and be in the mix.

Up front, junior Tim Kalinowski (17 pts) and sophomore Braden Haley (20 pts) are coming off superb seasons and will be leaders. Bigger offensive roles await senior Cam McDonald, Colin Daly and Owen Piccarello.

Junior P.J. Roy will be a key defenseman for Marblehead.



REVERE (11-6-2)

The Patriots welcomed Malden in a co-op agreement that should get this program more depth. Still, there are some holes to fill after the team lost many experienced players.

Key forwards project to be seniors Richard Polignone and John Galatis, juniors Steve Noel and Joe Ristino and sophomore Anthony Cecca.

Coach Joe Ciccarello will rely on junior Kevin Chiles to play well defensively.


The Big Blue had a letdown season after winning the Eastern Mass. title in 2013.

Coach Gino Faia said the team was rebuilding last winter and looks forward to a better season. Senior Ryan Cresta (8-10-18), sophomore Ryan Donnelly (12-11-23) sophomore Mike Johnson  (9-13-22) and sophomore Louis Olivieri (7-4-11) are the top returnees.

Senior Joey Faia and Dante Ceccarelli return on defense, and senior goalie Trent Gallagher is back. Freshman goalie Dan Johnson should see some time in net

“The key to this year is we’ll be defined by how we play in goal as well as on defense,” Faia said. “Not a lot of experience. We should be strong offensively with some good young talent.”

SALEM (9-9-2)

Salem, in a cooperative program with Hamilton-Wenham, had its best year in the short history of the coop with a 9-9-2 mark one year ago.

Coach Ted Hanley’s Witches will be looking for leadership from senior forward Sam Petri (8-12-20). Senior Eli Spector (16 pts) was clutch with a pair of goals and 14 assists, and senior Derick Zwerican 16 pts) returns as well.

Defensemen junior Eamon Williamson (12 pts) and sophomore forward Camp Twoomey (12 pts) return as well.

Sophomore blue liner Nathan Rumson had a great freshman year and has put on some size this off-season. Senior forward Jake Quarles is a transfer from Peabody.

Senior goalie Nick Holt is a “huge” addition to the team. “This St Mary’s transfer should have a fantastic season for us,” Hanley said. “Our keys to success this season are great goaltending, team defense, the kids buying into our system and more scoring from our top two lines.”

LYNN (13-6-1)

The Lynn Jets return to the ice under coach Joe Conlon. They finished 13-6-1 last winter and bring back senior forward Mark Brazell and senior forward Corey Wojewodezic.

Goalie Jack Stafford is in his second year. Brett Molea and Ryan Clark are youngsters to watch.

“We are replacing our top three defensemen and top two centers,” Conlon said. “That means our play in the defensive zone will be the key to our season. Hopefully, we get on the same page early, because our schedule is tough and filled with solid D2 and D3 teams.”


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