Rhode Island high school hockey finally got the green light to start playing competitive games. The season will get underway this weekend. The RIIL will feature two divisions this winter instead of three. Here is a look at Division 1 clubs.
Last Year’s Record: 22-1-1
The Rams had a banner campaign in 2019-2020 but settled for a state co-championship after the final series was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic. A host of players have moved on, but coach Shawn Tingley and his staff are excited about a host of young newcomers ready to step right in.
At forward, senior Chris Gannon will lead a group of returners that includes fellow seniors James McCue Louvet and Joshua Hogue, and junior Michael Brouillard.
Three juniors return to form the core of the defense in Ben Riccitelli, Connor Barrett and Zachary Smith.
Two varsity goaltenders return as well in junior Max Cute, 6-0 last season, and sophomore Caleb Jawharjian.
MOUNT ST. CHARLES
Last Year’s Record: 17-7-0
The other co-state champion, the Mounties, return 12 upperclassmen looking to build on last season’s success.
Production is expected up front from returning guys like Cee-Jay Laquerre, Ethan Latendre, John Legesse, Matt Badeau, Matt Mahoney and Michaiah Bascomb.
Brendan Donahue, Eddie Mulligan and Joey Caggiano key the defense for coach Matt Merten, while a pair of varsity-tested netminders return in Jay Mandeville and Sean Trottier.
Newcomers hoping to have an impact are Kyle Smolan, Antonio Lombari, David Byrne, Colden Lawrence, Ryan Wasnewsky, Jacob Goodwin and Angelo Parrillo.
Last Year’s Record: 12-12-0
Hawks head coach Mike Soscia says the potential is there for wide-open race in Division 1, and Hendricken to be right in the middle of it.
A quartet of seniors – Harry Guiliano, Nate Palumbo, Jack Pearson and Bryan Foster – bring experience to the front lines, where junior Matt Moretti and sophomore Owen Leahy also return. Ready for increased roles are juniors Mike Soscia and Drew Gayman, and sophomore Steve Nardelli.
On defense, senior Jack Drohen, senior Myles Walsh and junior Alex Guiliano will hold down the fort.
Last Year’s Record: 10-13-1
The Rams return their top five scorers and top three defensemen this winter, which alone makes them a concern to opponents.
Up front, look for continued production from returners like seniors Ryan Boutiette (25 pts) and Troy Phillips (9 pts), junior Cam DeSante (19 pts) and sophomore Jack Farrell (20 pts). Three freshmen hoping to contribute are Joe DeCesare, Ryan Frenette and Ethan Murphy.
Juniors Ben Anderson (12 pts) and Mitchell Farrell (12 pts) anchor the blue line for coach Dave Farrell.
Burrillville did lose goalie Dylan Nault to graduation, so senior Lucas Hundley and junior Bryden Hopkins will battle for minutes.
MOSES BROWN SCHOOL
Last Year’s Record: 2-14-2
Call this a transformation year for the Quakers, who will skate 15 freshmen and sophomores.
Key returners up front for coach David Antonelli are captain Cam Bernard, Henry Alessandro, Aidan Aggarwal and Gave Mandani.
In the back end, senior Noah Silverman returns along with Tyler Rose and Max Travers.
Among the youngsters looking to step in are Rowan Aggarwal, Seth Feldman, Ethan Garneau, Gunnar Lundin, Cam Lussier, Owen O’Farrell, Trevor Rose and Aden Rusch.
Last Year’s Record: 12-10-2
A good core group of seniors get the task of dictating how far the Sentinels can go this winter.
Longtime coach Bob Jackson rely up front on a returning nucleus of seniors Joe Pitrone and Reed Clavet, junior Chris Disano and sophomore Nate Goffe.
A veteran blue line group is built around seniors Raffy Negron, Connor Derderian, Charlie Dhosi and Chase Rinker.
New sophomore Jacob Selema will press for time in the nets.
Last Year’s Record: 11-14-1
There is optimism that the Eagles can make another playoff run in Division 1 this season.
Amongst the forwards, junior Sam Faulkner is the top returning scorer with 19 points. Also back are seniors Jackson Gorman and Callum Flaherty (11 pts) and junior Brenen Gazeryan (12 pts).
Factoring in on defense will be seniors Owen Crain (11 pts), Bobby Ide and Will Ide, junior Josh LeBlanc and sophomore Tucker Squires, all returners for coach Kevin Croke.
Newcomers who could see time at either forward or defense are sophomores Pierce Wilkerson, Christian Vieira, Dean Sequeira, JJ Ames and Cole Vieira. A new freshman goaltender in the mix is Cam Siwik.
Last Year’s Record: 10-14-0
With excellent senior leadership and what should be an improved defensive core, the Crusaders are optimistic about the upcoming season.
Junior William Costello is a key returning forward for coach John Gaffney, as is sophomore Jack Cox. Freshman Branden Santurri hopes to have an impact.
On the blue line, senior Drew Brouillette returns along with sophomore Nick Gamba. Three freshmen ready to compete are Nolan Quirk, Josh Ewing Chow and Jackson Reeves.
Senior goalie Matthew Pari is back in the nets.
Last Year’s Record: 18-8-2
The Avengers return to the Division 1 wars and the goal this winter is to make the playoffs and see what happens. A solid group returns for coach Don Dunwoody.
A lot of that production is up front, where EG welcomes back sophomore Cam Gaffney (47 pts), senior Jake Barron (18 pts) and juniors Corey Szabo (29 pts), Matt McKenzie (28 pts) and Nick Paskalis (11 pts). Freshmen looking to step in are Gates Omicioli and Chris Walsh.
Senior Spencer Hallagan (21 pts) and junior Charlie Gaffney are key blue liners back. New junior Cam Warrener should have a big role. Junior goaltender Cole Barron is back as well.
* Cumberland has also moved into Division 1 this season. No information was available as of post time.