Vermont HS Girls Hockey Team Previews – Defending D1 Champ Essex Must Develop Scoring; Burlington/Colchester In The Mix

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 30 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Daily Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for Mens Prep School hockey since 1988, as well as womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. for almost 20 years. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.

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Home Arena: Essex Skating Facility

The defending D1 state champions lost a pair of 100-career point-scorers to graduation, so they will need to develop some scoring from a returning trio of forwards as well as some talented youngsters into the program.

The three key returners up front for coach John Maddalena are senior Grace Wiggett (29 pts) and juniors Abby Robbins (36 pts) and Hannah Himes (13 pts). Among the freshmen looking to contribute up front Gillian Bruyns, Julie Feliciano and Dylan Line.

On defense, the Hornets will be led by senior Kaylee Moody and junior Courtney Himes. Freshmen Celie Wiegand, Cassidy Daniels and Abby Lacross add depth.

Essex also returns starting goaltender Sophie Forcier (0.66 gaa), now a junior.

Madison Chagnon


Home Rink: Leddy Park Arena

After losing just two seniors from a team that reached the D1 semifinals, expectations are high this winter for the SeaLakers with nine seniors leading the way.

Olivia Dallamura

Co-coaches Molly DiMasi and Jamie Rizzo welcome back a host of talent up front, led by senior winger Madison Chagnon (38 pts). Other key performers back are seniors Meghan Lehouiller (21 pts), Oliver Maher (17 pts),  McKenna Weston (10 pts) and Elise Scorsome (14 pts), and juniors Ruby Wool and Brynn Coughlin. Freshman Augusta Guyette hopes to crack the lineup.

Four varsity defensemen return for the SeaLakers in seniors Brooke Barrows, Lane Sky and Mary Lenihan and junior Kendall Muzzy. Freshman Georgia Wool adds quality depth.

In the nets, freshman Olivia Dallamura joins returning starter Courtney Rocheleau (2.10 gaa) in the rotation.


Home Rink:  Cairns Arena

New head coach Courtney Barrett first task is the rebuild the core of this team that suffered several key losses to graduation and prep school. Defense and goaltending project to be strongpoints.

Forwards looking to produce for the Wolves are junior Aly Larose and sophomores Mia Angwin and Reese Bailey.

Senior Hannah Larose and junior Ella Troville will be cornerstone defensemen in front of returning senior goalie Lyssa Tan.


Home Rink: Cairns Arena

The Green Knights will be very young. They will need to develop some scoring prowess in what coach Aaron Miller labels a rebuilding year.

Senior Kate Buckley (14 pts) will be a huge part of the defensive group for Rice. A couple of freshmen to keep an eye on are Vittoria Pizzagalli and Kate MacKenzie.


Home Rink: Collins Perley Sports Center

As usual, the Comets will be a serious player in the race for a Division 1 title. Coach Luke Cioffi enters his 21st season behind the bench and has a team that will be on the young side.

A catalyst up front will be senior Meghan Connor (22 pts). A host of youngsters ready to contribute are sophomores Faith Reed and Claire Beauregard and freshmen Kami O’Brien, Jodie Gratton and Maddie Montagne.

Solid defensive play will come from senior Chloe Rouleau (13 pts) and sophomore Sophie Zemianek (9 pts). New sophomore Rachel Needleman and freshman Rowan Howrigan look to chip in.

A huge strength for the Comets is the return of their dynamic goaltending duo in senior Madeleine Hungerford (7 shutouts) and junior Macie Boissoneault (4 shutouts).

  • Rutland is also in Tier 1 of Vermont HS Girls Hockey



Home Rink: Brush Arena as The Memorial Sports Center

Developing an offensive presence will be key this winter for the Tigers, who lost their top two scorers from last season’s successful squad.

Key returners up front are seniors Merry Kimble and Taylor Moulton and sophomore Avery Gale. Two eighth-graders looking to challenge for time are Ella Tucker and Bella Gale.

Three solid defensemen return for coach Matt Brush in junior Audrey Schnoor, sophomore Riley Olsen and freshman Hana Doria. Junior goalie Lydia Deppman is also back for another campaign.

WOODSTOCK (6-12-3)

Home Rink: Union Arena

The Wasps reached the Division 2 state title game last winter and are hoping to be there again in 2020. The team did lose a bunch of players to graduation, especially on the defensive side.

Senior Elizabeth Peck and junior Faye Stevens will spearhead the offensive attack for coach Ian Coates. Sophomores Skylar Haley, Zoe Wood and Hannah Lockhart and freshman Emma Algretti will chip in.

Last year’s leading scorer, junior Allie Cimis, moves back to defense for this season where she will lead new sophomore Lily Gubbins and freshman Alix Livingston. A new starter in goal for the Wasps is junior Novah Conway.


Home Rink: Highgate Sports Arena

It will be a building year for the T-Birds, who have only one returning senior. They will have a lot of team speed.

New head coach Brian Fortin will look to juniors Brianna Parent (20 pts) and Lora Fresn (15 pts) to led the offensive attack. A couple of eighth-graders who could contribute are Bri Jarvis and Emily Airoldi.

On the blue line, junior Abby Bessette is a shut-down defenseman. Eighth-graders Brooke Rainville and Lindsay Gagne will see time.

Junior Madison Conley is a returning goaltender. Eighth-grader Lily Berard is in the mix.


SPAULDING (2-16-1)

Home Rink: B.O.R

Despite coming off a two-win season, there is a lot of optimism at Spaulding, where coach Dave Lawrence feels his club can improve in a big way with the influx of several talented youngsters.

Sophomore forward Emily Morris is a key holdover for the Crimson Tide.

Newcomers ready to make a splash are sophomore Bria Dill and freshmen Rebecca McKelvey and Camryn Bell up front, and sophomore Zoe Tewksbury and freshman Molly Parker on the blue line.

Renee Robert

U-32 (9-11-1)

Home Rink: Central Vermont Memorial Civic Center

Cece Curtin

A good nucleus returns for the Solons, who will focus on team defense and puck possession this season.

Senior Renee Robert (37 goals, 90 career points) will be the go-to forward for coach Larry Smith. Also back in the fold are juniors Cece Curtin and Ali Guthrie, and sophomores Moran Ribolini and Elizabeth Guthrie. Freshman Caitlyn Fielder hopes the crack the lineup.

On the blue line, senior captains Emily Frazier and Jenna Mekkelsen will anchor things. Junior Cadence Burgess is another veteran presence, as is junior Phoebe Osabchey-Brown. Joining the group is freshman Megan Ognibene.

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