Fresh off an exciting Metro state title win in triple overtime, the Hornets go into this new season ready to defend. A good group is back for veteran head coach Bill O”Neil to work with.
Up front, Nick McGovern and state final OT hero Alex Guimmo are back to lead the offensive attack. Senior tri-captain Erik Short returns between the pipes to give Essex a solidfying force there.
Defense appears to be a strongpoint with tri-captain seniors Ethan Bartlett and Austin Thibeault back, as well as Dom Lessard.
The Lakers will go as far as their offense will take them. While they have a couple of natural scorers, coach Greg Murray says his team will need to get its share of garbage goals in front of the net to be successful.
Junior Tate Hamblett (18 pts) and sophomore Luke Dion (8 pts) will be looked to for offensive production.
Senior captain Garrett St. Pierre (13 pts) will be Colchester’s backbone on the blue line. Sophomore Robbie Davis missed several games last winter with an injury but is ready to go. Freshman Cameron Rolston should have a solid role on the club.
In goal, junior Jake Rocheleau (2.16 gaa) saw the majority of time between the pipes last winter.
SOUTH BURLINGTON (15-6-2)
There will be some holes to fill, but coach Sean Jones feels his feeder program is the best in the state so the talent should be there.
Senior Brendan Lahue and junior Michael Flaherty will be called upon to lead the offensive attack for the Rebels. Senior Kyle Ehler-Vock is a blue line mainstay.
“We will continue to focus our success from out net out,” Jones said. “We return experience up front and will look to a couple veteran defensemen to help the younger guys mature.”
BELLOWS FREE ACADEMY (13-8-1)
Always amongst the challengers for the Metro Division crown, this year will be no exception for the Bobwhites. Coach Toby Duculon feels that team composure and self discipline will be keys.
Up front, BFA will rely heavily on a trio of seniors to lead the way in Matt Needleman, Sam Shorey and Hunter Kirouac.
On defense, cornerstones project to be seniors Owen Ladd and Tanner Cioffi.
Talented Spaulding Should Make Run At Title
More than few Metro coaches are labeling the Crimson Tide as the team to beat this winter. Could be that Spaulding has some talented players at each position and should be well-balanced.
A solid scoring attack will be spearheaded by the likes of junior Denver Heath (24 pts) and junior Brad Romeo (15 goals). Senior Ryan Allen and junior Chandler Cressey are two more vital cogs.
Defensively, coach Clay Bell can rest easy with junior Luke Krupa (15 pts) patrolling the blue line; he was an All-State selection a year ago. Sophomore Matteo Perantioni plays a sound physical game.
And in goal, the Tide has a strong goalie tandem with senior Justin LaPerle and junior Cody Gosselin.
RICE MEMORIAL (4-17-1)
With only two players lost to graduation, this could be the year that the Green Knights make a big move to the upper echelon of the division. Coach Leonard Badeau says his team must “trust the team’s systems and process.”
Badeau added that every returning player will have a key role with the club.
CHAMPLAIN VALLEY UNION (12-8-1)
Another team that will be young is the Red Hawks, who will need their young forwards to finish more. Also, coach Mike Murray has to fill holes from several key graduated blue liners.
Guys ready to do the job up front are junior Joe Parento and sophomore Tyler Brooks. Sophomore Richard Hall will be a mainstay on the CVU blue line.
Murray said his team will need one of several goaltending candidates to grab the starting job. Returning sophomore Tyler Brooks and incoming freshman Blaine Moore will be among the group.
- Rutland will also be in the Vermont Metro Division. No information was available on the team as of posting.