Capsule outlook for capital area high school hockey teams

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Division: I

Coach: Dunc Walsh (28th year)

Last year: 17-4, D-I runner-up

Returning starters: Liam O’Brien, sr., D; Drew Livingston, sr., F; Colin Kastle, sr., F; Spencer Burgess, sr., G

Top newcomers: Alex Forward, fr., D; Jake Sullivan, fr., D

Outlook: The Crimson Tide return experience forwards but the same cannot be said for the defensive group. With the loss of Matt Chorlian and Dan LeBell, the blue line is thin on Dunc Walsh’s squad, though the 28-year coach has been impressed with the preseason performance of young D-men Alex Forward and Jake Sullivan.

Teams to beat: Bedford, Bishop Guertin

Bishop Brady

Division: I

Coach: Ed Seney (1st year)

Last year: 6-12-1, lost in first round

Returning starters: Max Lamora, sr., F; Kevin Anderson, jr., D; Michael Kenison, jr., F/D; Matt Strickland, jr., G

Outlook: Bishop Brady is facing another season with a short bench and only 12 skaters. This could be challenging when the inevitable bumps and bruises arise through the grind of an 18-game season. The team welcomes a new head coach in Ed Seney who spent the last 15 years as the bench boss for the Saint Anselm men’s team. “We’re just trying to get better every day,” Seney said in the preseason.

Teams to beat: Pinkerton, Bishop Guertin, Concord, Hanover


Division: II

Coach: Tim Walsh (17th year)

Last year: 18-2, D-II champions

Returning starters: Nate Carrier, jr., G; Ryan Tobeler, sr., F; Brandon Tibbets, sr., D

Outlook: For the young players and upperclassmen who did not get much time on the ice last season, this year is their season. Coach Tim Walsh lost a chunk of key players to graduation, including former D-II player of the year Doug Champagne. This year’s team is going to look very different from the one that upset Keene in the D-II championship game last season. The Falcons will lean heavily on their two experienced goaltenders, Nate Carrier and Jason Howe.

Teams to beat: Windham, Dover


Division: III

Coach: Dave Saball (2nd year)

Last year: 15-4, lost in semifinals

Returning starters: Harrison Parent, sr., F; Miles Defosses, sr., F; Hayden Parent, so., F; Troy Gallagher, jr.,

Top newcomers: Zack Gilford, fr., F

Outlook: The Bulldogs return several players from last season’s team that made a run to the final four, including Parent, last year’s top scorer. “We have a good bunch of returning players that know what it takes to have a successful season,” Coach Dave Saball said. “If we work hard, we will be competitive with most teams. But it all comes down to doing the work.”

Teams to beat: Kennett, Berlin-Gorham, John Stark-Hopkinton, Moultonborough/Inter-Lakes

John Stark-Hopkinton

Division: III

Coach: Denis Kolehmainen (6th year)

Last year: 11-7, lost in quarterfinals

Returning starters: Jameson Bourque, jr, G; Larsen Burack, jr., F; Noah Chapman, jr., F; Lane Crowley, sr., D; Joel Hawkes, sr., F; Lucas Lajeunesse, so., Noah Lewis, so., D; Cabot Lineberry, so., F/D; Benny Madden, so., F/D; Curtis Mann, so., G; Thayer Maughan, jr., F; Paul Molnar, jr., F; Owen Olson, so., F; Brett Patnode, so., F; Carter Pike, so., D; Matt Piscina, jr., F; Joe Sawitsky, jr., D; Pete Sintros, jr., F; Reed Tanuvasa, jr., F

Top newcomers: Craysen Allard, fr., G; Jake Cole, jr., D; Austin Lunt, so., F; Cooper Rivers, fr., F; Nolan Sauer, fr., F/D; Tyler Scordo, fr., F

Outlook: Numbers don’t seem to be a problem for coach Kolehmainen’s program this year with a roster of 25 mostly represented by sophomores and juniors. John Stark-Hopkinton is looking to extend a playoff push beyond the quarterfinals this season. “The team has worked hard in the off season and in the weight room,” Kolehmainen said. “With the new additions to the team we were able to fill in the few holes that were opened up from last year’s graduating class. Staying healthy is the key to us having a successful season. We have the pieces to the puzzle to stay competitive with the top teams in the division.”

Teams to beat: Kennett, Belmont-Gilford, Berlin


Division: III

Coach: Dave McKenney (3rd year)

Last year: 7-11, did not make tournament

Returning starters: Alex Nangle, sr.; Garret Sprenger, jr.; Josh Johnston, sr.; Anthony Velez, jr.; Carter MacLean, jr.; Sam Johnson, sr., G

Top newcomers: Caden Lyman, jr., G

Outlook: Coach McKenney considers this to be a rebuilding year for Kearsarge-Plymouth with a young roster. The team is focused on developing role players to support the upperclassmen and continue to improve this season while building toward the future. “Everyone is working hard and looking forward to a good season,” McKenney said.


Division: III

Coach: Marc Joyal (1st year)

Last year: 0-18, did not make tournament

Returning starters: Noah Smith, sr., F/D; Devin Miles, sr., F; Nick Luther, sr., F/D; Connor Johnson jr., F; Ryan Fields, jr., F/D

Top newcomers: Carter Smith, fr., F/D; Cole Reid, jr., F; Caleb Bartlett, sr., F/D; Dakota Whitehead, fr., G

Outlook: Under a new coach and with the additions of Reid and Smith, Laconia-Winnisquam is aiming for a much stronger showing than last season. Smith, Luther and Miles return as seniors to provide experience as the team rebuilds. The biggest thing to watch for the team is how they fare in goal with freshman Whitehead stepping right into the fire. “We will be more competitive this season and will provide more challenges to our Division III opponents,” Coach Joyal said.

Teams to beat: Berlin-Gorham, Kennett, John Stark-Hopkinton


Division: III

Coach: Chuck Yaeger (5th year)

Last year: 9-10, lost in quarterfinals

Returning starters: Garrett McCarthy, sr., F; Brett Burns, jr., F; Blake Dunlap, so., F; Patrick Mohan, so., D; Ryan Hale, jr., D; Nick Spicuzza, fr., G; Hunter Sanders, jr., G

Top newcomers: Alek Sorokin, sr., F; Carter Rumery, jr., F; Andrew Spicuzza, fr., D; Devin Schwarz, fr., D

Outlook: Team defense will be an emphasis for the Renegades this season with a young group of skaters working the blue line. “Need to be solid in goal and get scoring from our senior leadership and our top line,” coach Chuck Yaeger said. “We are young on defense, so our forwards will need to lend support in our defensive zone. Our newcomers will be called upon to contribute immediately.”

Teams to beat: Berlin, Coe-Brown/Somersworth, Kennett


Division: III

Coach: Marc Noel (16th year)

Last year: 9-11, lost in quarterfinals

Returning starters: Nate Lamontagne, jr., F/D; Patrick Cavanaugh, sr., F; Sean Moore, sr., F/D; Jayden Lamy, jr., F; Mattieux Tremblay, jr., G

Top newcomers: Dan Israel, sr., D; Justin Bosteels, fr., F; Adam Omundson, fr., G

Outlook: “I am looking for PAC to be strong this season,” coach Marc Noel said. “With the addition of Dan Israel, Adam Omundson and Justin Bosteels, I feel that our team will be in the mix for a good position heading into the playoffs.”

Teams to beat: Kennett, Belmont-Gilford, Somersworth, Pembroke-Campbell


Division: III

Coach: Shane Maurice (2nd year)

Last year: 14-5, lost in semifinals

Returning starters: Jack Percy, sr., F; Brett Dodier, sr., D; Jake Spainhower, sr., D; Daniel Strum, so., F; Matt Kelly, jr., F; Derek Elwell, sr., D

Top newcomers: Cal Welch, fr., G; Aiden Perra, so., D; Cole Perra, so., D; Ryan Drouin, fr., F

Outlook: The Bearcats return three senior defenders and their captain in forward Percy in what should equate to a fast start on the ice. Coach Maurice knows this team can’t sit on last year’s achievements and is pushing hard for this group to play with the same fire that helped them become one of the top teams in the division a season ago. “We can’t be afraid to work and be scrappy,” Maurice said. “If we do that, we will be in every game and push to the playoffs. If we want to coast by on what we accomplished last year, we won’t keep pace.”

Teams to beat: “Kennett until someone unseats the champ,” Maurice said.


Division: I

Coach: Patrick McDonough (1st year)

Last year: 13-7, lost in quarterfinals

Returning starters: Madelyn Farrelly, sr., D; Emily Forward, jr., D; Lillian Vezina, jr., F; Maggie Connolly, jr., F; Sarah Morin, sr., F; Jaden Morin, sr., F

Top newcomers: Maria Armaganian, fr., D; Jaelyn Kelleher, fr., F

Outlook: The Crimson Tide returns a solid group of upperclassmen to lead this year’s squad under new head coach Patrick McDonough. The Morin sisters should provide the offensive spark for Concord while Emily Forward and Madelyn Farrelly will anchor the defense. Sophomore Abby Corbett will be in net for the Tide.

Teams to beat: Hanover, Exeter

Bishop Brady-Trinity-West

Division: I

Coach: Dan Earley (7th year)

Last year: 8-10, lost in quarterfinals

Returning starters: Sydney Herrington; Mary Anne Wiley; Lauren Trippiedi; McKenzie Asprey; Haley Hildreth; Riley Hollenberg; Malena Miller; Emma Nyangwara

Top newcomers: Marie Barrioz; Bella Payne; Raelyn Roberts; Emily Senior; Kate Shoemaker; Anabelle Watson; Fabian Paolini

Outlook: Brady-Trinity-West returned to the playoffs last season after missing in 2015, and coach Dan Earley hopes to lead his team back to the postseason again. “We should be competitive,” he said. Brady will be led seniors Sydney Herrington and Mary Anne Wiley who can both swing between forward and defense.

Team to beat: Hanover