2023 HS hockey guide

By TRIS WYKES

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 02-02-2023 12:01 PM

GIRLS

HANOVER

Coach: John Dodds (18)

Last year: 17-5-1

League: NHIAA Division I

Returnees: Seniors - Kali McDonnell (D), Mackenzie Liu (F). Juniors - Maeve Lee (F), Rory Seelig (F). Sophomores - J.J. Masland (G), Hannah Gardner (D), Eleanor Bradley (F), Faith Lindsay (D/F), Julia Lawe (F), Rachel Rockmore (F), Eleanor Edson (G).

Newcomers: Freshmen - Lucy Braga (D), Heidi Kauffman (F), Maggie Feng (F).

Analysis: Dodds said the team’s 14 players comprise the smallest roster he’s ever had, so remaining healthy and creating improvement will be vital for the defending state champions, who return only two seniors. Lee and Seelig may continue the program’s tradition of sending players on to college.

HARTFORD

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Coach: Kylie Young (3)

Last year: 19-4

League: Vermont Division II

Returnees: Seniors - Sydney Stillman (G), Madelyn Durkee (F), Sophie Trombley (F), Nedra Dwinell (F), Julie McDermid (D). Sophomores - Madison Barwood (F), Emma Bazin (F), Morgan Curtis (D), Freshmen - Nella Bowen (G), Aubree Vail (F), Zoe Zanleoni (F), Braelyn Park (D), Flynn Moreno (F).

Newcomers: Senior - Ada Acker (F). Eighth Grade - Grace Hayes (D)

Analysis: The Hurricanes fell to rival Woodstock in the state title game just two years after snapping a 27-game winless streak. Only three players were lost to graduation but they were all regulars. Still, Hartford looks like it could take that final step to its first state title. Keep an eye on Trombley, one of the Upper Valley’s best skaters in girls or boys hockey.

LEBANON-STEVENS-KEARSARGE

Coach: Mike Sheehan (4)

Last year: 9-9

League: NHIAA Division I

Returnees: Seniors - Greta Barber (D/F), Owen Robb (D), Claire Falcone (F); Juniors - Phoebe Ballard (D), Olivia Pollard (D), Lily Hoegler (F), Nitara Murray (F), Maria Ruas (F), Emily Stevens (F); Sophomores - Mackenzie Ray (F), Effie Makris (F).

Newcomers: Freshmen - Sara Forman (F), Mirabella Orlen (F), Abby Auch (F), Leela Umashankar (F), Laura Silveira (F), Maezie Angles (F/G), Kristen Garzia (G), Andy Lindquist (G).

Analysis: The Raiders, who lost in the playoffs’ first round last winter, return all four defenders, including Ballard, who posted a team-high 11 goals and 15 points. Barber had 10 assists and 14 points. Replacing graduated goaltender Paige Hoegler, a multi-season stalwart, will be a priority. “The new players have brought a ton of energy and enthusiasm to our group,” Sheehan said.

WOODSTOCK

Coach: Ian Coartes (10)

Last year: 21-1

League: Vermont Division II

Returnees: Seniors - Lily Gubbins (D), Isabel Konijnenberg (F); Juniors - Hannah Gubbins (D), Margaret Mello (F), Meridian Bremel (G), Gracelyn Laperle (F), Lila Beckwith; Sophomores - Kassidy Haley (F). Freshman — Fiona Piconi (D).

Newcomers: Senior - Audrey Emery (F). Sophomores - Elizabeth Tindall (D), Stella Capurso (F), Laura Audsley (F), Chelsea McDermott. Eight Grade - Alexis Audsley (D).

Analysis: The Wasps averaged 5.5 goals per game and fewer than one goal against last season en route to the state title. The loss of graduated players at center means Piconi and Mello will move into those slots. Konijnenberg may be the division’s best player and will draw every opponent’s defensive focus.

BOYS

HANOVER

Coach: Dick Dodds (41)

Last year: 12-5-1

League: NHIAA Division I

Returnees: Senior - Jack Gardner (D). Juniors - Wyatt Seelig (F), Jack Wilkinson (F), Mateo Trimble (F). Sophomores - Andrew Rudd (D), Henry Cotter (F), Gavin Miller (F).

Newcomers: Seniors - Julian Correa (F), Jackson Watts (F), Dillon Penders (D). Juniors - Nick Pais (F), Devon Pleger (F), Trevor Lichtenstein (F). Sophomores - Gavin Nartowicz (F), Will Hopkins (F/D), Tyler Gammell (F), Ryder Wilson (F). Freshmen - Jorgen Drent (G), Ryan Carroll (F), Ronan Przydzielski (F).

Analysis: The Bears reached the semifinals last winter while scoring 89 goals, but lost 75 of them to graduation and return only one senior. “Lack of experience can’t be a crutch,” said Dodds, noting that only five current Bears have varsity goals. “More than ever, we are going to rely on our defensemen to get involved in the attack. There’s work to do, but that’s what makes it exciting.”

HARTFORD

Coach: Todd Bebeau (25)

Last year: 22-1

League: Vermont Division II

Returnees: Seniors - Connor Tierney (D), Joseph Barwood (F), Ozzie DeFelice (F), James McReynolds (F), Blaine Gour (F), Sean Kelliher (G). Juniors: Matt Hayes (D), Lochlan Park (D), Ezra Mock (F), Nate Clark (F), Davey Bradley (G). Sophomores - Cavan Benjamin (D), Tighe Hrabchak (D), Nick Daniels (F), Logan Caffrey (F), Nolan Morlock (F), Frankie Cushing (G).

Newcomers: Sophomore - Nicholas Facto (G). Freshmen: Tyler Spaulding (F), Richard Rosenbeck (F).

Analysis: The Hurricanes must overcome memories of a three-goal collapse in last season’s title game, but seem to have the cast to make another run. Eighteen players return. “Teams will be geared up to play us, so we need to expect every opponent’s best effort,” Bebeau said. The powerhouse line of seniors McReynolds, Gour and DeFelice could all reach the 100-point mark in their careers. The program’s never had more than two skaters do so during one campaign.

LEBANON-STEVENS-MOUNT ROYAL

Coach: Jim Damren (6)

Last Year: 13-6-1

League:  NHIAA Division III

Returnees: Seniors - Andrew Dannehy (D), Easton Wykes (F), Ryan West (D). Juniors - Paddy Mooney (F), Tyler Christian (F), Gabe Ouellette (D), Maddox Casto (F). Sophomores: Nathan Dube (F), Keegan Dannehy (F).  

Newcomers: Freshmen - Logan Mason (G), Kaelen Clark (F), Solan O'Connor (F), Ryder Desharnais (D), James Stevens (F),  Zander Koff (F), Jack Hebert (G), Evan George (G).

Analysis: The Raiders fell to eventual state champion Berlin in last season’s semifinals but begin the current campaign minus 11 players from that night’s lineup. Six regulars graduated and the top two returnees, Will McGee and Jack Clary, departed for junior hockey. Three other players quit, including two from the first unit. “With a dearth of experienced upperclassmen, it will be very important to remain healthy,” said Damren, who’s relying on rookie George in net.

WOODSTOCK

Coach: Jon Chamberlin (9)

Last year: 11-9-2

League: Vermont Division 2

Returnees: Seniors - Graeme McKeon (F), Ethan Dean (D), Will Coates (D). Juniors- Griffin Piconi (F), Ethan Havill (F), Tanner Tarleton (F).  Sophomores - Reece Harriman (F), Reid Allegretti (F), Ben Runstein (F).

Newcomers: Sophomores - Kyle Costales (D), Brady Werbinski (F), Trevor Carl (F). Freshmen- Ian Coates (F), Bech Welch (D), Dominic Palazzo (G).

“We have a lot of inexperience but this group is hungry to get better,” said Chamberlain, who’s fielding the smallest roster of his tenure. “ If this team can continue growing daily, I think we will be a competitive team.”

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.

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