Maybe the most important story in Division 3 hockey for the 2018-19 season befell not on the ice, however in a conference room in Franklin.
When Shrewsbury, winner of the final two Div. 3 state titles, was permitted in September to make the transfer to Div. 1 as an unbiased, the door turned rather more open for the remainder of the contenders within the state. Hanover, the newest Japanese Mass. staff to win all of it in 2016, might be an enormous winner after dropping a 2-1 heartbreaker to Shrewsbury in last March’s state ultimate.
Whereas the Indians misplaced loads of talent amongst 15 graduates from last yr’s squad, Kevin Chandler is back in internet for his senior season and Lucas Lanagan is a prime returning forward.
“I feel will probably be a sluggish start, but as the season progresses and (if) we stay healthy we will probably be OK,” Hanover coach Jonny Abban stated.
Hopkinton has been knocking on the door the previous few seasons. The defending Tri-Valley champion also suffered some graduating losses but will look to senior captain Stephen Simoes. One intriguing workforce is Ashland, which will probably be experienced on protection with TVL Small MVP Jackson Hornung among several returneers. Dover-Sherborn now will co-op with Weston, and the influx of numbers will assist the Raiders. Holliston hopes to comply with up on its breakthrough season of a yr in the past.
Rockland is another workforce that was close, falling in the South last each of the final two years. The Bulldogs are in a little bit of a rebuild, but veteran coach Mike Flaherty stated an eighth-grade waiver this season will assist with numbers.
“The first half may be a wrestle for us but I feel as soon as these young youngsters find their method we shall be a much stronger group in the second half,” Flaherty stated.
Norwell, Abington and Middleboro/Hull will be the largest challengers to take over on the prime of the South Shore League.
The Japanese Athletic Convention is down to 3 groups, however the two Div. 3 packages – Bishop Stang and Coyle & Cassidy – both look robust. Stang is young however has good depth led by captain Caleb Ikkela, while Coyle & Cassidy returns 12 players, together with strong goalie Brett Borges and leading scorers Drew Arpin and Ben Tufts.
Martha’s Winery has left the EAC for the new Cape & Islands League, which coach Matt Mincone hopes is the ticket for a return to event play. The Vineyarders will battle with Nantucket, Mashpee/Monomoy (with standout goalie Jack Daigneault) and Cape Cod Tech/CCA within the new league.
If Foxboro and Attleboro can battle by way of the robust Hockomock League, they could possibly be huge players within the postseason. Foxboro has a wealth of excessive-end talent, led by defenseman Brendan Tully. Likewise for Dartmouth out of the three-group Previous Colony League, as coach Mike Cappello has depth and expertise at every position led by Charlie Gamache in aim, Will Cote and Murphy LePage on defense, as well as Payton Allen and Angelo Nicolosi up front.
Bourne and Larger New Bedford are the remaining Div. three groups in the South Coast and both should have huge seasons. Frank Carpenito takes over as Bourne head coach, though Tom Welch remains with the staff as he recovers from a stroke final winter. The Canalmen ought to be loaded, dropping only three players whereas forwards Joe Hess, Max Hess, Chase Lapworth and Christian Mulkern all return. Prime scorer Jacob Lopes and goalie Austin Shorrock give GNB good stability.
Many coaches consider Higher Cape is the group to observe within the Mayflower, whereas Sacred Heart also must be robust.
Within the North, Lowell has seen each side of the coin the final two years. The Purple Raiders have been the Cinderella workforce in profitable the sectional title in 2017, then everyone’s favorite and the No. 1 seed last March before being upset by Swampscott in the quarterfinals.
However the Raiders ought to be the favorite again as two-time All-Scholastic Thomas Hassett is back and part of a deep ahead forged with Benjamin Asselin, Matt Asselin and Brendan DeMarco. Patrick Cote additionally returns in objective.
“We plan on working exhausting, being physically and mentally robust and never making any excuses,” Lowell coach Brian Akashian stated. “We need to enhance our staff chemistry if we need to compete for a league title and have success in the postseason.”
Cambridge is the two-time defending champion within the Twin County/Merrimack Valley, however may have a younger squad this season. Wayland is a staff that by no means could be counted out after reaching the North ultimate last season, and the Warriors must be robust defensively with Jack Crowley on the blue line and Ryan Nolan in internet.
Newton South’s Johnny Baker and Bedford’s James Demeo are two of the highest scoring threats within the league and will hold their groups within the race. Standout defenseman Kyle McManus is again to steer Dracut/Tyngsboro.
Swampscott is the group that turned the tables on Lowell last season on its method to the North title, and the Massive Blue ought to be a favourite in the North again in addition to the Northeastern Conference’s South Division. The top line of Zach Elwell, Conor Donovan and Drew Olivieri will cleared the path along with Casey Williamson.
“It is going to be challenging season as we’re young and lack depth each on offense and defense,” Swampscott coach Geno Faia stated.
Lynn has one of the crucial explosive scorers around in Brian Clougherty together with John DiFilippo.
St. Joseph Prep could have a little bit of a unique look this season, happening a solo voyage after former co-op associate Marian closed in June. Nonetheless, the Phoenix must be OK with dynamic scorer Andrew Stefura to cleared the path.
“This workforce has made back-to-back event appearances and is able to make a real push for the subsequent degree,” SJP coach Rob Dwyer stated.
St. John Paul II has a new coach in Chris Kent, and the Lions will try to cope with St. Joseph Prep in the Catholic Central, which is right down to four groups with St. Bernard’s now part of a co-op with Div. 1 unbiased St. Peter-Marian. Cardinal Spellman is also on the lookout for a bounce-again season, led by Matt Cahill, Thomas McSweeney and defenseman Christian Goodwin.
Latin Academy ought to continue to be the top workforce within the Boston City League with 13 gamers again for the Dragons. Only four are seniors – forwards Joe Loewen and Tyler Prendergast, defenseman Kevin Bruen and goalie Andrew Sahatjian.
Northeast and Shawsheen remain among the many favorites in the Commonwealth. Independents Watertown and Hamilton-Wenham continue to construct of their third seasons again on the ice.