The Westford Academy boys hockey veterans with coach Bob Carpenter (left): Cam MacDonald, Jay Drapeau and Ryan Hesseltine at Skate 3.	SUN/BOB WHITAKERSun
The Westford Academy boys hockey veterans with coach Bob Carpenter (left): Cam MacDonald, Jay Drapeau and Ryan Hesseltine at Skate 3. SUN/BOB WHITAKER

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ACTON-BOXBORO

League: MVC/DCL Division 1

Last Season: 5-12-3

Returing Starters: Shamus Fenton, jr., f; Ben Barton, sr., f; Hunter Arnold, sr., f; Brian Riley, sr., g; Christian Boisvert, sr., f; Cam Giles, sr., d; Bobby Meinhold, sr., d; Julian Stewart, jr., f; Matt McCrobie, jr., f; Kyle Ng, jr., d

Coach Bob Lavin (6th season): "We have a good nucleus back. Last year was kind of a down year. We had a lot of kids graduate from the previous year when we did well (12-9-2). So it was kind of a transition. This group of kids is working hard. Last year's team worked hard also, but this year we have a lot more experience."

ALVIRNE

League: N.H. Division 2

Last Season: 4-13-1

Returning Starters: Trevor Perron, sr., c; Christian Gamst, sr., f; Mike Silva, sr., d; Cam Blake, jr., c; Brett Pitre, jr., f; Devin Herling, jr., d; Patrick Devito, jr., d; Ryan Gamst, jr., d; Curtis Ramchall, so., g; Cam Richall, so. c

Promising Newcomers: Andrew O'Connor, so., f; Devin Ferguson, fr., d

Coach Brian Gould (5th season): "I think if everything goes right we can be in the middle of the pack. I don't think we'll be playing for the championship or anything like that. But we have two decent lines that can compete with most teams. Our problem is numbers. But the kids have really bonded together as a team."

AUSTIN PREP

League: Catholic Central 1

Last Season: 16-2-6, lost to Malden Catholic, 3-2, in Division 1A championship game

Returning Starters: Elijah Harris, jr., g; Andrew Cross, sr., d; Jay Layton, so., d; Brendan Leach, sr., d; Matt Morgan, jr., d; Kevin Kiley, jr., d; Dan O'Toole, jr., lw; Cam Russo, jr., c (Billerica); Eric MacAdams, so., rw; Jake McKenelley, so; lw; Robert Carpenter, jr., c; Ryan McDonough, jr., rw; Scott Duarte, jr., c

Promising Newcomers: Mike Disciullo, jr., d (transfer from Danvers)

Coach Lou Finocchiaro (12th season): "We lost just two forwards and one defenseman (though one of those forwards was Nolan Vesey, who is committed to UMaine). Not only do I think we will be a pretty good team, but this is a great group of kids. Our first priority always is to win our league (won last year by Archbishop Williams), then qualify for tournament, then try to get selected for the Super 8. We have a lot of returning players, so those are the expectations."

AYER-SHIRLEY

League: CMass., Coughlin Conference

Last Season: 11-7-3, lost to Nashoba Regional, 4-1, in Division 3A Central quarterfinal

Returning Starters: Dan Baldino, jr., c; Tom Wagner, sr., lw; Jeff Kerr, sr., f; Mike LaManna, sr., d.; Josh DeFazio, sr., d; Alec McNamara, sr., g; Kevin Cowdry, sr., f; Ryan Young, jr., f;

Promising Newcomers: Jim Driscoll, Phil Drasser, Ryan Martone, so., f

Coach Eric Short: "We definitely have a veteran group. We're going to be much younger next year, so if we're going to do anything, this is the year. Our top two goal-scorers are back, our defensive core is back, including our all-star goalie (Alec McNamara), so we look strong offensively and defensively."

Note: Co-op team with Lunenburg High School.

BILLERICA

League: MVC/DCL Division 1

Last Season: 5-15-2

Returning Starters: Callahan Johnson, so., c; Josh DeChristoforo, sr., rw; Kevin Faria, sr., rw; Eddie Stokes, sr., c; Nick Fantasia, sr., lw; Cam Climo, so., rw; Guy Petrillo, sr., c; Ryan Kelleher, jr., lw; Joe Kelleher, jr., d; Zach Hughes, sr., d; Nick Didonna, jr., d; Tim Baxter, jr., g; Carl Piacenza, jr., g

Promising Newcomers: Jack Waldman, fr., lw; Michael Zarro, so., d

Coach Mike Mastrullo (5th season): "We had a very good scrimmage against Reading, which raised everybody's expectations. We actually played very well. Goaltending was solid. We made some mistakes, but we scored some goals, worked hard, and were competitive and gritty. Same thing when we played Natick (in a jamboree). Then we missed a day, and then had a bad practice. It's the ebb and flow of Billerica hockey. So it will be interesting. A fair amount of consistency would go a long way. If we keep everyone healthy, we'll be better than last year. We'll compete."

BISHOP GUERTIN

League: N.H. Division 1

Last Season: 9-10-1, lost to Manchester Memorial, 4-2, in Division 1 quarterfinal

Returnng Starters: Connor Donahue, sr., d (Groton); Nick Apostolakes, jr., d (Groton); Keith Murphy, sr., d (Pepperell); Evan Dalaker, sr., f; Max McCabe, jr., f; Griffin Scanlon, sr., g (Groton); Aiden Farhat, so., g

Promising Newcomers: John Krapian, jr., f (Lowell); Tim Trudel, jr., f (Pelham); Ryan Montbleau, jr., f (Pelham); Cameron Hult, so., d; Jason Lutcza, jr., f (Pepperell); Joe Goudey, so., d (Dracut)

Coach Gary Bishop (23rd season): "We're hoping make a little bit of noise by the end of the year. We have three defensemen and two goalies back. We only have two forwards back, so at the beginning of the year we might struggle with scoring. We have some younger kids who will be good. St. Thomas is the team everyone is picking (in N.H. Division 1). Manchester Memorial won last year, but lost some good players."

BURLINGTON

League: Middlesex, Freedom Division

Last Season: 14-6-5, won second consecutive Division 1 state title

Returning Starters: Adam Crowley, sr., d; Mike Bibbey, jr., d; Jake DeSantis, sr., d; Josh Boulos, so., d; Shane O'Halloran, so., d; Joe Scali, sr., f; Shawn Bowler, sr., f; Kyle Kurtz, sr., f; Tommy Hanafin, so., f; Nick Carlino, jr., f; Mike Guleserian, sr., g; Andrew Berardi, sr., g

Promising Newcomers: Nick Howard, so., g; Danny Piotti, jr., d; Dylan Smith, sr., f; Billy Poirier, sr., f; Ryan Sheldon, jr., f; Adam Morgan, jr., f; Rob McLean, so., f; Rob Ryan, so., f; Anthony Nikolopoulos

Coach Bob Conceison (27th season): "We have five solid defensemen, four that played a lot last year. That will be the strength of the team. (Senior goalie Mike) Gulserian was the backup to (Derek DeCastro) the last two years. He can do the job, he just doesn't have the varsity experience. Our offense will be a work in progress. We're hoping our strong defense will get us through the beginning of the year and allow our offense to develop."

CHELMSFORD

League: MVC/DCL Division 1

Last Season: 14-4-4, lost to Melrose, 3-1, in Division 1 North quarterfinal

Returning Starters: Danny Ferri, sr., rw; Mike DeDonato, sr., rw; Connor McCarthy, sr., d; Jesse Lye, sr., c; Jack Olson, sr., lw; Derek Adamson, so., rw; Charlie McKelvey, so., d; Pat Coulliard, jr., d; Matt Calnan, sr., d; Nick Kender, jr., d; Jason Arnaud, jr., rw.

Promising Newcomers: Chris Robinson, sr., g; Joe Whitman, sr., d; Thomas Stolki, sr., lw; Mario Serra, so., rw; Nick St. Jean, so., c; Andrew Robinson, so., c; Tommy Connelly, so., lw; Martin Conley, so., d; Jake Green, fr., lw; Wes Phillips, fr., c-lw; Tim Huggins, jr., g; Blake Alber, so., g

Coach Mike McGrath (6th season): "We graduated 11 kids, so we have a lot of new faces and we are pretty young. We expect to be a competitive team in our league, but it will take some time with the quick start this season. We play a difficult schedule, so each game is important, and we never look past anyone in our league. Central Catholic again will be strong."

DRACUT

League: MVC/DCL Division 3

Last Season: 4-13-3

Returning Starters: Jack Brown, jr., f; Nick Hayward, jr., d; Dan Girouard, sr., f; Alex Girouard, sr., d; Brian Smith, so., f; Reed Bourgeois, so., f; Kyle Maxim, so., f; Steve Maxim, jr., f; Justin Lange, sr., f; John Raikos, sr., f; Ricky Beckwith, jr., f; Mat McKinnon, sr., d; Payne Bourgeois, sr., d; Brandon Bishop, jr., d; Pat Carney, so., g.

Promising Newcomer: Tyler Roberge, fr., f

Coach Mike Marshall (13th season): "We should be pretty good. I think a lot of other teams lost some kids. We've just struggled for two years and have some kids back. It's pretty cyclical. I expect us to get back in the tournament. These seniors were freshmen the last time we made the tournament and lost to Marblehead in the North semifinals. These kids have matured. They are ready to roll. Wayland is going to be good (in MVC/DCL Div. 3). Lowell is always there."

GROTON-DUNSTABLE

League: CMass., Roy Conference

Record: 16-2-4, lost to Wachusett, 3-2, in Division 3 Central final

Returning Starters: Justin Cole, sr., f; Connor McGuire, sr., d; Josh Rabbit, sr., f; Jason Robes, sr., g; Derek March, sr., f; Brad Garside, jr., f; Anthony Resca, sr., d.

Other Returning Lettermen: Michael Cole, so., f; Pat Keating, so., d; Mike McDonough, so., f; Eric Niemoller, so., f; Matt Ovendren, sr., d; JJ Tardiff, sr., f

Promising Newcomers: Ryan Dodge, so., f; Robert Hoare, so., f; John Langan, so., d; Chris Lattini, fr., f; Ben McEvoy, fr., g; Harry Perrault, so., f; Kam Strong, so. d

Coach Phil Rowley (2nd season): "We are fairly young, with eight new players. Shrewsbury and Wachusett are very strong teams. They will be the teams to beat (in Central Division 3). We hope to be competitive in the league and make the states. Then anything can happen."

LITTLETON/BROMFIELD

League: CMass., Russell Conference

Last Season: 1-17-2

Returning Starters: Cam Bush, sr., d; Ethan Fultz, jr., f; Nate Dutkewych, so., f; Joe DeVellis, jr., f; David Peterson, jr., f; Corey Tower, sr., f; Brendan Burke, sr., d; Greg Lizotte, sr., f; Ritchie Planchet, so., f; Matt Banker, so., f; Tom Angell, sr., g

Promising Newcomers: Griffin Shoemaker, fr., f; Kris Cecere, fr., f; Sean Kitain, fr., f; Fabi Weissenberger, jr., d

LOWELL

League: MVC/DCL Division 3

Last Season: 14-3-4, lost to Bedford, 2-1, in a shootout in Division 3 North quarterfinal

Returning Starters: Brent Sullivan, sr., c; Ryan Freker, jr., lw; Ryan McKennedy, sr., d; Ryan Ames, jr., d;

Other Returning Lettermen: Aiden Conlon, jr., d; Arman Garavanian, jr., rw; Kevin Ames, so., c; Molly Millett, sr., g

Promising Newcomers: Nick Cohan, sr., rw; Connor Barter, fr., lw; Casey Sheehy, fr., lw; Lil Patrylo, fr., f; Tyler Doucette, fr., d

Coach Bill Donahue (14th season): "If we stay healthy, we'll be competitive. We have probably the most gifted Division 3 forward in the state (Brent Sullivan). He has scored 90 points over three years on the first line. We also have three solid defensemen. (Left wing) Ryan Freker and (right wing) Arman Garavanian (were) outstanding in preseason. In the league, Wayland will be the team to beat."

LOWELL CATHOLIC

League: Catholic Central Small

Last Season: 12-7-4

Returning Starters: Mike Guay, jr., f; Aaron Crandall, sr., f; Jesse Caisse, jr., f; Rick Cincotta, sr., f; Will O'Neil, sr., f; Jake Barnacle, sr., f; Thomas Willegal, jr., f; Dylan Poirier, so., f; Nick Cervizzi, sr., f; Brent McCarthy, sr., d; Griffin Rega, sr., d; Anthony Bazzinotti, sr., d; Shane Sylvia, jr., d; TJ Lynch, so., d; Andrew Fisher, so., d; Chris Carter, so., f; Corey Vaillancourt, jr., g

Promising Newcomers: Matt Restuccia, jr., g; Stephen D'Urso, fr., g; Stephen Tyner, so., f; Trevor Hult, fr., f; Chad Hult, fr., f; Cam Perierra, fr., d

Coach Tom Curran (6th season): "We're looking to win the league for the third consecutive time and advance deeper into the state tournament. This is the deepest team we've had (in the six years of the Lowell Catholic program). It's really our biggest senior class. We have a lot of depth and a lot of experience for the first time."

NASHOBA TECH

League: Commonwealth Athletic Conference

Last Season: 5-13-2

Returning Players: Jordan Gingras, sr., f; David Boyle, sr., d; Nathan Baldinelli, sr., d; Corey Greeley, sr., d; Carl Marzolini, sr.,g; Connor Johnson, sr., f; Brian Boyle, jr., d; Zach Casper, jr., d; Brett Roberts, so., f; Brendan Conley, so., f; Anthony Lopez, so., f; Tim Bernard, so., f; Brandon Williams, so., f

Promising Newcomers: Patrick White, fr., f; Patrick Hart, fr., f.; Robert Currie, fr., f; Josh Roberge, fr., d; Mark Higgins, so., g

Coach Kevin McGuire (4th season): "We have a young team with speed and grit. I'm optimistic about the season."

NORTH MIDDLESEX

League: CMass., Coughlin Conference

Last Season: 8-9-4, lost to Grafton in a Division 3A quarterfinal

Returning Starters: Ryan Twomey, sr., g; Daigan Robichaud, sr., d; Danny McNamara, sr., f; Miles Massidda, sr., d; Brandon Donohoe, sr., g; P.J. Dupre, sr., d; Dylan Conner, sr., f; Michael Carson, sr., d

Coach Mike McCarthy (2nd season): "I think we'll be very difficult for other teams to play against. We're a hard-working group. We have good depth and great leadership. Our (weakness) last year is we didn't put the puck home a lot. I don't think that is going to change a lot. I think we'll win games, 2-1, and lose games, 2-1. But if we show up to play, we can play with anybody."

PELHAM/WINDHAM

League: N.H. Division 2

Last Season: 9-7-1, lost in first round of state tournament

Returning Starters: Porter Careli, sr., c; Dustin Lubinger, sr., f; Connor Tierney, sr., d; Nick Laurin, sr., d; Mike Donovan, sr., g

Other Returning Lettermen: Patrick Higgins, jr., f; John Monahan, jr., f; Bryce Blanchard, so., f; Chad Desautels, so., c; Domenic Bruzzese, so., f; Teddy Piandes, so., d; Jack Crowley, so., d; Vinny Forgione, so., d; Mike Tardif, so., d.

Promising Newcomers: Justin Miedico, sr., f (transfer from Central Catholic), Bobby Haverty, fr., d; Brendan Parent, fr., c; Tim Anderson, fr., f; Jill Moffat, jr., g

Coach Jerry Manchester (1st season): "We expect to remain a competitive team in Division 2 this season, with the goal being to pick up a few more wins and make a deeper run into the playoffs. (Manchester was a Pelham-Windham assistant coach last season). Like all teams, our ultimate goal is to compete for a state championship. We graduated several talented and physical players, so we need our returning lettermen like Careli, Lubinger, Blanchard and Desauel to produce for us offensively again this year. We're excited to see how Justin Miedico adjusts to his new team and our league. He's a speedy forward with good offensive skills and I couldn't be happier with his work ethic and attitude."

SHAWSHEEN TECH

League: Commonwealth Athletic Conference

Last Season: 14-7-1, lost to Bedford, 3-1, in Division 3 North semifinal

Returning Starters: Phil Mills, sr., f; Brandon Gentile, sr., f; Kevin Corcoran, sr., f; Alex Mosca, sr., d; Nick Romano, sr., d; Jimmy Gautreau, sr., d; Ryan Collins, jr., f; Hunter Sawicki, jr., f; Robbie Greenburg, jr., f. Tom Avtgis, jr., d; Bobby Allen, jr., ,d; Nick Deming, jr., g.

Promising Newcomers: Bryant Bonaiuto, sr., f; Scott Browne, sr., d; Paul Rice, sr., d; Tyler Aberle, jr., f; Dan Huckins, jr., f; Ryan Barnard, jr., g; Matt Paolicelli, so., f; John Stokes, so., f; Jack Stone, so., g; Cory Goggin, so., g; Chris Mills, fr., d; John Murray, fr., f.

Coach Chuck Baker (8th season): "Last season we lost the league to Rockport. We set goals every season: Win the league, win the State Vocational championship and peak at the right time to compete at our highest level in the state tournament. For starters, we want to get the league back this season. The team has a great mix of talent. The kids are hungry. They work hard day in and day out. We have a lot of learning to do, but the kids are excited about that and are all geared up for the season to open."

TEWKSBURY

League: MVC/DCL Division 2

Last Season: 14-4-1, lost to Watertown, 3-2, in Division 2 North first round

Returning Starters: Ross Budryk, sr., d; Jeffrey Giasullo, sr., d; Brett Morris, so., d; Kyle Paquette, jr., g; Ryan Petti, jr., f; Jack Cash, sr., f; Colin Quinn, jr., f; Ryan Meade, jr., f; David Dempsey, jr., f; Dario Ripario, so. f

Promising Newcomers: Ryan Sheehan, fr., f; Pat Leonard, jr., f;

Derek Doherty (13th season): "We have a couple of good lines. I'm thinking we'll be a solid team, nothing outstanding. We'll have to work hard for everything we get. Haverhill has 12 seniors and is supposed to be pretty good (in MVC/DCL Div. 2), even though we beat them (last Saturday) night. But that's our league. You never really know."

WESTFORD ACADEMY

League: MVC/DCL Division 1

Last season: 3-15-3

Returning Starters: Cam MacDonald, sr., lw; Jay Drapeau, sr., c; Ryan Hesseltine, sr., rw; Anthony Gulliver, so., lw; Andrew Gounaris, jr., rw; Tim Curran, sr., c; Jack Conway, sr., c; Tyler Arsenault, sr., rw; Evan Beatty, sr., d; Peter Hargrave, sr., d; Jake Martin, sr., d; Brennan Doherty, jr., d; Wes Harrington, jr., rw; Thomas Egan, so., d; Kyle Martin, so., g; Cam Bomal, sr., g

Promising Newcomers: Brian Prato, sr., rw; Joe Schultz, jr., lw; Alex Flanagan, so., d; Peter Conway, jr., d; Matt Ricci, fr., d; Joey MacDonald, fr., g

Coach Bob Carpenter (17th season): "We're very optimistic. We think we have the potential to be a good team. We have a lot of returning guys. Out No. 1 line (seniors Cam MacDonald, Jay Drapeau and Ryan Hesseltine) is a good line. We feel good going into the season."

WILMINGTON

League: Middlesex, Freedom Division

Last Season: 21-3-2, won second consecutive Division 2 state title

Returning Starters: Drew Foley, sr., g; Austin O'Neal, sr., lw; Luke Foley, sr., rw; Jim Davey, sr., d; John Galasso, jr., f; Steve DeFuria, jr., rw; Bill Falter, so., rw; Cody McGowan, sr., lw; Joe Castellano, jr., rw; Mike Marcinkowski, jr., d; Brody Curtis, sr., g

Promising Newcomers: Justin Collins, fr., f; Chris Satori, jr., d; Sean Moon, jr., d; Steve Cannatta, so., f; Mike Capistran, jr., f

Coach Steve Scanlon (24th season): "Our strength is in the net (with Drew Foley). And we do have a good nucleus of kids who were on the state title teams. (Cody) McGowan and Luke Foley are four-year players. That should help. We've had pretty good JV teams. We're not as skilled as we have been. Graduation hurt us. We also lost (leading scorer Brendan) McDonough to club hockey. We're not the same kind of offensive team, but we are fast. We have some question marks on defense. But the rest of league is in the same boat. Everybody graduated a lot. We're going to be kind of a lunch-pail team team, like we used to be before we got all that skill."