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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Part IV: Division 2 Team Preview Capsules

By: Luke Devoe

Suffield-Granby-Windsor Locks
2012-13 Record: 8-11-1
Tournament Result: 18 seed- lost in qualifying round to (15) Trinity Catholic 3-0

Suffield-Granby-WL sophomore Colin MacDougald skating against Fermi
The Wildcats of Suffield-Granby-Windsor Locks seemed like a likely candidate to slot down to D3 but they stayed put, maybe in large part due to the returning core that they will have this year.  This group will be lead in large part by CTHSHockey D2 Honorable Mention Honoree junior Jake King (21 G, 15 A).  He will be joined by senior Max Marson and sophomore Colin Macdougald.  The coop some offensive potency this year with the graduation of Drew Ash (CTHSHockey D2 Honorable Mention) and Casey Buchholz.  The two combined for 46 points last season.  In net the Wildcats will look to returning goalies senior Cam Clark and junior Shane Kertanis.  Both are certainly capable to dazzle on any given night.  Defensive seniors Marc Adams and Scott McWhirter will bolster a defensive unit that will have to be better than it was last year when the Wildcats allowed 4+ goales ten times.  They will be given some help with the addition of transfer Kevin Slyne, a physical defenseman from the Springfield Pics.  Also look for freshman Jake Bourdeau, a NE Jr. Falcons product, to contribute early and often.  With a young, ambitious coaching staff, the Wildcats have the pieces there and should be better than last season.  King could really break out on to the scene, if he hasn’t done that already.  I think, given the pieces, they made the right move hanging out at D2 for another year.
Trinity Catholic
2012-13 Record: 8-11-1
Tournament Result: 15 seed- defeated (18) Suffield-Granby-Windsor Locks 3-0 in Qualifying Round; lost to (2) East Catholic 5-2 in First Round

A pair of five game losing streaks last season were too much for Trinity Catholic to overcome even when they were able to run off wins against quality opponents like Greenwich, Fairfield Co-op and Watertown-Pomperaug.  This year the Crusaders come back looking to build on their tourney bid last season.  They will do so without the services of graduated captains Steven Lambrinakos, DJ Davis and Sean Dolan.  The losses, when you really look at it, shouldn’t hurt Trinity Catholic all that bad.  They return some senior leadership and a pair of talented youngsters who were both CTHSHockey D2 Honorable Mention last season.  Of course these two are junior forwards Griffin Northrop and Eryk Wielgos.  They are complemented on offense by captain Will Egan and assistant captain Carmine Derubeis.  On D, the Crusaders should be competent.  They bring back senior assistant captain Tyler Steinquist and junior assistant captain Colin Bernard.  One of the strongest areas on paper for the Crusaders will be in net where junior Kyle Odierno returns for his third season manning the pipes for TC.  Liam Shanahan and Quinn Thomson will be relied on early as freshmen newcomers.  Trinity Catholic has a better team than they did last year.  How much better? I’m not sure.  But they could make a run at anywhere from a 13-16 seed.
2012-13 Record: 5-15-0
Tournament Result: did not qualify

Trumbull is only one of two (Wilton) D2 teams to stay at the D2 level after not qualifying for the D2 state tourney during the 2012-13 season.  This may have something to do with their quality, entertaining D2 title run in 2011-12.  Regardless, Greg Maxey’s squad looks to make last season a distant memory.  They will do so with new faces between the pipes as seniors Matt Paolini and Matthew Carter have graduated and sophomore Cam Doomany has left.  The Eagles return all but four skaters from last year’s five win squad with the obvious exits being senior A.J. Dimasi (CTHSHockey D2 Honorable Mention) and senior Sean Gallagher.  The Eagles will rely on an experienced, defense oriented squad led by senior Alex Pierne, junior Sam Watson, senior Owen Polzello and junior Jake Crowe.  In net, after the overhaul that saw three goalies gone,  the Eagles will look to three new bodies to vie for playing time.  These include senior Grant Vagnone, junior Francis Fromageot, and Will Guttman.  Things are kind of all over the place for the Eagles but they are only a year removed from greatness.  We can’t forget this, but until they show they can show up every night, I have them toward the bottom of D2.
2012-13 Record: 14-5-1
Tournament Result: 4 seed- lost 3-2 to (13) Fairfield Warde-Ludlowe in First Round

WP celebrating a Jon Manzer goal last season against BBD.
Boy, that was a tough way to go out.  Watertown-Pomperaug puts together a fine regular season.  They started by running off six straight to open the year and when it was all said and done boasted proud wins over Notre Dame-Fairfield, New Milford (twice) Cheshire, Hand, Amity and an SWC championship over BBD.  They weren’t supposed to go out like they did.  The Indians were one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the state last year pairing brawn and talent in a way that softened opponents and led to many wins.  This year they will need to find some replacements for many of the pieces that made them successful.  12 seniors are gone off last year’s squad.  That’s 77% of the Indians scoring.  They’ve lost leading scorer Garret Young (27 points), Kyle Block (23 points), both CTHSHockey D2 Honorable Mention, add to them 25 point scorer and CTHSHockey D2 2nd Teamer Kevin Murphy, Phil Lequellec and Derek Bizier as well as senior goalie Trevor St. Onge (CTHSHockey D2 Honorable Mention).  What could the Indians possibly have coming back?  Well, in net it would appear that two goalies will return to battle it out to take ownership of the crease.  Junior Carl LaRosa will have the early edge after seeing extended time last year while St. Onge was out with injury.  Senior Christian Boutot is in the mix as well.  The Manzer brothers, senior Jon Manzer (19 G, 7 A) (CTHSHockey D2 Honorable Mention) and sophomore Brian Manzer will need to pick up the slack with all the exits.  Look for senior Seamus Conway and junior Ray Borsari to do their part on the back end.  With such a thin roster, WP will have to keep penalties down and play a gritty style they, luckily, are accustomed to playing.  It’s hard to vote against this crew, but man, do they have a daunting task in front of them.  Last year was probably their year but that missed opportunity may haunt them.
2012-13 Record: 5-15-0
Tournament Result: did not qualify

Wilton had a difficult go at it last season.  After a season opening win they dropped 13 straight games.  The Warriors won four of their final six but it wasn’t enough.  Only two D2 schools who failed to make the state tournament last season stayed at the D2 level entering this year.  Trumbull staying makes more sense than a Wilton team who struggled mightily last year to score goals (they only mustered 15 totals goals during the 13 game losing streak).  This year Wilton returns many bodies who’ve seen past action.  In terms of key losses, the Warriors will have to replace defenseman Henry Lee, goalie Nick Wells and forward Alex Pagliaro, all graduates.  The Warriors have a solid replacement in net in the form of senior Derek Prario and are anchored on D by seniors Joe Cullinan and Josh Worley as well as junior Jameson Hill.  If the Warriors are to compete for a state birth at the end of the season this defensive unit has to be impenetrable.  On the offensive end, they will be led by a dynamic junior class headed by the lengthy Ned Zawislak, imposing Christian Hansson, and the gritty pair of Kyle Jonas and David Craven.  Look for freshman Alec Beigen to make an immediate impact for the Warriors, a team that should be better than last year.  The only thing standing in their way, and this has been well documented, is the competition level of D2 this year.

Coming tomorrow... All-CTHSHockey Division 2 Team!

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