Founders League Hockey Preview 2015-16

Avon Old Farms

2014-2015: 14-12

Over the past few years the Avon team has been a mystery, full of talent, but unable to make a run to the elite 8 since 2012 where they lost in the first round to Nobles.

This season the Beavers will welcome lots of new talent to help an impressive returning core. Overall Avon carries seven Division I Commits and will return 5 of its 6 top scorers from last season. Senior captain and Boston University signee Patrick Harper, who was one of prep hockey’s scoring leaders last season as a sophomore with 47 points, will look to lead the Avon offense that struggled at times last season. Joining Harper is senior and Northeastern commit, Jamie Armstrong. Armstrong is a good skating, big body that moves the puck well and produced 40 points just a year ago. With the loss of Chase Zieky (Salmon Arm/Providence) Harper and Armstrong will look to find a new line mate, possibly Jake Witkowski. Witkowski is a postgrad that played for Massachusetts High School powerhouse Malden Catholic and accumulated 3 state championships over his years there. Senior Captains Tyler Carangelo (26 points) and Daniel Winslow (Qunnipiac, 20 points) will also play a big role in the Avon offense. Newcomer Matt Allen (Providence), a junior transfer from the South Kent program will look to earn big minutes up front.

11582

Coming into this season Avon’s biggest strength looks to be its defense. Returning seniors Jake Gresh (QMJHL Draftee) and Brendan Killoy look to hold down the back end. Avon’s youth on defense could play a factor in bigger games, but it will still be very strong. Sophomore Ben Mirageas (Providence) is a smooth skating defenseman who moves the puck well and will certainly be called upon to shut down opponent’s top lines. Junior Ryan Ashe looks to build upon a strong season last year where he tallied 10 points. New senior Adam Karashik (Uconn) looks to be a solid paring with Mirageas; he’s an excellent skater and not afraid to jump up on offense.

New senior Matt Ladd looks like he will get the nod. Last season, Avon had some troubles in net, but Ladd is a big goalie that moves well post to post and takes up a lot of net. Returning junior Brandon Schellin will also look to earn playing time this winter.

Choate

2014-2015: 18-7-2

Choate looks to build off a very strong season in which they were one of the first teams left out of the Elite 8. Last season the Boars fell to the eventual champions, Brooks, in the Large School Tournament semi-finals.

Follow the Boars on Twitter!

This season Choate will look at it 5 returning defensemen to help lead to success. Senior Brendan Less (Dartmouth) recorded 7 points in his first season of prep hockey but was crucial in the Boars backend that took them so far. The defense will also call upon senior Nick Gambardella who missed most of the season last year with injury. Like last season, junior Billy Overby will log big minutes for the Boars as he provides great youth and speed to their defensive core.

BV-Hockey2_full

The Boars offense was essential in their success last year, averaging just under 4 goals a game. Senior and returning leader in points, Henry Marshall (Colgate) hopes to build upon his strong outing last season. Jack Hoey looks to be another strong player for the Boars; he recorded 15 points last season as just a sophomore. Choate will also welcome postgrad forwards Lloyd Hill and Chris Brunner. Last season, Brunner play for the New Jersey Hitmen of the USPHL and recorded 28 points in 38 games.

With the loss of Sam Tucker (Yale), Kurt Moss may be the new guy in net for the Boars. Last season, Moss played for the Boston Junior Bruins U18 USHPL program where he boasted the best save percentage in the league at .944

Deerfield

 2014-2015: 4-19-3

The Big Green struggled at times last season with a young and inexperienced group. This year though they will bring back 15 players in attempt to turn it around. One of Deerfield’s biggest problems last year was goal scoring, the team managed an average of just 2.3 goals a game. The offense this winter looks promising, as they will return 4 of their top 5 scores. Look for junior Thomas Dale (19 points), senior Mathieu Vigneault (13 points), and senior Andrew Hadley (11 points) to lead the charge.

The backend for Deerfield looks to be an up and coming group. Sophomore Tommy Craft (3 points) who played in all 26 games last season as a freshman should compliment experienced senior Courtney Morgan (8 points), and junior Justin Marler (7 points) nicely. In net the Big Green will look for junior Sam Vigneault to come up big, he played in just under 400 minutes last season and accumulated a .878 save percentage.

Hotchkiss

 2014-2015: 12-11

The Bearcats look to build off a solid 2014-2015 campaign where they found themselves just above .500 for the first time since 2009. This success was credited towards their strong offense that scored just under 4 goals a game.

This season, the Bearcat offense will be lead by senior Will Somers who had 20 points just a year ago. Graduation was hard on Hotchkiss this past year as they will only be returning 7 players from last year’s squad, including top point-getter Roberto Cellini, who clocked 1.20 points per game for the Bearcats last season.

But most notably they will be returning defensemen Marshall Rifai (Harvard). Rifai had 10 points last season and was a staple on the Bearcats top line. Hotchkiss will also welcome Canadian forward Christian Theodore. Theodore played for the prominent Canadian program Academie St. Louis last season where he tallied 51 points in 42 games.

Kent

 2014-2015: 11-12-2

Coming right off an Elite 8 appearance in 2013-2014, Kent did not come back quite as strong.

This season, Kent returns with a talented and experienced back end. Their defense will be lead by one of the top d-men in prep hockey, Greg Krisberg. Last season, Krisberg lead Kent’s defensemen in scoring with 27 points. If Krisberg is able to tally 15 or more assists this season, he will surpass current Michigan player Boo Nieves for Kent’s all time assist record. Along with Krisberg on the backend, senior Kyle Delmaestro looks to build off of his solid campaign last year that saw him record 9 points in 20 games.

screen-shot-2014-01-09-at-6-15-47-pm

In net, Kent will have two choices, senior Jackson Norris will carry most of the load, he finished last season with a 2.91 goals against average. The other option is Peter Negron who saw substantial time last season as a sophomore; he finished with a .904 save percentage.

The Lions offense will be lead by senior Teddy Simson and Satchel Clendenin who combined for 38 points last season. With losing 7 players from last years squad, the biggest being Max Kaufman (Vermont, 34 points) Kent is going to have some newcomers. Among those new comers include junior Jack Bloem, a member of the U16 CP Dynamo last season recorded 36 points in just 20 games. The Lions also bring in Augie Burkhardt, a 6th round draft pick of the USHL Madison Capitals, and Canadian Andrew Rinaldi, both juniors.

Loomis Chaffee

2014-2015: 21-5

Coming off their Large School Championship in 2014, the Pelicans expected to make a little more noise the following year. Loomis was successful once again and made it to the Elite 8 last season but fell to eventual champions Salisbury in the first round. Graduation and player movement has caused the Pelicans a lot of trouble this offseason, and they will be returning just 10 players. The losses of Jacob Bryson (USHL/Providence), Alex (Graduation/Vermont) and Eric (USHL/UNH) Esposito, and Ben Sharf (Colgate) will be tough roles to fill.

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 3.54.51 PM

Although, it seems that the Pelicans have reloaded and are bringing some talent back. Returning junior Justin Grillo will take charge as the top offensive man this year after scoring 30 points last season. Senior defensemen Andy Delalla will encounter big minutes once again for the Pelicans. One of the biggest keys for the Pelicans this season will be there goaltending, as returning senior Tim Birarelli played over 1,000 minutes for a defense that gave up less than 2 goals a game last season seems to be ready for the task.

As for newcomers, Loomis has brought in sophomore and University of Vermont commit Joey Cippolone, who recorded 21 points last season in 19 games for the U16 Connecticut Wolfpack. Brian Groom will join the Pelicans on the back end, transferring from the 2015 Massachusetts high school champions Saint John’s Prep; he had 9 points in 24 games played. Joining Cippolone as a new forward is Trent Denuccio. Denuccio played for the U16 Washington Little Capitals last season and had a healthy 38 points in just 20 games. And up front, they will add Shayne Simpson, a transfer from Portsmouth Abbey. In two seasons at the Abbey, Simpson combined for 49 points in 37 games.

Salisbury

 2014-2015: 22-4-2

With a 4-peat in mind, Salisbury will come into this season reloaded and determined. If Salisbury wants to continue its reign, defense will be the key. Last year, the Knights only gave up 1.8 goals a game. Their defense will be lead by senior Dayne Finnson (11 points), junior Nathan Ellies (4 points), and newcomer Nick Hale. The Knights graduated netminder Baily MacBurnie and now turn to Nick Sorgio, who played in several games last season and ended with a 2.33 goals against average.

Salisbury-vs-Gunnery-Dmowski-Boughman

The Knights’ offense will be lead by returning Seniors Cole Poliziani (22 points), Jordan Kaplan (15 points), Tom Lee (15 points), and Luke Israel (15 points, USHL/OHL draftee). Even with the losses of top point goers Vimal Sukumaran (31 points, Providence), Kale Kane (24 points, Vermont), and early departure Mike O’Leary (26 points, Cornell) Salisbury will have lots of experience and should still be able to score goals.

The Knights will welcome a very talented group of forwards lead by Canadian PG David Jankowski, who had 35 points in 18 games last season for Stanstead College. The Jankowski family has a rich hockey tradition. Most recently, his brother Mark won the NCAA National Championship with the Providence Friars.

2000 birthdate and Boston University commit Jack Deboer who tallied 62 points in 35 games last season for the New Jersey Colonials is a key addition. His family hockey tradition also runs deep, as his father is the coach of the San Jose Sharks. Another newcomer with NHL ties is Tyce Thompson. Thompson’s dad coached the Islanders for a number of years and his brother Tage currently plays at the University of Connecticut. Tyce ended last season with 38 points in 30 games for the U16 Connecticut Oilers. Canadian Nick Prestia will also join the Knights on forward and is a USHL and OHL draftee.

There is no doubt that Salisbury will be a deep talented team and could make another run for the title.

Taft

 2014-2015: 10-15

Though losing 13 players from last season, the Rhinos are confident in what they can do this year. Their offense will be lead by junior Matteo Mangiardi (19 points) and senior Sam Nestor (24 points). Both will lead the Rhinos with speed and strong puck movement. On the backend, Taft will rely on experienced senior Drew Hickey (12 points) and goaltender Andrew Farrier (.916 save percentage).

Taft will welcome two 2000 birthdates in the bodies of Shea Courtmanche and Jordan Tonelli. Both took part in the Select 15 National Camp last summer. Joining them will be PG Will Dittrich, junior defensemen Brandon Kim, and Kingswood Oxford transfer Chris Adamsons who had 15 points last season for the Wyverns. 

Trinity Pawling

 2014-2015: 8-16-2

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 10.08.36 AM

While the Pride will be returning 14 players, they will also be welcoming new coach Robert Ferraris. Defense was an issue last season for the Pride as they surrendered over 3.5 goals per game. Returners Casey and Ryan Winn will ply a large part in reducing this number as well as junior Chris Taylor who finished last season with 10 points.

Upfront, TP will count on seniors John Litscher (27 points) and Tyler Gwyn (19 points) both were in the top 5 scorers for the Pride last season. Joining the offense will be PG Ryan Deering who spent his last few years at Fairfield Prep. Freshman Joey Musa had a great campaign at the Select 15 National Camp this summer, recording 9 points in 5 games. In net, look for junior Justin Lampert (.890 save percentage) to take the lead.

Westminster

 2014-2015: 15-11-2

FTAXEXFLOEXXZOM.20140528210733

Last season, Westminster fell to St. Mark”s in the Small School Championship game. This year, they bring back a solid group of returners and a mix of new talent. The Martlets should have no problem on the offensive as they return three of their top five scorers from last season. St. Lawrence commit Taggart Corriveau (41 points) looks poised for another big season along with Boston University commit Johnny McDermott (28 points). They will also look to get solid contribution from senior Connor Lloyd (22 points), and junior Jack Flanagan.

With the loss of Quinnipiac commit Joe O’ Connor (21 points) and Holy Cross commit Will Brophy (14 points), Westminster will look for senior Kevin O’Leary (11 points) and sophomore Patrick Dawson (6 points, USHL/QMJHL Draftee) to shore up the backend. The Martlets will also return two senior goalies, Nick Sanford (.899 save percentage) and Stephen Gasior (.891 save percentage).

Teams to watch: Albany Academy, Belmont Hill, Brooks, Brunswick