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1. Malden Catholic Lancers
Overview: Year to year, the retention of John McLean’s teams never ceases to amaze. The Lancers will be back in droves this season coming off its championship. Malden Catholic returns snipers Justin Collins, Sean Wrenn and Thomas Albert at forward, and two proven netminders in Kyle Casey and Brian Cannata.
Key Graduations: Nick Botticelli (Berkshire School), Corey Goldstein (Amherst - NCAA Div. III), Pat Harrington (Islanders Hockey Club), Matthew Ciulla (Salve Regina - NCAA Div. III)
2. St. John’s Prep Eagles
Overview: The 2016 Super 8 finalists were hit hard by graduations, but return a solid defensive corps that should frustrate offenses statewide. Junior sensations Paul Edson and Tim Usalis will patrol the SJP blue line, while senior Kyle Hentosh will be looked for major point production on the offensive front.
Key Graduations: Kyle Lynch (Phillips Andover),Danny Tighe (Middlebury - NCAA Div. III), Seth Murray (Tilton School), Kyle Martin (Phillips Andover).
3. Pope Francis Cardinals
Overview: The Cardinals saw many defections over the summer. But despite this, Pope Francis will once again be dangerous, with Cam Peritz coming off of a 45-point junior campaign, and sophomore Zac Roncarti returning between the pipes.
Key Graduations: Cole Foster (Roger Williams - ACHA).
4. Hingham Harbormen
Overview: After breaking back into the Super Eight in 2016, Tony Messina’s squad will be back with their strongest team in recent memory. Led by defensive stalwarts Marc O’Rourke, Stephen Jacobs, and Tom Kornack, and junior Frankie Higgins on offense, look for a deep postseason run from the Harbormen.
Key Graduations: Billy McNally (Canterbury School), Will Jones (Fairfield - ACHA), Matt Personeni (Mass. Maritime - ACHA).
5. Austin Prep Cougars
Overview: There’s no denying that AP junior Dylan Regan is one of the state’s elite goaltenders. Despite heavy losses on the defensive end, expect Regan to hold down the fort for the Cougars, with Lou Finocchiaro and Nick Cafarelli supplying the offense.
Key Graduations: Patrick Lundy (Northfield Mt. Hermon)
6. St. Mary’s Spartans
Overview: The time is now for the Spartans to return to the Super Eight. After falling in a heartbreaker to Franklin in last year’s Div. 1 championship, St. Mary’s is poised to crack the Super Eight field in 2016-17. Led by superstar Dante Maribito and budding sophomore Colin Reddy, SML could be quite the dangerous squad this winter.
Key Graduations: Conor Foley, Brady McLaughlin.
7. Arlington Spy Ponders
Overview: After cracking a Super Eight play-in berth and making it the Div. 1 North semis, don’t be surprised if the Ponders make a return to the Div. 1A field in 2017. A strong senior corps of forwards Kevin Ouellette, Peter Scheschareg, John Pigott, and netminder Jack Pinard is a great place to start.
Key Graduations: Pat Curran, Colin Hanley.
8. BC High Eagles
Overview: At this point, we have learned never to doubt John Flaherty’s ability to put together a talent-laden team despite offseason departures. This year it was graduation that hit the Eagles hardest, but sophomore Thomas Kramer and seniors James Sexton and Michael Ball will provide offense for BC High. Look for Chase Congdon to split time with Duxbury transfer Luke Garrity in net.
Key Graduations: Kayser Raei (Walpole Express), Billy Roche (East Coast Wizards), Brandon Payzant (CU Boulder - ACHA).
9. Reading Rockets
Overview: Transfers hurt the Rockets this offseason, but Reading will be back and as competitive as ever in 2016-17. With Jay Gallagher, Kevin Tobin, and Michael Tobin on the attack and senior Nick Miele anchoring the blue line, prepare for a strong Rockets squad this winter.
Key Graduations: Pat Jordan (UMaine - Baseball), Liam O’Neill
10. Burlington Red Devils
Overview: Despite graduations aplenty, expect the Red Devils to be back in the Super Eight mix this season. A solid forward group of Drew Metzdorf, Ryan O’Connor, and Riley Gilberg, bolstered by strong defensemen in Frankie Bonnano and Patrick O’Halloran should have Burlington in a strong position in 2017.
Key Graduations: Rob McLean (Middlesex Bears), Anthony Nikolopoulos (Middlesex Bears), Josh Boulos (Islanders Hockey Club), Nick Howard (Hebron Academy).
11. Framingham Flyers
Overview: The Flyers made a solid case for the Super Eight in 2016, but were ultimately forced to settle for the Div. 1 South bracket. Behind new bench boss Will Ortiz, Framingham will look to the leadership of Scott Swennes and Ben Stefanini this winter. Its season-opening Dec. 12 matchup with Hingham will be a great measuring stick for both squads.
Key Graduations: Tyler Anes, Colton Chassie, Jamie Brigham.
12. Marshfield Rams
Overview: One of the top public programs in the D1 South, the Rams have been knocking on the door for some time now. There is plenty to like about this team, with Nick Young between the pipes, senior sensation Andrew Fithian, and rising talent Aidan Connolly.
Key Graduations: Isiah Jackson, Hunter McCauley, Grayson Owens (Regis – Soccer)
13. Central Catholic Raiders
Overview: Offseason losses will be tough to overcome for the Raiders, but they return a solid contingent of talent. Having Shawinigan Cataractes draft pick Matthew Pasquale between the pipes is a great starting point for Central.
Key Graduations: Chad Thompson (Quinnipiac – ACHA), Larry Galasso (Valley Jr. Warriors), Andrew Nadeau.
14. Arlington Catholic Cougars
Overview: AC made a strong run in the Div. 1 North field last season, ultimately falling to St. Mary’s in the sectional final. Jack Bertolami and Mason Beecher will provide offense for the Cougars, while veteran Matt Anderson looks for a big senior year in net.
Key Graduations: Matt Solviletti (Wake Forest – ACHA), Kevin Morrissey (Holy Cross – ACHA)
15. Xaverian Hawks
Overview: The Hawks move into a new building, the Canton Ice House, and hope that elite goal prevention can lead them back to the Super Eight for the first time since 2015. Goalie Cam Dutra and defensemen Jack Tufts and Henry Bruckner are poised for big things.
Key Graduations: Matt McGlynn (New Hampton), Justin LaPorte (Providence - ACHA), Cam Piorkowski (Northeast Generals)
16. Braintree Wamps
Overview: Per usual, the Wamps will be one of the South’s best. Lots to like on this team led by junior forward Shawn Leslie and senior blue-liner Liam Sage.
Key Graduations: Kyle Marshall, David McDonough (Franklin Pierce – NCAA Div. II)
17. Walpole Rebels
Overview: What a season it was for the oft-overlooked Rebels last year, finishing 14-6-4 and falling only 1-0 to the eventual-Div. 1 champs Franklin in the South quarterfinals. Senior James Corcoran and junior Teddy McElaney provide defensive stability for Ron Dowd’s club.
Key Graduations: Jim McKenna, Liam McCabe, Ryan Tierney.
18. Archbishop Williams Bishops
Overview: It has been a process since 2014, but the Bishops are finally back in the state’s elite. RJ Wetterberg and Pat Copeland will lead Archie’s offense in 2016-17.
Key Graduations: Pat Twombly (Walpole Express), Chandler Mancovsky (Boston Jr. Bruins), Cullen Lyne.
19. Woburn Tanners
Overview: Woburn returns the brothers Christian and Alex Brinkley and second year-starter Tom Ferullo in the crease. Look for the Tanners to compete in a tight Middlesex League race.
Key Graduations: Tyler Shaw (Westfield State – ACHA), Evan MacDonald, Tim Doherty (Westfield State – ACHA).
20. Natick Redhawks
Overview: Natick returns a strong corps of players, but must recover from losing some star-studded seniors and their goaltender. We like junior Dillon Arno on offense.
Key Graduations: Kurt Borgman (Quinnipiac – ACHA), Andrew Carr, Matt Murphy.
Natick, Walpole, Woburn. . . and no CM? They can't be that bad.
Apparently Mass Hockey isn't what it used to be with the majority of "Key Departures" are kids going to play travel intarmurals or nothing at all
BCH at #8 with Hingham, St. Mary's & Arlington ahead of them? Now do we really know what we're talking about here?
"Hingham... squad will be back with their strongest team in recent memory"
In recent memory, as in what last summer? It will all be heaped on their goalie because the last one was maybe their best a long time. Maybe even better than the Super 8 kid and that was 6 years ago and that kid is playing up at St. Michaels.
This all gets back to - would you rather win the D-I as a public or get blown-out in the first round as an ugly stepchild in the Super 8?
I think teams that have gone through this recently would rather take the realistic challenge of the D-I
Hingham isnt some super hockey program- they have numbers. They have a lot per capita hockey players in the town. Its a wealthy town and a lot of kids can afford to play hockey. They are successful because they have a lot of "leftovers" or kids that dont leave for the CC or prep school. The real high end kids leave and Hingham still has a bunch of the next tier kids every year.
They also have a school that is better than C.C. schools so there is no need for the kids to leave. Unless getting the kid away from girls or being a Bible thumper is important to mom & dad. And because it's the town's important sport they have boosters and a budget some college programs envy.
If you only knew.....if you only knew.
All you need is to be > .500, right?
Bch has basically a completely new defensive corp (outside of the top 2 the other 6 have zero game experience) and 2 new untested goalies. I would argue that they are ranked correctly.
Wrenn's not at MC anymore, he's at Nobles
I am surprised that stoneham is not in top 15! after another win vs. matignon on Saturday. looks like it will be an easy champion in the Middlesex league.
X, MC, Hingham will be top. Marshfield up there as well. Walpole, Framingham and Natic may surprise. Walpole already has, a drug scandal with top SR that the coach is trying to cover up though. Losing player kills their D.
??? I think you have the wrong teams. BCH & hingham have not played.
Couldn't imagine it would be much of a game. One team is made up of hockey players that choose the school to play hockey and the other is a team made-up of soccer players, lacrosse players, football players and a few hockey players from one town. One Super 8 and the other the D-I Tournament