Berkshire County high school hockey preview
With the hockey season set to get underway today, here is a look at how Berkshire County teams stack up for the 2015-16 season.
Coach: Aidan Gilligan (third year)
Last Season: 11-5-3
Key Returnees: Jake Corcoran, Jonah Swotes, Matt DiSilva, Nigel Baldwin
After winning only one game in 2013-14, coach Aidan Gilligan and his staff helped the Eagles to a 10-win improvement in his second season at the helm.
Mount Everett, with then-freshman Jake Corcoran and a strong supporting cast, qualified for the Western Massachusetts Division III-A tournament where the Eagles lost in the quarterfinal round to Amherst.
Corcoran, now a sophomore and a captain, will play some forward and some defense this season after spending his time at forward last season. According to Gilligan, he will be asked to do more than he did last year.
Jonah Swotes, the senior captain goalie, is the backbone of the team's defensive efforts. The final captain is junior forward Matt DiSilva.
Junior Nigel Baldwin returns as on defense for the Eagles while sophomore Brendan Dempsey, a good athlete, should factor into the team's scoring efforts.
Sophomore Andrew Conlon, brother of former Mount Everett captain David, should also contribute this season.
The Eagles open their season on Friday against Greenfield in the Greenfield Tournament.
Coach: Steve Terpak (fifth year)
Last Season: 8-10-1
Key Returnees: Shane Tierney, Kevin Quinto, Brandon Peaslee, Brian Henault, Andy Cella, Steve Poripski, Kyle Crocker, Joe Puia, Patrick Terpak
The Braves just missed out on a playoff berth last season, but they return a lot of talent from a team that finished with eight victories.
Captain Shane Tierney will lead the way on defense while assistant captains Kevin Quinto and Brandon Peaslee will also be key for Taconic.
Other returnees include Brian Henault and Steve Poripski at wing, Andy Cella at center and Kyle Crocker, Joe Puia and Patrick Terpak on defense.
The first line should include Quinto at center with newcomer and sophomore Nikos Gian at wing alongside Peaslee at the other wing. Tierney and Terpak will be in on defense while freshman Aaron Houghtaling will be the starter at goalie.
According to coach Steve Terpak, the Braves should have two very solid lines that are capable of skating with almost anybody. Goalie will be a position to watch as a freshman will be the starter.
Taconic will open the season today at Wahconah.
Coach: Don Disbrow (sixth year)
Last Season: 11-9-1
Key Returnees: Nate Lapine, Andrew Beaudoin, Nico Romano, Vinnie Orlandi, Kyle Bazonski, Nick Lillie, Henry Churchill, Mike Bloom
Senior captains Nate Lapine and Andrew Beaudoin are the two highest-returning scorers on a Wahconah team that made a run to the final of the Western Massachusetts Division III-A tournament last season.
The Warriors entered as the fifth seed of the six-team tournament and registered victories over fourth-seeded Belchertown and top-seeded Chicopee before a loss to second-seeded Chicopee Comp in the sectional final.
This season, in addition to centers Lapine and Beaudoin, junior Vinnie Orlandi will be moving from defense up to forward and should be a big contributor.
Junior Kyle Bazonski will return on defense while seniors Henry Churchill and Nick Lillie will also contribute. Nico Romano returns in net while senior forward Mike Bloom does as well.
Senior Logan Rumbolt, who had been playing club hockey in Albany in the last few years, is going to play for Wahconah this season.
The Warriors open the season at home today against Taconic.
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