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High school boys hockey: Capsule look at regional teams

Updated 8:10 pm, Monday, December 10, 2012
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DIVISION I

Fairfield Prep`

COACH: Matt Sather

2011-12 RECORD: 19-4

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sr. F David White (28-21-49), Sr. D Kevin Brown, Sr. F Connor Henry, Sr. D Sean Henry, Sr. D Andrew Hatton, Sr. F Nick Bargiello, Sr. D Billy D'Amore, Sr. F/D Tim Edmonds, Jr. F Matt Wikman, Jr. F Kenny Kochiss, Jr. F Dean Lockery

OUTLOOK: The Jesuits have 13 returning players, one of the best players in the state in White (98 career points) among other offensive weapons, an experienced and cohesive defense and a couple of juniors (Chris Gutierrez, Matt Beck) out to replace graduated goalie Riley Wikman. They're one of the teams to beat, as always.

Notre Dame-Fairfield

COACH: Steve Hetherman

2011-12 RECORD: 8-13

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sr. D Pete Petrino, Sr. LW/D Matt Heim, Jr. LW Christian LaCroix, Sr. G Scott Kline, Jr. D Gregg Ferris

OUTLOOK: Hetherman took over for legendary coach Marty Roos in the middle of last season. He intends for the Lancers to be a "hard-working, no-nonsense team."

Notre Dame-West Haven

COACH: Bill Gerosa

2011-12 RECORD: 20-3-1 (Division I state champion)

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sr. F Greg Zullo, Sr. F Kyle Thibault, Sr. D Darren Capobianco, Sr. D Cam Hotchkiss, Sr. G Paul Sliwinski, Sr. G Luc Amatruda, Jr. F Billy Vizzo, Jr. D Eric Austin

OUTLOOK: There's a lot of talent back for the Green Knights from their first state title in 10 years, including both goalies and a bunch of the forwards who made them hard to play against last season.

St. Joseph

COACH: Marty Crouse

2011-12 RECORD: 15-8

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jr. F Christian Keator, Sr. D Andrew Gore, Jr. F Ryan Corcoran, Sr. D Sean Smith, Soph. F Colin Powell, Jr. F Sean Hurley

OUTLOOK: This may be the Cadets' deepest team, with some underclassmen stepping in to give the team three solid lines. Junior goalie Marc VanEtten could get a challenge from a couple of sophomores.

West Haven

COACH: Joe Morrell

2011-12 RECORD: 15-8

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sr. F Austin Hansen, Jr. F Jim Morrissey, Jr. D Alex Scranton, Sr. F Brandon Cangiano, Jr. F Jaeson Puleo

OUTLOOK: The Blue Devils need players to step up all over the ice to replace a lot of leaders who graduated. But a lot of these players were key parts of a team that reached the state semifinals. Mike Savino and Anthony Lanziero look to take over in goal from graduated Justin Shepard.

DIVISION II

Amity

COACH: Gary Lindgren

2011-12 RECORD: 6-13-1

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sr. G Nick Nuzzolo, Sr. D Eric Dykun, Jr. D Ryan Hauser, Jr. D Johnny Uscilla, Jr. F Adam Shea, Sr. F Dane Simone, Jr. F John Crocker, Jr. F Brett McNeil, Sr. F Patch Flynn, Jr. F Keating Seymour

OUTLOOK: The Spartans move down after two years of Division I hockey, back to a division they won in 2008 and 2010. The schedule remains tough, though, so having the likes of Nuzzolo, Dykun and Shea back will be a boon.

Fairfield

COACH: Mark Pettorini

2011-12 RECORD: 9-13

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sr. C Mike Aquila, Sr. D Dan Silvestri, Jr. LW Kevin Robinson, Jr. D Conor Scharlop, Sr. C Matt Larouche, Sr. G Connor Frawley

OUTLOOK: Life's never easy for a D-II team in the FCIAC, but Fairfield has a good bunch of players returning, including Frawley in net and some depth all around. The Mustangs have potential.

Milford

COACH: Sal Follo

2011-12 RECORD: 13-9-1

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jr. F Zach White, Jr. F Will Vitelli, Jr. D Ben Lavallee, Sr. D Gerald Villecco, Soph. D Jonathan DePascale, Jr. G John DePalma, Jr. G Noah Ericson

OUTLOOK: The Indians will look for their goalies, replacing the graduated Matt White, to make stops and their defense to limit the stops they have to make. They're expecting balanced scoring.

Newtown

COACH: Paul Esposito

2011-12 RECORD: 13-10

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sr. D Tyler Hanley, Sr. F Chris Erikson, Sr. F Parker Rodbell, Jr. D Matt Sabia, Jr. F Zach Waller, Jr. F Conner Hanley, Jr. F Hayden Savoia, Jr. D Brian Gregory, Jr. D Dan Harrison, Jr. D Jack Martin, Jr. F Cooper McLean

OUTLOOK: The Nighthawks expect a lot of close games, and with a smaller roster, they're hoping for health and for consistent intensity. Junior Patrick McLoughlin takes over in goal from the graduated Mike Allwein.

Staples/Weston/Shelton

COACH: Ralph Unker

2011-12 RECORD: 9-12

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sr. D Liam O'Leary, Sr. F Zach Speed, Jr. F Sean Stewart, Jr. D Eric Zurmuehle, Jr. G William Engelhart, Soph. F Jack Mendillo, Soph. F Ryan Garwicki

OUTLOOK: The Wreckers had no luck with injuries last year, then graduated several of the players who helped them up from Division III two years ago. That doesn't mean Unker's not optimistic. The team had some nice preseason wins and has the talent to be competitive -- with health.

Trumbull

COACH: Greg Maxey

2011-12 RECORD: 17-9 (Division II state champion; FCIAC Tier II champion)

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sr. G Matthew Paolini, Sr. F A.J. DiMasi, Sr. F Sean Gallagher, Sr. F Brendan McGill, Jr. F Brendan Strobel, Soph. D Sam Watson, Soph. D Jake Crowe

OUTLOOK: The Eagles return their goalie, but they graduated a lot from a team that ran the table in the postseason. They're very young on defense and they'll need several forwards to pick up their offensive production to replace scorers like graduated standout Michael Ahearn.

DIVISION III

Barlow

COACH: Pete Maxfield

2011-12 RECORD: 11-10

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sr. F Tim Eng, Sr. F Dan Cirino, Sr. D Chris Van Camp, Sr. D Andrew Mallozzi, Jr. G Thierry Jean, Soph. F Charlie Berry, Soph. D Will Sinsigalli, Soph. D J.P. Shimko

OUTLOOK: With a solid goalie and an experienced defense (Eng moves from defense to center), the Falcons should have their own end covered. If they can produce offense from a young but deep lineup, they'll be in good shape.

Masuk

COACH: Andy Townsend

2011-12 RECORD: 12-10

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sr. F Luke Butkovsky, Soph. F Charlie Christo, Jr. F Joe DaMota, Soph. F Shane Dushay, Jr. F Dan Zakrzewski, Jr. D Christian Suda, Sr. G Owen Bowler

OUTLOOK: Last year's young team was racked by injury but still had a nice season. The Panthers are optimistic about this year, with a lot of players back from last season.

Norwalk

COACH: Dan Feighan

2011-12 RECORD: 3-17

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Sr. D Will Ayles, Sr. F Alex Farriss, Sr. D Anthony Arena, Jr. G Anthony Chiaramonte, Jr. F Ryan Suchland, Jr. F Joe Deering, Soph. F Lars Hammer

OUTLOOK: The team has a deeper roster than in recent years and will look to build in a tough league. It'll play its home games at the new SoNo Ice House.

Compiled by staff writer Michael Fornabaio.

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; http://twitter.com/fornabaioctp; http://blog.connpost.com/fornabaio