Skyhawks are coming off three-straight regular season championship seasons
EASTON, Mass. (October 27, 2016) – The Stonehill College men's ice hockey program has been picked to finish tied for fourth out of six teams in the 2016-17 Northeast-10 Conference ice hockey preseason coaches' poll, the league announced Thursday morning.
Saint Anselm College was selected as the preseason favorite with 25 total points including five first-place votes, while Assumption College was picked second with 16 points. Saint Michael's came in third with 15 points and one first-place tally, while Southern New Hampshire University and Stonehill each garnered 14 points, tying for fourth place. Franklin Pierce University rounded out the teams as it collected six points towards sixth place.
Sophomore Palmer was the 2016-17 NE-10 Rookie of the Year
The Skyhawks finished as last year's regular season champions and the Northeast-10 Tournament title, posting a 13-9-4 overall mark and a 7-1-2 record in NE-10 play. In last years' semifinal match, Stonehill topped Assumption 8-4 with Thomas Jenkins '16 and Robbie Dorgan '16 tallying two goals apiece. Dorgan also recorded three assists in the victory. The Skyhawks jumped on top of the Greyhounds with a 2-1 advantage by the end of the first period and continued beating at the door scoring three goals in the second and third frames each. Goaltender William Palmer (Cranston, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) tallied 23 saves in the victory, as Stonehill got off 35 shots as a team. The win put Stonehill in the NE-10 Championship, where the game would be postponed and then canceled, ultimately giving Stonehill its second title in program history.
Stonehill's first NE-10 Championship came in 2007 with a 2-1 series victory over Saint Anselm by winning a "mini-game" (2-1) after posting a 5-3 victory in game two of the series.
From the 2015-16 squad, the Skyhawks graduated 15 seniors and this year, Stonehill will add 15 freshman. Of the 15 that left was leading scorer, Thomas DePoalo '16 who netted a career- and team-best 10 goals. Robbie Dorgan '16 was named to a list of now 11 players to record 100-plus points in his career, as he totaled 33 goals and 67 assists. Forwards Garrett White '16 and Richard Harris '16 followed Dorgan with nine and eight goals, respectively, as White led the Skyhawks with 23 points and Harris collected 22 points.
White was the only Stonehill player to be named to the NE-10 All-Conference first team, while Palmer and Brendan White (North Reading, Mass./Kimball Union Academy) was tabbed on the second team. Palmer was also named Rookie of the Year and put on the All-Rookie Team.
Returning for the Skyhawks this season includes sophomore goalie Palmer, who had the highest winning percentage (.618) among all NE-10 netminders and tied with Saint Anselm's Shane Joyce for the most wins with nine. He was also second in the league in both goals against average (2.74) and save percentage (.922). Senior co-captains Brian Higgins (Milton, Mass./Milton) and Evan Jacques (Norton, Mass./Moses Brown School) and junior co-captain Connor Tedesco (Winchester, Mass./Winchester) will lead the young squad this year. Higgins was second on the team in goals with nine and fifth with nine assists, for a total of 18 points. Tedesco and Jacques each chipped in three goals apiece, as Jacques notched three assists and Tedesco recorded two.
Dylan Podbielski (Northford, Conn./North Bradford) will join the senior leadership on the team as well this season, while forwards Austin Goldstein (Parkland, Fla./Hebron Academy) and Thomas Newton (Hollis, N.H./Lawrence Academy) round out the rest of the junior class. The sophomore class includes goalies Palmer and classmate Kyle Paquette (Tewksbury, Mass./Tewksbury), as well as forward Christopher Page (Winthrop, Mass./Winthrop) and defenders Connor Collier (Madison, N.J./Canterbury School) and Thomas Mahoney (Suffern, N.J./Taft School).
The freshman class fills out the remaining spots as 10 forwards, three defenders and two netminders complete the 2016-17 squad. Up front is William Bailey (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Conor Cassidy (Wilmington, Del./Canterbury and Kents Hill), Nicholas Godin (New London, N.H./Tabor Academy), Jack Hall (Shelburne, Vt./Proctor Academy), Connor Jewett (Berlin, N.H./Berlin), Ryan Meade (Tewksbury, Mass./Tilton School), Jack Scannell (Medfield, Mass./Proctor Academy), Ryan Smith (Arlington, Mass./Tilton School), James Varney (Smithfield, Maine/Walpole Express), and Cameron Wright (West Dummerston, Vt./Vermont Academy). The back line will see Zachary Frament (Concord, N.H./Tilton School), Michael Seibold (Reading, Mass./Williston Northampton) and Robert Stickles (Marion, Mass./Neponset Valley) rotate in. Tyler Piechota (Pointe Claire, Quebec/Bridgton Academy) and Matthew Schoen (Tolland, Conn./Phillips Academy) contend for the goalie spot.
Stonehill opens up the 2016-17 season with a back-to-back contest against Lebanon Valley on Saturday, October 29 and 30, with start times of 7 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.
2016-17 Northeast-10 Conference Men's Ice Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Saint Anselm – 25 (5)
2. Assumption - 16
3. Saint Michael's – 15 (1)
4. Southern New Hampshire – 14
T4. Stonehill - 14
6. Franklin Pierce - 6