Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Season is Filled With Challenge, Team is Filled With Talent

The 2008-2009 Bridgton Academy Hockey team has its work cut out for them. As Bridgton Academy continues to change the face of PG hockey, the Wolverines look to make a statement this year. After a 24-16-3 record in the previous season, players from all over the nation have begun to take notice. The word is out that Bridgton Academy is the place to play and that the Wolverines can compete with anyone. This season’s group will play the toughest, most challenging schedule ever played at Bridgton Academy. It is only fitting for a team that possesses more talent than any team in the last 20 years. With a strong foundation in the net and on defense, this looks to be another stingy year for opponents. Add to the mix a perfect combination of size and speed at the forward position, and the Wolverines have all of the pieces to be successful.

For the second season in a row, the team’s greatest strength will be between the pipes. Michael Pearless (Framingham, MA/Framingham HS) and Steven Sisler (Plano, TX/Alliance Bulldogs) prove to be a top tandem for any team. Each should garner a great deal of attention from colleges this season. Each will push the other for time, and each will give the Wolverines a chance to win every game.

On defense, the Wolverines boast some of the more talented defenseman in school history. Garrett Collins (Reading, MA/Reading HS) comes fresh off of leading Reading HS to a Super 8 Championship with teammate Quinlan Junta (Reading, MA/Reading HS). Kyle Campana (Boxboro, MA/Walpole Express) brings a great deal of experience after playing in the Met Junior Hockey League for the past two seasons while Chris Smith (Salem, MA/Mass Jr. Mariners) has been developing his skills in the IJHL. Alex Young (Lynnfield, MA/Lynnfield HS) will bring size, strength and reliability to the blueline. You may want to keep your head up if you see Cam Sady (Wilbraham, MA/Minnechaug HS) and Pat Mahoney (Scituate, MA/Scituate HS) on the ice. Each player has great awareness while stepping up in the neutral zone. Rounding out the defensive group are newcomer Ryan Beldham (Pittsford, NY/Pittsford –Menin HS) and the hard working Phil Baker-Coe (Acton, MA/Acton Boxboro HS).

Up front at the forward position, there should be no shortage of goals as the forward group not only has talent, but many have participated in State Championship teams last season. Sean Travis (Scituate, MA/Bridgton Academy) returns to the Wolverines after posting 27 goals last year for Bridgton Academy. Ben Pearl (Essex, VT/Essex HS) was honored with the Mr. Hockey Award as Vermont’s top player, while Matt Delgiudice (Oakland, ME/Messalonskee HS) finished second in Travis Roy Award voting as Maine’s top player. Rich Asselin (Westfield, MA/ Westfield HS) won a state championship last season in his second state final appearance. Thomas Paine (Superior, WI/Duluth Marshall) and Eric Siegel (Wilmington, MA/Wilmington HS) both led their teams to a state final berth and each should be a major contributor. Fred Hein (N. Reading/N. Reading HS) was a Cape Ann League All-Star. Eric Clemmenson (Farmington, CT/ Tabor Academy) is excited to get back to hockey after being sidelined last season. DJ Haskins (Quincy, MA/Archbishop Williams) is a crafty forward who will surprise many. Standing at 6’7”, Charles Lee (Lake Bluff, IL/Lake Forest Academy) should be well noticed on the ice this season. Brendan Hambleton (Nahant, MA/Swampscott HS) will add speed and grit. Nick Marshall (Bridgton, ME/Lake Region HS) and Tavish Leland (Casco, ME/Lake Region) led their high school team to its first ever playoff birth in only its second season of varsity play. Angelo Paolini (Newton, MA/Newton North HS) and Paul Tosto (Tewksbury HS/Tewksbury, MA) were both conference all-stars. Barrett Elliott (Foxboro, MA/Bishop Feehan) will provide depth to an already deep lineup with a strong work ethic and solid skillset.

With all of the challenges of the schedule, there are plenty of opportunities for this team to shine. With a dedication to hard work and development, this could be a team that is very dangerous. Coach Jamie Printz likes his chances this season. “We have the right combination of speed, size, strength, and talent. Our goaltending gives us a chance every day, and with the right team chemistry, we are poised to do great things. We are already learning what it means to be a good teammate, and those lessons are more valuable than anything else we do. I am excited to see how this group responds to the challenges set before them.”

As with any team, the games are meant to be played. The season begins October 11th with a home contest against the Mass Jr. Mariners at 1:00pm.

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