GIRLS’ HOCKEY PREVIEW
Local schools ready to hit the ice for a new season
For the first time since Mount St. Charles reached the state final for the fifth straight season in 2013, a Blackstone Valley squad played for the state title last season when Burrillville/Ponaganset/Bay View coop came up a goal short of winning the state title.
The Broncos graduated a number of talented players, including both players from Ponaganset, but return a number of talented offensive players in Caysie Gautreau and Meghan Buxton, while Bay View’s Emma Audet leads an inexpedient group of defenders.
Mount St. Charles/Cumberland, which was swept in the quarterfinals by La Salle/Moses Brown, is seeking a return to glory led by All-State defenseman Kiki Doucette. The Mounties, just like the Broncos, started the season Friday night with a blowout victory over a team that won’t contend for the state title.
The two Valley rivals will meet for the first of two times this season Friday night at 7:15 at Adelard Arena.
Here’s a capsule look at how both teams stack up this season:
Head coach: Cortney Lacey 2016-17 league record: 17-1, Division I
2016-17 league placement: First. Defeated La Salle/ Moses Brown, 2-1, in the semifinals; lost to South County, 2-1, in the state final.
Returning starters/players: Emma Audet, senior, defense; Kaitlyn Brannon, junior, forward; Meghan Buxton, junior, forward; Alix Etheridge, junior, forward; Emily Etheridge, junior,
goalie; Caysie Gautreau, senior, forward; Haley LaRose, junior, forward; Emma Simas, senior, forward; Madison McCutcheon, sophomore, forward; Lizzy Ng, sophomore, forward.
Key newcomers: Amy Hurst, sophomore, forward; Cora Lambert Gaucher, sophomore, defense; Angelle Mottola, sophomore, forward; Nicolette Perreault, junior, forward; Diana Poland, freshman, defense.
Outlook: With no Ponaganset players on the team this season, last season’s regular season champs are just made up of girls from Burrillville and Bay View Academy. While the season didn’t end the way Lacey would’ve hoped with a onegoal defeat to South County in the state final, the Broncos still had a tremendous campaign. Gone are first-team All-Staters in goalie Abby Bassett and talented defenseman Kayla Gravel. Junior Emily Etheridge is the Broncos’ unquestioned starting goalie and she looked solid in Friday’s blowout victory over rebuilding Warwick co-op. “Emily’s a good goalie and she’ll hold her own. Emily is not as big as Abby, so she’ll have to work a little more to stop shots, but she’s going to hold her own back there,” Lacey said. Audet, a Bay View student, will lead the blue line with varsity newcomers Diana Poland and Emma Simas. Lacey said she’s looking for one more defenseman to fill out the lineup Gautreau, a returning all-division forward, will lead the top line with Alix Etheridge and Simas. The second line is made up of McCutcheon, Bay View’s Eng and Brennan. La Salle/Moses Brown is the deepest team in the division, but the Broncos, Mount St. Chares/Cumberland, East Bay co-op and reigning state champion South County are all in the hunt to reach the state final at Brown in March.
Coach's take: “We’ll be all right. We don’t have the depth we had last year and we have a new goalie and a couple of new players. They didn’t get to play that much last year, but we still have Caysie and Meg and Emma and those girls. We told them the other day in practice that everyone has a job and you need to do that and not worry about someone else’s job and everything will fall into place. The kids are going to have to be in shape because last year we ran three lines and this year we only have two. We’re going to rely on Casey and Meg a lot. … Every year our goal is to get back to Brown. The girls are going to have to work hard because most of the teams are pretty even this year. La Salle could be the favorite because the have the depth with three or four lines. The three key people for us are going to be Casey, Meg and Emma. Emma is going to be our top defenseman and she’s going to have to be smart this year because we aren’t as deep and she’s going to have to stay at home more.”
MOUNT ST. CHARLES/CUMBERLAND
Head coach: Tony DiLorenzo 2016-17 league record: 11-6 Division I 2016-17 league placement: Fourth. Lost to La Salle/Moses Brown, 2-0, in the quarterfinals. Returning starters/play
ers: Abbey Dalpe, junior, goalie; Maddie Cataldo, junior, defenseman; Mackenzie Morin, senior, forward; Holly Pashnik, junior, defenseman; Katielyn Mastroianni, junior, defenseman; Lexi Burns, senior, forward; Kiki Doucette, senior, defenseman; Bridget
Lewis, junior, forward; Elise Curren, junior, defehseman. Key newcomers: Macee Salley, sophomore, forward; Hannah Squires, freshman, defenseman; Leah Gallagher, junior, forward; Brooke Normandin, sophomore, forward; Mia Mollicone, freshman, forward; Kara McWhinnie, freshman, forward.
Outlook: It’s almost pointless to put positions next to the names of many of the Mounties this season because DiLorenzo said he has a number of talented two-way players who are effective as a forward or on the blue line. No one personifies Mount’s wellrounded squad more than Doucette, a returning AllState defenseman. In her team’s season-opening win over Smithfield/Coventry Friday night, the speedy Doucette had two goals and two assists. “We’ll let Kiki’s play speak for itself. I don’t want to hurt anyone else’s feelings, but I think Kiki has really matured as a leader this season. She’s going to be the driving force behind what we do,” DiLorenzo said. Doucette will be a center in some games and partner Curren on defense in others. Other talented defenders include Mastroianni, Pashnik, Cataldo and Squires. Dalpe split time with Beatrice Reilly last season, but she will play every game this season. As a sophomore, she allowed 2.77 goals a game and saved 80 percent of the shots she faced. She also played well in Sunday’s scrimmage against Foxboro. “I’ve seen improvement from Abbey. She made some bang-bang saves against Foxboro to help us hold on,” DiLorenzo said.
Coach's take: “I expect we’ll be very competitive. I think La Salle is No. 1 because of depth and coaching, but then Barrington, Burrillville, South County and us are all going to be right there trying to compete and catch up with them. The key for us is defense and transition. We have a solid core of defensemen and I think we can play defense in all three zones. We just need to transition the puck quickly because if we play slow, we’ll have some trouble. If we play fast in transition, we’ll do well. We’re going to have a different look every game depending on the team we play. Scoring goals was our biggest problem last year, but I think we’re going to be a decent scoring team through our forecheck.”
Burrillville/Bay View co-op coach Cortney Lacey (above, wearing hat) hopes to lead the Broncos back to Brown University for the state championship series after coming up a goal short of winning the state title. Local rival MSC/Cumberland also believe it can compete for the state title.
The Burrillville/Bay View co-op hockey team graduated a pair of All-Staters off of last season’s one-loss squad, but senior forward Caysie Gautreau (25) is back after leading the team in goals (15), assists (14) and points (29). The Broncos and local rival MSC/Cumberland meet Friday night at Adelard Arena.