Skyhawks finished the 2016-17 season third in the conference
Defenseman Tedesco will lead the team as captain this year
EASTON, Mass. (October 30, 2017) – The Stonehill College men's ice hockey program has been picked to finish fourth out of six teams in the 2017-18 Northeast-10 Conference ice hockey preseason coaches' poll, the league announced Friday morning.
Saint Anselm College was narrowly selected as the preseason favorite with 23 total points including three first-place votes, while Saint Michael's College was picked second with 22 points and three first-place tallies. Assumption College was tabbed to finish third in the conference with 15 votes, as the Skyhawks just merely were voted fourth with 14 points. Southern New Hampshire University took fifth receiving 11 points, while Franklin Pierce University notched sixth place with five points.
The Skyhawks finished third in the conference in 2016-17 after taking the title in 2015-16. Last season, Stonehill totaled an overall record of 9-14-4 and a 6-4-1 Conference mark.
From the 2016-17 squad, the Skyhawks graduated three seniors and this year, Stonehill will add seven newcomers. Of the three that left was leading scorer, Even Jacques '17 who scored 14 goals and tallied five assists for a team- and career-high 19 points. He also notched five power play goals, putting him tied for third in the conference. Brian Higgins '17 was another forward that helped the team out with his five goals and six assists last year, along with defender Dylan Podbielski '17.
Sophomore Conor Cassidy (Wilmington, Delaware/Canterbury and Kents Hill) was the only Skyhawk to be named to the NE10 All-Rookie Team at the end of the season. He wrapped up his freshman season ranking second in the conference in scoring, recording 12 goals and adding five assists to his 17-point total. Cassidy also finished second in the conference in freshman scoring, as he sat behind classmate Cameron Wright (West Dummerston, Vt./Springfield Pics – EHL Premier).
Wright finished tied for eighth in the conference in assists with 11 on the year, tied for sixth in game-winning goals, and first in freshman scoring with 19 total points.
Also returning for the Skyhawks this season includes junior assistant captain and goaltender Billy Palmer (Cranston, Rhode Island/Boston Bandits – EHL Premier), who finished fourth in three categories, including goals against average (.3.26), save percentage (.912), and winning percentage (.423). Joining Palmer to lead the team is senior captain Connor Tedesco (Winchester, Massachusetts/Proctor Academy) and junior co-assistant captain Christopher Page (Winthrop, Massachusetts/Winthrop).
Palmer returns to the cage this season as assistant captain as a junior
With a year as assistant captain last year behind him, defender Tedesco aims to lead the squad in front of the cage. The senior was tied for seventh in the conference in defensemen scoring, tallying one goal, eight assists for nine points. He also ended the season plus-two, as the team combined for a .780 penalty kill. Page ended the season plus five, scoring one short-handed goal, with a total of two goals and seven assists during his sophomore season.
Three other returning Skyhawks finished last season with double-digit points including Jack Hall (Shelburne, Vermont/Proctor Academy) with seven goals and 10 assists, Connor Collier (Madison, New Jersey/New Jersey Hitmen – USPHL) with four goals and nine assists, and Connor Jewett (Berlin, New Hampshire/NH Junior Monarchs – EHL Premier) with five goals and five assists.
The newcomers fill out the remaining spots as five forwards and two defenders complete the 2017-18 squad. Up front is Nick Schofield (Foxboro, Massachusetts/Williston Northampton), Logan Stark (Newton, Massachusetts/Newton North), Kyle Woodruff (Brunswick, Maine/Brunswick), Shamus Maloney (North Attleboro, Massachusetts/Mount St. Charles Academy), and Shane Sefton (Sudbury, Massachusetts/Lineol-Sudbury Regional). The back line will see Sean Conley (Cheektowaga, New York/Canisius – TIEHL) and Seth Murray (Gloucester, Massachusetts/St. John's Prep).
Stonehill opens up the 2017-18 season with a 6:00 p.m. contest against Plymouth State University on Saturday, November 4. The Skyhawks host their first game at Foxboro Sports Center on Tuesday, November 7 opening up conference play battling Assumption College at 7:00 p.m.
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2017-18 Northeast-10 Conference Men's Ice Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Saint Anselm College– 23 (3)
2. Saint Michael's College - 22 (3)
3. Assumption College – 15
4. Stonehill College – 14
5. Southern New Hampshire University - 11
6. Franklin Pierce University - 5
(#) – indicates first-place votes