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What you need to know for 07/20/2017

Jets have the firepower to repeat in school hockey

Jets have the firepower to repeat in school hockey

The Shaker/Colonie hockey team is out to prove it’s not a one-hit wonder. The Jets won the Section I

The Shaker/Colonie hockey team is out to prove it’s not a one-hit wonder.

The Jets won the Section II Div­ision I championship last year, taking the crown for the first time since 2002, and this year’s team wants to show winning the title was no fluke.

“We can be just as good as last year, as long as we stay healthy,” said Shaker/Colonie coach Steve Hudak.

The Jets, who finished with a 19-5-1 record with a loss in the state tournament quarterfinals last year, are loaded on offense. The returning forwards include seniors Corey Brustle (17-20-37), a first-team Division I selection last year, Ryan Phillips (21-15-36) and Brian Sinew (7-7-14).

Seniors Nick Kyratzis and Doug Swezy will anchor the defense in front of another senior, goalie Jimmy Lanne, who had a 1.47 goals-against average last year.

“I think we can do some damage with our depth, as long as we stay healthy,” said Hudak. “We can go with three lines, and some of the other teams have trouble playing their second or third lines.”

The Jets also know they’ll have a target on their backs this season.

“Everyone will want to play their best against us,” Hudak said. “We want to play with confidence, but we don’t want to be cocky.”

For the first time in six years, Shenendehowa doesn’t begin the season as the defending Section II champion. The Plainsmen, who struggled to a 7-13-4 record last year after eight players were dismissed from the team for a drug-related incident on a road trip, can’t wait to start fresh.

“There’s something to be said for being the underdog,” said Shenendehowa coach Juan de la Rocha. “These kids are starting with a clean slate.”

The Plainsmen only have four seniors, but have a very strong junior class.

“For the most part, these kids weren’t involved in what happened last year,” said de la Rocha. “They had the opportunity to get a lot of playing time as sophomores.”

Senior Peter Rakowsky, a 6-foot-3, 225-pounder, will be in goal for the Plainsmen, and the scoring will be balanced.

“I think people will be surprised by how deep we are this year,” said de la Rocha.

Saratoga Springs is also expected to be in the mix in Division I, as the Blue Streaks graduated just three seniors and will be led by reigning Capital District High School Hockey League Player of the Year Cody Nizolek.

“We have great talent and skill, and hopefully, we can make it to the sectional final,” said Streaks coach Mike Ricupero.

Niskayuna/Schenectady made a surprising run to the Division I championship game last year, but the Mohawks were hit hard by injuries, losing five of their top six scorers and starting goalie Ben Phillips.

Queensbury won the Delvecchio Cup, awarded to the team with the best record in the Capital District High School Hockey League, as the Spartans finished 11-1 and were 21-2-1 overall after losing in the state quarterfinals. The Spartans, who have won three straight Section II Division II championships, return one of the league’s top goalies in Travis Marlow, and senior Kevin Valenti finished third in the league in scoring last year (26-21-47).

“If our defense can play up to its potential, we should be in every game,” said Queensbury coach Dean Williams.

Burnt Hills ended its partnership with Scotia/Glenville and picked up Ballston Spa this season, and the Spartans are solid up front, led by seniors Max Munsey (19-18-37) and Jordan Beck (9-11-20), as well as Frank Emmer, who brings a phys­ical presence and is one of the top penalty-killers in the league.

Mohonasen/Schalmont lost CDHSHL scoring leader Kyle McKelvey to graduation, and the Thundering Herd might be a year away, as many of the top returning players are sophomores. Senior Derrick Mundweiler (7-14-21) will anchor the defense, and is also the top returning scorer.

LaSalle is so focused on puck movement that coach Tim Flanigan has moved two of his top returning forwards, Mitch Wacholder and Joe Heffernan, to defense.

“You can’t score if you’re in your defensive zone the whole time,” said Flanigan.

BETHLEHEM

Coach: Andre Rodrigue.

Nickname: Eagles.

Home rink: Bethlehem Area YMCA.

Last year’s record: 4-8-1 CDHSHL, 9-12-2 overall.

Top returning players: Senior forward Eric Halek, senior forward Stephen Russo, senior forward Packy Carroll, senior forward Kyle Barach, senior goaltender Alex Cooper.

BURNT HILLS/BALLSTON SPA

Coach: Walt Peretti.

Nickname: Spartans.

Home rink: Achilles Center at Union College.

Last year’s record: 4-11-2, 7-15-3.

Top returning players: Senior forward Max Munsey, senior forward Jordan Beck, senior forward Frank Emmer, senior defenseman Mitch Kuziak, senior defenseman Connor Nash.

CHRISTIAN BROTHERS ACADEMY

Coach: Matt Baron.

Nickname: Brothers.

Home rink: Albany County Hockey Facility.

Last year’s record: 9-5-1, 12-9-3.

Top returning players: Junior forward Casey Hladik, junior forward Steve Basile, junior forward Mike Dougherty, junior defenseman David Wilgocki, junior defenseman Ted Maybaum.

GLENS FALLS

Coach: Mike DiFiore.

Nickname: Indians.

Home rink: Glens Falls Recreation Center.

Last year’s record: 10-5-1, 13-9-2.

Top returning players: Senior forward Mike Cronin, junior forward Paul Bennett, sophomore forward James Rizzo, senior defenseman Dan LaNoir, junior defenseman Stephen O’Sick.

GUILDERLAND

Coach: John DeRubertis.

Nickname: Dutchmen.

Home rink: Achilles Center at Union College.

Last year’s record: 9-6-1, 11-11-1.

Top returning players: Senior forward Anthony Liguori, senior defenseman Shawn Buzzard, senior defenseman Josh Evans, junior goalie Mike Alsante, senior defenseman Jeremy Tobin.

LASALLE

Coach: Tim Flanigan.

Nickname: Cadets.

Home rink: Hudson Valley Community College.

Last year’s record: 8-8-2, 8-15-2.

Top returning players: Junior forward Alex Verchereau, senior forward Vinny Planz, senior defenseman Mitch Walcholder, sophomore defenseman Joe Heffernan.

MOHONASEN/SCHALMONT

Coach: Andy Cuthbertson.

Nickname: Thundering Herd.

Home rink: Schenectady County Rec­reation Facility.

Last year’s record: 2-11-0, 5-18-0.

Top returning players: Sophomore forward Brandon Glasser, sophomore forward Andrew Mundweiler, senior defensman Derrick Mundweiler, sophomore forward Aaron Hull, sophomore forward Shane Shields.

NISKAYUNA/SCHENECTADY

Coach: Todd Templeton.

Nickname: Mohawks.

Home rink: Schenectady County Rec­reation Facility.

Last year’s record: 5-9-1, 9-15-2.

Top returning players: Junior forward Sam Hartz, senior forward Nick Torcivia, junior defenseman David House, senior defenseman Corey Miller.

QUEENSBURY

Coach: Dean Williams.

Nickname: Spartans.

Home rink: Lake George Forum.

Last year’s record: 11-1-0, 21-2-1.

Top returning players: Senior defenseman Anthony Soprano, senior defenseman Lucas Hay, junior forward Kevin Valenti, senior goaltender Travis Marlow.

SARATOGA SPRINGS

Coach: Mike Ricupero.

Nickname: Blue Streaks.

Home rink: Saratoga City Ice Rink.

Last year’s record: 11-5-1, 16-8-2.

Top returning players: Senior forward Cody Nizolek, senior foward Steve Cash, senior defenseman Ryan Lee, senior forward Conor Murphy, senior goalie T.J. Delaney, senior goalie Graeme Bulmer.

SHAKER/COLONIE

Coach: Steve Hudak.

Nickname: Jets.

Home rink: Albany County Hockey Facility.

Last year’s record: 10-2-0, 19-5-1.

Top returning players: Senior forward Corey Brustle, senior forward Brian Sinew, senior forward Ryan Phillips, senior defenseman Nick Kyratzis, senior defenseman Doug Swezey, senior goalie Jimmy Lanne.

SHENENDEHOWA

Coach: Juan de la Rocha.

Nickname: Plainsmen.

Home rink: Clifton Park Arena.

Last year’s record: 5-7-3, 7-13-4.

Top returning players: Senior goalie

Peter Rakowsky, senior defensman Tommy Asterino, senior forward Matt Findlay, jun­ior forward Mike McCarthy.

SOUTH GLENS FALLS/HUDSON FALLS

Coach: Derrek Tuthill.

Nickname: Bulldogs.

Home rink: Glens Falls Civic Center.

Last year’s record: 1-12-0, 1-22-0.

Top returning players: Senior defenseman Tim Boller, senior defenseman Grant Hayes.

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