Bourne JV Boys' Hockey Sets The Stage For Next Year
By: Dan Crowley, March 13, 2014
Although their numbers were small, and several players bounced back and forth between the junior varsity squad and the varsity team, the Bourne JV hockey team finished the season with a roster of players ready to make the move to the varsity club.
The JV team opened the season on December 27 with a 3-1 victory at home over Cape Cod Tech. Nick Newbold got the start in net and did a nice job stopping the Crusaders.
“We had a small group, but a great group of kids,” coach K.J. Kozens said. “Guys like Cam Forget, Drew Adams and Jesse Bustard were solid positional guys, who always played the right way. They were very coachable and kept the team together.”
Over the course of the season, the Canalmen faced Plymouth South three times. On December 30, Plymouth South came to Gallo Ice Arena and dealt Bourne its first loss of the season. The team opened the new year with a 5-2 win over Greater New Bedford Voc Tech, but losses followed to Cape Cod Tech and Westwood.
On January 16 the team got back into the win column with a 2-1 victory over Cape Cod Tech. They followed that up with a 6-3 victory over GNBVT, then went winless the rest of the way in a short 12-game season.
The team had a pair of 8th grade goalies in Nick Newbold and Evan Dallacosta, as well as sophomore varsity backup netminder Tim Johnson.
“Nick was a standout goaltender for us,” Kozens noted. “He saw a lot of shots and was one of the best goalies. He single-handedly kept us in games and won some for us. He is fundamentally sound and a good athlete. He must have made over 40 saves in the Canal Cup and in our final game against Plymouth South. He is the real deal. There were times when Evan stood out and you could see his potential. With some work in the off-season, he has the tools to develop into a fine goalie for the program. Our two 8th graders were not allowed to skate on the varsity team and that left us without a backup for Jack Lacasse. Tim Johnson is a first-year player and he stepped in to fill that hole. It was a pleasure to have him with us on the JV team. He always put the team first and it was nice to see him do well. Tim is a hard worker.”
The Canalmen had a group of four defensemen on the blue line this winter.
“Sophomore Joe Estey always gave 100 percent in every shift, every game,” Kozens said. “He brought great size and skill inside the blue line and has a true passion for the game. Joe was one of our top point scorers. He stepped up and became a leader.
“Jack Perry is an 8th grader. Even though he came into the season with a lot of skill, he got much better over the course of our year. Jack stood out as one of the better players on every shift. He played physical and smart. He was a reliable defender. You knew he was going to be at the right place at the right time.
“Oliver Strudwick is also an 8th grader and is someone you could always count on to give 100 percent. He played strong defense for us. He saw the ice well and was a smart player who knew how to pick and choose when to be aggressive. I really enjoyed him on the team and hope to see him back with Bourne hockey next year.
“Ben Avakian was new to playing defense. He was a forward, but when we came up short on defense, he did what was best for the team. He made a significant improvement from last year to this year. He was the perfect guy to have on your team and in the locker room, everybody liked Ben. He scored his first varsity goal this year. It was the perfect reward, he really deserved it. He also dressed for the varsity in the state tournament.”
Freshman Drew Adams was one of several players who skated up front with both the JV and varsity squads.
“When Drew was with us on the JV team, he was a leader both on and off the ice,” Kozens said. “Drew played smart and was always willing to do what he was asked. With a little bit of strength work in the offseason, he should play a significant role on the varsity team next year.”
Sophomore Jake Morris also skated up front for the Canalmen this winter.
“Jake was another hard worker and coachable player,” Kozens said. “He scored a big goal for us this year in the Canal Cup JV game. He has great character and led by example. With some hard work in the off-season and hitting the weight room, he should be a contributor next year to the varsity team.
“Sophomore Jesse Bustard was new to our program. He really embraced his teammates and fit right in. He was a consistent hard worker and a big contributor to the JV as one of our top point scorers. Jesse has speed and skill and should fit right in at the next level.
“Nolan Eldridge is a great kid, who we nicknamed ‘nolvechkin.’ He is a great athlete, one of the best in the program. If he continues to develop his skills, he has a bright future with Bourne hockey.
“Freshman Sam Lyons improved greatly this season. From the beginning of last year to this season, he grew into a complete hockey player. He was a committed and dedicated player. Sam was always willing to go the extra mile and he dressed for the varsity in the state tournament.
“Freshman Cam Forget improved greatly over last year. He played very well for the JV and was a spot varsity player. He has speed and is a physical player. His willingness to do whatever was asked of him earned him the respect of his teammates and coaches.”
Kozens points to the two wins over GNBVT as the best team efforts of the season, but it was the final game of the year that the coach sees as best depicting his team.
“Plymouth South beat us twice earlier in the year,” the coach explained, “they were a very good team and very strong. In our last game we faced them again, and while we didn’t win, it was a great game for us that showed just how far we had come. Jesse Bustard shadowed their best player and shut him down. Jesse unselfishly took himself out of the offense to stop that guy and did a great job. We lost 3-1, but played a very good game.”
The Bourne JV team finished the season with a 4-8 record.
“It was a positive experience and very enjoyable for me to see how much the guys improved,” Kozens added. “I think that last Plymouth South game made that clear. They were a great group, we had fun and enjoyed our time together.”