Take It To The Net

Tyler Evans is the top returning scorer from last year’s team. Evans and the Canalmen hope to improve on last year’s season and make moves in the South Coast Conference.

Last season the Bourne High School boys’ ice hockey team struggled to win games. Nearly every team that the Canalmen faced off against was bigger, stronger, faster and older. The end result was a 3-8-1 record.

Going beyond the ledger of wins and losses, though, tells a slightly different story. Nearly all eight of the defeats that the team suffered were close. The team rarely was handled easily, regularly gave its foes all that they could handle, and sometimes pulled off an upset. Coach Frank Carpenito’s team did that with a roster so young that there were more road games played by the squad than players that had driver’s licenses.

The team is still young, very young, but has gained a year’s worth of experience. With 16 freshmen and sophomores on the 2021-22 roster, the team still doesn’t have very many legal vehicle operators, but it does have more seasoned players that should win at a higher clip.

“They skate really well, and they will hustle to the puck,” Carpenito said. “They’re young and they’re still learning the game, but there’s a lot to work with here. They all have a season under their belts now, and know what they’re doing a little bit better. They know how to play at this level a little better.”

With the new state tournament set-up having the Canalmen play in Division 4, and their seeding based on power seeding, the team’s overall wins and losses are not quite as important as they would have been in the past. The squad is playing a full 22 game schedule, and just six of those games are against teams in D4, with the rest all being against D2 and D3 foes. As long as the team does well against its D4 opponents BHS is almost guaranteed a postseason spot, and the team should be seasoned and battle-tested having gone up against that kind of competition all year. If BHS can stay healthy it is a safe bet that they’ll be a team capable of making some tournament noise.

“We want to compete in the (South Coast Conference) and see what happens from there. We’re not going into this to lay down for anyone,” Carpenito said. “Get us to the end of February and we’ll see where we are.”

BHS will rely on the goalkeeping of junior returner Paul Case. When he was between the pipes a year ago Case did quite well and kept the team in games. Carpenito said he’s seen improvement and hard work from the goalie leading into this season.

The defense will be led by sophomore Ryan Burgess, freshman Caleb Kean and junior Owen Surrette. Freshman Matteo Seena, sophomore Cooper Gobeil and freshmen Luca Finton and Davison Richards will all play D for the purple and white as well. Burgess and Kean were both on the ice quite a bit on the blue line last year and will called upon to be leaders. Surrette played as a forward last year, as did Seena. Both are transitioning to their new positions well. Gobeil, Finton and Richards are all young players looking to step up and take on bigger roles.

The first line to start the season will see two seniors lead the way with center Tyler Evans and winger Max Civilinski teaming with freshman Chris Kleuber. Evans was the leading scorer for the team a year ago with eight goals and 11 assists in 12 games. Civilinski chipped in with two goals and four assists and Klueber finished with the same stat line. Evans should be a leader on and off the ice for the squad, with Civilinski also setting a good example. Kleuber will go into the dirty areas and has shown good chemistry with his new linemates.

On the second line, which is made up of all sophomores, the team’s second leading returning scorer will play center as Ty Kelley takes on a bigger role. Kelley had six goals and nine assists last year as a freshman, and should step up as a go-to player for the team after playing quarterback for the football team. Dana Leach (4 goals, 4 assists) and Dom Bonito will play the wings on that threesome.

Freshman Joziah DeSouza (1 goal, 4 assist) will center the third line for BHS. Fellow frosh Alex Shavyko (2 goals, 1 assist) will be on one of the wings. A host of players will all be vying for the third winger spot, and more ice time. That group includes junior Michael Russo, sophomores Ryan Collins and Nate McDonald and freshmen Jake Rous and Griffin Kelly.

BHS gets its season going Saturday, December 11, with a road game at Hobomock Arena in Pembroke against Pembroke High School at 3:10 PM.

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