With a target on its collective back, the Bourne boys’ hockey team will look to repeat as South Coast Conference champions with a retooled roster in 2019-20.
Gone is the Canalmen’s offensive core of Max Hess, Joe Hess, Christian Mulkern and Chase Lapworth—all of whom graduated with more than 100 career points last year. In their place is a group of players champing at the bit, ready to carry the torch of Bourne’s recent success.
The Bourne boys’ hockey team is hosting its 26th annual alumni hockey game this month.
“You never want to say it’s simple, but you take a look around the locker room and there are guys that are a year older and they want that opportunity to make a name for themselves,” second-year head coach Frank Carpenito said. “Or maybe they were overshadowed by last year’s group and now it’s their opportunity to take their turn at the head of the table.”
At the top of the group is senior Mike Bonito, the team’s top returning scorer from a year ago. As a junior the forward averaged nearly a point per game, recording 22 points on 10 goals and 12 assists in 23 games. He’ll look to build on his two-goal performance in the Division 3 South Sectional semifinals last year. Joining Bonito in the forward group will be Andrew Ariagno, a big-bodied power forward who moves well; Karsten Becker, who’s shown off his speed and aggressiveness early on; and Connor McGuire, who may also see time on the blue line this season.
Speaking of the blue line, junior Owen Lapworth headlines a defensive core with some offensive firepower. In 23 games last season Lapworth netted five goals and 13 assists; his defensive skills never waned. He’ll be paired with classmate Jon Sheehy, a defensive stalwart who can also score (eight points).
They’ll be protecting senior goaltender Kyle McGuire, fresh off a breakout junior campaign that boasted five shutouts and a .913 save percentage. Should anything happen to McGuire, the Canalmen have good depth at the goalie position with senior Kam Sassone, who stopped 38 of 45 shots faced last season.
“Every team is different. You can’t really say that you can replace everyone and be the same. We might be different. We might be better. We might be as good or we might not be as good. That will play itself out through the course of the season,” Carpenito said. “I’ll tell you right now though, this team loves being around each other and they work extremely hard. We’re excited about what we will become.”
Regardless of record this season, they’ll be hunted in the SCC with teams like Wareham/Carver, Somerset-Berkley, ORR/Fairhaven and Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech all gunning for the Canalmen’s conference crown.
Outside of conference play, Bourne will open the season at home against Newton South Saturday, December 14, at 4 PM at Gallo. After that it will play host in the annual Canalmen Classic against Revere/Malden/Matignon, Dartmouth and Westfield. Other nonconference games include tilts with Martha’s Vineyard, Division 3 South power Hanover and Division 2 South power Westwood.
“Every year you lose people and other teams lose people, too. People come back from an offseason of training and staying in the weight room and suddenly they jump off the page at you. It’s hard to say who’s going to do what. I just know league teams are going to come at us hard,” Carpenito said.