MARLBORO, MA - The 2013-14 campaign started with much anticipation for the Bruins brand new USPHL Premier team. The team traveled to Jay Peak, VT and promptly skated past the Wellington Dukes 5-1. It was a great setting for an opening game and the dozens of college coaches who made the trip to the mountains obviously felt the same way. Overall the Bruins Premier sits at 7-3-0-0 through their first ten games and a strong veteran core of returners headline this years Bâ€™s roster. Along the blue line and in net the team will rely heavily on Kevin McKernan, Connor Doherty, Andy Michailidis, Matt Manzella and Sean Lawrence all who return from last years group. Rounding out the back end are new comers Zach Todd and Clay Han who join Zach Malatesta, Nick Centauro, James Broomfield and Brian McGrath who come up from a Bâ€™s 18U group who had a ton of success last season.
Up front the Bruins have a lot of talented options and figure to have a scoring by committee approach. Chris Miller, Mac Cook, Vitaly Zatpsepilin and Alex Brink are the veterans and the team welcomes the addition of Vincent Russo (Bentley â€™13), Brian Bowen, Garrett Hehir, Jake McLaughlin and Dylan Bengston who all had great success last season at the Prep and Junior level. Bryan Lemos (Providence â€™14/â€™15), George Mika, Hamilton Whyte and Ty Warilla make the jump from the 18U level and figure to factor heavily into the Bâ€™s scoring.
The team just completed a successful Junior Bruins Shootout capturing 4 out of 6 points in league play with hard fought wins over the PAL Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers. The event saw well over 100 college coaches and scouts come thru the New England Sports Center.
The Junior Bruins Elite team opened their inaugural campaign at the Woodchuck Classic. The Bâ€™s are excited about the addition of forwards Jack Kilty, Chris Jellison, Jason Nawrocki, Tyler Mathieu and Alex Nespor all of whom have made significant offensive contributions in the early going. Joining that core of forwards are Bâ€™s veterans Ryan Oâ€™Toole, Kyle Griffin, Anthony Galloway, Al Pantalone and Anthony Galloway who carried much of the offensive load last season with the Bâ€™s top ranked Empire group. Nate McPherson, Brandon Labe, Jordan Mardirosian and Nikita Shpakov round out a group of talented forwards who promise to help the Bâ€™s compete for a league championship.
Along the blue line the team figures to get significant contributions from newcomers Lane Valimont and Brien Diffely (BB&N â€™14). Bryan Carter, Kyle Webb, Kyle Carlson and Ben Piecz return as a veteran core of defenseman who help lead the Bâ€™s to the stingiest goals against average in last years Empire hockey league. Connor Maloney and Pat Oâ€™Leary will compete for time in net as both are coming off great high school seasons with Malden Catholic and Bishop Fenwick respectively.
The team has enjoyed success in the early going with a 3-0 shutout win in their league home opener vs. Syracuse and tournament wins over a talented Springfield Rifles group and National Sports Academy. The Bâ€™s also skated to 2-2 ties with the St. Lawrence Lions (CGEP) and NJ Rockets (EHL).
The Junior Bruins Empire team are scoring in bunches so far this season. This is a veteran group who expects to carry on a strong tradition of success for the Bâ€™s in the Empire league and compete for a regular season and playoff championships. Newcomers Mike Moran and Mike Palmer join returners Jake McKinnon, Ryan Azar, Corey Deres, Cam Cottam, Devin Stoddard and Tucker Falk as players who are off to hot starts up front. Jeff Hamelin, Mike DeDonato, Casey Downs and John Guerrero all figure to factor heavily into the Bâ€™s offensive plans as well. The team will lean on a defensive unit with a lot of junior hockey experience. Paul Martone returns for his second year with the club and will be joined by Mike Piccini, John Panarelli, Keegan Brown, Daniel Blute, Ryan Burg and Scott Brun.
The goaltending position will be a battle between Ben Gagnon, Colby Gilbert and Logan Bergeron who figure to make up one of the strongest units in the league. The team has picked up great wins in the league over Syracuse, New Jersey Hitmen and the Brewster Bulldogs to go along with strong play outside the league highlighted by a 6-3 win over the Metro Moose in the NJ Hitmen Showcase. The Bâ€™s look forward to a tremendous challenge ahead at the Fall Beantown where theyâ€™ll look to return to the tournament final for a second straight season. An early November trip to Naples, Florida also highlights a great schedule.