Boys' hockey team capsules

Boys' hockey team capsules

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Boys' hockey team capsules

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Appleton United

Coach: Mike Brolsma (first season with team).

Home rink: Appleton Family Ice Center.

Outlook: United lost its top player, Cooper Watson, who left to play Junior A hockey in Waterloo, Iowa. Cliff Watson, the head coach, also stepped down. Brolsma, a former United player, has stepped in and United has gotten off to a good start.

Trenton Bliss, Devon Blob, Wesley Groot, Nathan Zilisch and Carver Watson are setting the scoring pace. Watson and Michael Alfaro, a pair of sophomores, are the top returning defensemen. Despite the loss of Cooper Watson, Brolsma said all of United’s goals remain intact.

Fox Cities Stars

Coach: Troy Schwehr (13).

Home rink: Appleton Family Ice Center.

Outlook: The Stars’ strength is experience, as they return 16 players who saw varsity playing time last year. Among the group are seven of the top nine forwards from last season, four defensemen and goalies Brett Nyman, an honorable mention all-conference selection, and Nate Edwards.

Levi O’Brien is back as the top returning scorer and will get offensive help from Riley Hughson, Garrett Benz and Alex Gutjahr. Jarik Nemth, Scott Trevethan and Matt Piette are three of the top defensemen.

While Schwehr said his team is talented, the one thing it needs to learn this year is to do all the little things it takes to win at the varsity level.

Neenah/Hortonville/Menasha

Coach: Jeff Lindemann (seven).

Home rink: Tri County Ice Arena, Neenah.

Outlook: The Rockets have a wealth of talent but the majority are freshmen and sophomores who will be pressed into starting roles. How they handle the physical rigors of playing against older players will go a long ways in determining their success this season. The Rockets are also short on experience in goal, as they graduated all their goalies last season.

Lindemann said he will be looking to junior Mitch Gerhartz, the team’s captain, to lead his team on the offensive end. Sophomore Max Hackinson will be counted upon to continue the offensive growth he showed at the end of last season.

Defensively, sophomore Eric Hodell was struck down in tryouts with a knee injury and his return is uncertain. Lindemann will be looking to a pair of freshmen, Jack Kraus and Travis Temel, to fill that void.

Waupaca

Coach: David Crisman (two).

Home rink: Waupaca Expo Center, Waupaca.

Outlook: Waupaca will be led by senior Jared Erickson, last season’s Post-Crescent Media all-area player of the year and a first-team all-conference and honorable mention all-state selection. The Comets also return first-team all-conference pick Walker Smith, a sophomore, at goalie.

Crisman said the Comets will rely heavily on their defense this season. Offensively, Waupaca is counting on its depth to pick up the scoring load.

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Boys' hockey team capsules

Coach: Mike Brolsma (first season with team).

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