SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

December 19, 2012

The Blue Line Report: Veteran leadership abundant across local rosters

(Continued)

Leadership is going to go a long way for Salem this winter. Having junior captain Brett Harring back between the pipes in a huge plus; the same can be said for fellow captain Jake Batista, a senior defenseman. Both have experienced some rough times the last few seasons and would love to be part of the turnaround under new head coach Teddy Hanley.

Two more experienced rearguards, senior Anthony Maurais and junior Adam Ngo (who scored in last Saturday’s season opening win) are also tugging on the Witches’ sweaters again, joining offensive threats Spencer Bergholtz, Sam Petri, Jake Stahlman, Matt Jalbert and Ben Kapnis as returnees whose games should all be vastly improved.

Now check out what’s happening in Peabody, where a bad thing (missing the playoffs) a year ago could wind up being a very good thing (getting back in) this time around. Six seniors, five juniors and two sophomores who battled in 2011-12 are ready to make amends in 2012-13.

It starts in goal with Joe Powers; fellow senior captains Pat Ruotolo and Matt McIsaac (who can also play forward) will serve as defensive rocks in front of him. Mike Vadala, Tyler Gillespie, Andrew Bisconti and Derek Demild are just some of the names up front that should make themselves much more prevalent on the scoresheet with a year of seasoning under their skates.

What about Marblehead? Head coach Bob Jackson has the luxury of rolling out eight of his top 10 forwards from the previous season and, when Tyler Gelineau returns next month from injury, four experienced defenseman in front of another veteran, junior Myles Barry between the pipes.

Junior left wing Tom Koopman forms a potent first line for the Headers with Ian Maag at center and 230-pound hulk Ty Bates on the right side; the third line of Dean Fader with Erik Powers and Joe Newall on his right promises to be one of the area’s best checking units. Liam Gillis, one of the North Shore’s best two-day defenders, joins Zac Cuzner, Cam Rowe and Gelineau to provide toughness and leadership on D.

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