By ALEX SPONSELLER The Cranston West boys hockey team has high hopes this season, coming off of a 2018-19 season in which it made the Division II Semifinals after dropping down from DI. With 10 seniors leading the way, the Falcons expect to be right back
The Cranston West boys hockey team has high hopes this season, coming off of a 2018-19 season in which it made the Division II Semifinals after dropping down from DI.
With 10 seniors leading the way, the Falcons expect to be right back in the championship hunt and hope to take it one step further this time around.
“We’ve got a veteran group this year and they’re all determined to win. Last year’s playoff loss kind of left a bitter taste in their mouths so they’ve come in here ready to go. They’re very hungry and determined to make this work,” said West coach Matt Brannon. “They keep saying that it’s championship or bust and they’ve been coming to practice and working hard. We keep telling them that nothing is a given, though.”
The Falcons split their opening games to begin the winter.
West dropped its opener against Lincoln 5-2 at home last Friday.
Tied 2-2 heading into the final frame, the Falcons ran out of gas as Lincoln went on to net three straight goals to wrap up the win.
Noah Amaral and Andrew Martin scored goals for West in the loss while Dylan Demers chipped in two assists.
The Falcons rebounded to top Ponaganset in a 7-0 thrashing and to even their record to 1-1.
Cam Koretsky had a hat trick for West, while the Falcons got other goals from Demers, Martin, Amaral and Kaden Santurri. Goalie Matthew Corrente recorded 15 saves in the shutout win.
Brannon expects the Falcons to face each team’s best shot considering their strong finish last year.
“They’re hoping to come out on top in March, but it’s a long season, and we saw against Lincoln that we’re going to get everyone’s best games. Last year there was that unknown. Everyone kind of thought since we were moving from Division I down to Division II that things would be easy, but they weren’t, we got everyone’s best game,” said Brannon.
Once again, the Falcons will be led by one of the top front lines in the state.
“Our top line scored nearly 100 points last year and we have that line intact. Cam Koretsky, Dylan Demers and Josh Zambarano, those guys should form one of the best lines in the state this season. It will be about balancing the lines out behind them. We have a new goalie in Matthew Corrente who had a shutout for us, they’ll need to get used to having a new goalie in the net. We have three seniors on defense as well,” said Brannon.
Brannon is also looking forward to having one last ride with this senior group, who were freshmen when he took over as head coach a few years back.
“It’s always great to see kids grow into young men. This is a great group of kids that have always worked hard. We just want to have fun and to make every game count, there aren’t many left for them, it’s a quick season and before you know it it’ll be March … it’ll be the last time they put that jersey on,” said Brannon. “They are soaking it in, it’s a close-knit group and this is an opportunity for them to make some lasting memories.”