PLATTSBURGH — Champlain Valley Athletic Conference boys hockey will have a new look this season.
The big news is the league dropping from six to five teams following the merger between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, with the combination in position to make a run at league honors.
There are also new head coaches on two of the teams and the addition of a number of assistant coaches on four of the teams.
Plattsburgh High School is the defending CVAC and Section VII Division II champion.
But, Saranac Lake/Lake Placid, Northeastern Clinton, Beekmantown and Saranac will all be taking aim at the top spot in what will expected to be a competitive league.
The Eagles graduated several key players from last year's team, including the Section VII Most Valuable Player.
Beekmantown (15-5-2) lost seven players in all, but there are 16 players back and the addition of nine newcomers.
“As a coaching staff, we are looking forward to seeing the younger players in our lineup develop as the year goes on,” coach Justin Frechette said. “We've had a great preseason so far, great leadership from our senior class. The players are working hard each and every day in practice to develop their skills and our team systems.
“We look forward to the challenge of a very demanding schedule once again this season that will see us play several of the top teams in New York State in both Division I and II, which should prepare us for post-season play.”
Kaden Kowalowski, Evan Davison, Hayden King, Kagan Livsey, Braeden Whittington, Matthew Parent, Andrew St. Hilaire.
Cody Repas, Riley Hansen, Tanner Carter, Gordon King, Robert Tetreault, Luke Moser, Dalton Kane, Anthony Marion, Alex Brienza, Collin Latinville, Trent Trahan, Dayton Rovers, Gavin Fessette, Nolan Latinville, Dale Gonyo, Conner McCarthy.
Cooper Burdo, Carter Ducatte, Keegin Rodier, Reid Fesette, Regan Dudyak, Austin Doser, Chase Clukey, Keegin Seamone, Alain Juneau.
The Cougars were extremely young last season and graduated only two players.
“We are very fortunate to be returning 17 players to the roster as well as gaining some good, young talented freshmen that will see some ice time,” NCCS coach Scott Lafountain said.
“Reigning first team all-star goalie Ethan Garrand, two-way player Reid LaValley, returning point leader Lucas Bedard and defensemen Jack Bulson and Noah Gonyo will be called upon for leadership on and off the ice.”
The Cougars finished 9-9-3 overall a season ago.
“Just like the past few seasons, the league will be tight and is up for grabs,” Lafountain said. “Any one of the five teams are capable of winning.
“The goals and expectations have been set, and both the players and coaching staff are excited to get going.”
Landon Coulombe, Cody Lyons.
Jack Bulson, Sam Bulson, Blake Chevalier, Lucas Bedard, Ethan Garrand, Noah Gonyo, Michael Pennington, Reid LaValley, Ryan Johnston Jr., Ty Vassar, Tyler Guay, Thomas Richard, Chase Letourneau, Owen Hollister, Hunter LaValley, Avery Sample, Zachary Miller.
Peter Judkins, Owen Roberts, Marcus Bedard, Lucas Hemingway.
Although the Hornets (16-3-4) lost some talented players from a season ago, the cupboard isn't bare as Plattsburgh High looks to give it a good go at defending their titles.
Joe Tolosky takes over as the head coach of the Hornets.
“Our team strengths will be relying heavily on our leadership and experience,” Tolosky said. “Many of our returners and upperclassmen have the experience and know what it takes to get the job done. Our leaders will be key in showing our younger players what varsity hockey is all about.
”With changes coming to our section and teams getting another year stronger, I expect it to once again be a competitive and action-filled season. Our goal is to learn, grow, and gradually improve throughout the season in order to put us in the best possible position to succeed.”
Nate Boule, Cameron Colburn, Joey Jamison.
Ethan Kay, Brayden Trombley, Bostyn Duquette, Jake Kennedy, Jake Dandrow, Jackson Kain, Drew Knowles, Greyson Giroux, Brandt Clarke, Ethan Vaughn, Hayden Colburn, Josh Bleaux, Tyler Reid, Hunter Boadway, Jace Lacey, Thomas Carron, Ryan Knowles, Austin Lucas, John Dublanyk, Ty Calkins.
Olivier Maher, Evan Kay, Dylan Pachter, Seamus Andrew.
The Chiefs return a good share of last year's roster and will be looking to improve on its standing in the league.
Saranac has a good mixture of returning players (14) and newcomers (10).
“We have a solid group of guys back from last year and some promising newcomers this year.” coach Steve Komanecky said. “It will be a tight race this year, but I feel confident that we can make the jump from the bottom of the league to the top.
“We had a lot of one-goal losses last season that could have gone our way. So, I'm really looking forward to see how we will bounce back from last year.”
Todd Heywood, Zach Miner, Mavrick Hack.
Austin Carpenter, Garrett Adolfo, Aidan Recore, Erick Frechette, Macen Mero, Dylan Eagleson, Rylee Wilson, Nolan Knight, Ben Phinney, Hunter Provost, Hayden Buckley, Zach O'Connell, Nik Hamel, Sam Betrus.
Bailey Marsh, Connor Graves, Landen Duprey, Ryan Maggy, Ashtyn Catlin, Ethan Barnes, Theron Giroux, Ben Bassett, Mason Patnode, Austin Davis.
SARANAC LAKE/LAKE PLACID
This is the first year that Saranac Lake and Lake Placid will be competing as a joint team.
Keith Clark, who formerly was the head coach at Lake Placid for 13 years, has returned behind the bench as head coach of the merged squad.
“We are happy with our team speed, and it appears we may have some nice depth,” Clark said. “We hope to play an uptempo brand of hockey.
“Our opportunity and challenge is to build a team identity and team culture with players from our two districts. We are excited as a group to meet this challenge. Much of this team identity will be formed from the play and leadership of our upperclassmen.”
Anders Stanton, Tyler Hinckley, Logan Brown, Noah Munn-Jennings, Carter Sturgeon, Kaden Darrah, Dylan Amell, Jon Kratts, Hunter Wilmot, Rhett Darrah, Ryan Gallagher, Kenneth Lawless, Brendan Bullock, Tanner Foley, Bailey Bartholomew, Dustin Patterson, Camden Reiley, Patrick Van Ness, Ben Munn, Nick Munn, Brady Tremblay, Tristan Spotts, Warren Clark, Patrick Wamsganz, Carson Ryan, Hugo Hobson, Brayden Munn, Foster Wood.