2019-20 Season Preview: BBD
2018-19 Record: 6-12-1
Tournament Result: As 10-seed lost in the Division III First Round to 7-seed New Milford 6-3
Head Coach: Rusty Granacker (18th season)
Key Returning Players: Tyler Caldara (F, Sr.), Christian Gardecki (F, Sr.), Kyle Boller (F, Jr.), Bryce Wallace (D, Jr.), Matt Riddle (F, Sr.), Spencer Abrams (F/D, Jr.), Aidan Garvey (D, Jr.), Anthony Britton (F, Jr.)
Impact Newcomers: Louie Alfidi (G, So.), Kenny Granacker (F, So.)
Goalie Situation: Gone is Alex Fernandes after putting in a real strong senior season. That leaves a vacancy that looks to be filled by newcomer, sophomore Louie Alfidi of Danbury. The name might sound familiar. Alfidi’s older brother Doug was a standout for BBD a few years back. The sophomore looks to step in and make a name for himself.
Key Losses: Tommy Schiesser, Anton Oleshko, Alex Fernandes, Jake Matson, Patryk Fancher (all to graduation), Eryk Fancher (Notre Dame-Fairfield)
Outlook: Milestone season for BBD hockey. This is the 50th year of Bethel hockey and for Head Coach Rusty Granacker, he’s been around for 26 of those years, 18 as the boss. Granacker’s name often gets forgotten when discussing veteran coaches in the state and while state titles have been elusive (they were runners up at the DIII level in 2010), you’d be hard pressed to find former players speaking negatively about the IceCats long time bench boss. BBD is an interesting team coming into this season. They have an exciting new netminder in sophomore Louie Alfidi and they’re led by a core of returning role players. However, they lost a lot to graduation and Eryk Fancher transferring. Senior forwards Tyler Caldara, Matt Riddle and Christian Gardecki as well as juniors Kyle Boller and Anthony Britton will look to make up for the loss of Schiesser, Oleshko and the elder Fancher. Look for sophomore Kenny Granacker, Rusty’s kid, to make an impact as well. On D, juniors Bryce Wallace and Aidan Garvey as well as super utility-guy junior Spencer Abrams will look to provide some stopping power for the co-op. BBD has won 13 games over the last two years with six of those wins coming against non-CT opponents. Again this year, they will play eight games vs. out of state competition, a boost to their playoff points, and while the system is probably broke, there’s nothing wrong with using while it remains the way it is.