Darien Blue Wave
2018-19 Record: 16-4
Tournament Result: As 3-seed lost in Division I Quarterfinals to 6-seed Notre Dame-West Haven 3-1
Head Coach: Mac Budd (5th season)
Key Returning Players: Bennett McDermott (F, Sr.), Jameson Moore (F, Jr.), Sam Erickson (F, Jr.), Max Sharp (F, Sr.), Matt Fiorita (F, Sr.), Teddy Dyer (F, Jr.), Danny Lowe (F, Jr.), James Conway (F, Jr.), Jack Massey (D, Sr.), Matthew Stein (D, Jr.), Luke Johnston (D, Jr.), Albert Lian (D, Jr.), Nick Lancaster (D, So.) Chris Schofield (G, So.)
Goalie Situation: Chris Schofield, now a sophomore, is the guy in Darien. Schofield, in limited action last year backing up Henri Pfeifle, put together an undefeated season and won the DI Rookie of the Year. Look for him to have a monster sophomore season and backstop a loaded Darien group.
Key Losses: Henri Pfeifle, James Gregory, CJ Hathaway, Hudson Pokorny (all to graduation), Cole Branca (injury)
Outlook: Darien took a step in the right direction last year after a few losing campaigns but you better believe no one in the Blue Wave locker room was satisfied after falling in the quarterfinals to 6-seed Notre Dame-West Haven. The good news for fifth year Head Coach Mac Budd is his team returns with a deep core and a talented netminder in sophomore Chris Schofield. Up front Darien will be led by senior forward and captain Bennett McDermott, a 13 goal scorer from a year ago. Look for juniors Jameson Moore and Sam Erickson to take off this year as well, as both of them are coming off 20+ point seasons. Junior Teddy Dyer looks like another guy who will be looked upon to provide some production. After that, there’s plenty of depth with role guys like seniors Max Sharp and Matt Fiorita. On D, senior captain Jack Massey, juniors Luke Johnston and Matthew Stein and an experienced group of defensemen lead one of the state’s more veteran D cores. Unfortunately for Darien, senior captain Cole Branca will miss his senior season after suffering an injury in the offseason. Per usual there will be more names added to this list as Darien turns over their roster with the best of them. Losing a goalie like Henri Pfeifle, a do-everything defenseman in James Gregory and leading scorer CJ Hathaway will be tough to get over, but there’s more than enough pieces here to make Darien a favorite at the DI level. Look for their three year Ingalls drought to end this year.