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2019-20 Season Preview: Eastern CT Eagles

Eastern CT Eagles

Conference: Nutmeg

2018-19 Record: 12-7-1

Tournament Result: As 14-seed lost in the Division II First Round to 3-seed Cheshire 3-2

Head Coach: Randy Craig (8th season)

Key Returning Players: Evan Tower (F, Sr.), Will Cannella (F, Sr.), Ashton Baltes (F, Sr.), Jake Verbridge (D, Sr.), Devyn Jordan (D, Jr.), Kyle Marino (D, Jr.), Anthony Gesino (D, So.), Rylin Fowler (G, Jr.)

Impact Newcomers: Steven Turchetta (F, Jr. Redhawks), Ryan LoVetere (F/D, Sr. Redhawks), Billy DeCastro (So.), Cade Waters (F, So.), Kevin Yang (F, So.), Quinten Olshan (F, So.)

Goalie Situation: Junior Rylin Fowler enters his third full season as the Eagles’ netminder. Fowler has gotten progressively better as his career has evolved and if you take out the Eagles’ losses to Guilford last year, he only allowed 5+ goals twice. This year Fowler will again be pushed by fellow junior Wes Williamson.

Key Losses: Ryan Huta, Trent Hughson (both to graduation), Kyle Jacobson (CT Chiefs)

Outlook: The Eastern CT Eagles have been a really fun team to follow over the years. Now in his 8th season, Randy Craig’s Eagles went 14-104 from 2012-2017. Then in 2018, the Eagles and their powerful offense won the DIII state title. They moved up to DII last year and nearly beat a really good 3-seeded Cheshire team in the first round. Now, they return with many familiar faces, a couple new additions that will surely shine but with some definite losses that will be tough to match. First and foremost senior forward Evan Tower (32 goals, 29 assists) is back for his senior year. Tower is easily a talent that can play after CIAC hockey and could have jumped from these ranks should he have wanted to. He’s joined up front by senior Will Cannella (16 goals, 12 assists), the team's 4th leading scorer last year. The Eagles did lose Ryan Huta and Trent Hughson to graduation and Kyle Jacobson to the CT Chiefs. The losses of Jacobson and Huta, second and third in points respectively last year, will be big hurdles to leap. Add in Hughson and that’s 49% of the teams point production from a year ago. However, junior Steven Turchetta (17 goals, 19 assists) joins the Eagles now that his former team the Redhawks have merged with the co-op. Turchetta scored 17 of the Redhawks 27 total goals last year and led the team in points with 36. Senior Ryan LoVetere is another coming over from the Redhawks and he brings experience and tons of talent as well. On D, the Eagles are in good shape with juniors Devyn Jordan (3 goals, 5 assists) and Kyle Marino (13 assists) and sophomore Anthony Gesino back. Rylin Fowler is an experienced goaltender who’s gotten better and better as his career has gone along. Look for the Eagles to be in the hunt this year as a legitimate title contender.

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