2019-20 Season Preview: Immaculate
2018-19 Record: 6-10-4 (as NFI)
Tournament Result: In NFI’s final season as a co-op, the Mustangs opted out of the CIAC Tournament
Head Coach: Brian Lugo (1st full season, took over toward the end of last season)
Key Returning Players: Joe Robinson (F, Sr.), Ryan Moody (F, Sr.), Finn Sawitsky (F, Sr.), Dylan Fortier (F, Sr.), Alex Butera (F, Sr.), Tim Hayden (D, Jr.), Peter Wirth (D, Jr.), Chris Graham (G, Sr.)
Impact Newcomers: James Moreau (D, Fr.)
Goalie Situation: Senior Chris Graham will be Immaculate’s starter. Graham backed up Dobos last year and had some moments where he certainly shined including a shutout of Portsmouth when NFI went out of state. Look for Graham to have a strong senior season. He will be pushed by junior Harrison Palmer.
Key Losses: Sam Mitchell, Zack Conboy, Scott Dobos, Ryan Fanella, Aaron Dibble, Mason Perigine
Outlook: This will be the third season in a row that the Mustangs will be starting the year with a new bench boss. However, this will be the first year in a while that Immaculate will start a season as an independent, losing long time co-op partner New Fairfield. Brian Lugo took over for Mike Bonelli toward the end of last season and early reports out of Danbury is that Lugo’s group is young and feisty. Given the schedule they’re playing with NDWH, Prep, New Canaan and Greenwich right out of the gate, these Mustangs better be ready to run. They return a strong senior core up front with Joe Robinson (25 points), Finn Sawitsky (15 points) and Ryan Moody (11 points) spearheading that charge. On D, junior Timmy Hayden (14 points) is strong and has a real quality offensive end to his game. He’ll immediately get some help from a freshman who Immaculate is excited about in the big bodied James Moreau. I think Chris Graham will be fine in net this year as he seemed to excel last year when given opportunities. Admittedly, the lost of Mason Perigine of New Fairfield, will be a tough one to swallow as will the graduations of guys like Sam Mitchell, Zach Conboy, Aaron Dibble and Ryan Fanella. But I don’t think all is lost this year for an Immaculate group whose looking at postseason hockey for the first time in over a year. Remember, NFI “opted out” of the tournament last year. A strong senior core, a competent goalie, an energized coach and some new depth lead me to believe that the Mustangs will hang around this year. Those first four games are a huge test, however.