2019-20 Season Preview: Masuk
2018-19 Record: 5-14-1
Tournament Result: As 15-seed lost in the Division III First Round to 2-seed LHK 6-1
Head Coach: Andrew Sinibaldi (2nd season)
Key Returning Players: Kyle Cirillo (F, Sr.), Michael Domenichelli (D, Jr.)
Impact Newcomers: Ross Beck (D, Sr. CT Jr. Wolfpack), Andrew Labella (D, So. Fairfield Prep), Colin Deering (D, Fr.), Drew Scalia (F, Fr. CT Jr. Rangers)
Goalie Situation: The Panthers and second year coach Andrew Sinibaldi find themselves in a rare predicament, especially at the CIAC high school ranks. They will be auditioning a new goalie for the first time in four years. So very rare is a goalie starting for four years at this level, but that’s what departed netminder Tag Weiss accomplished. Weiss appeared in 3,688 of a possible 3,822 minutes over his time at Masuk. That’s a whopping 96%. Senior Evan Laguardia and sophomore Tory Beck are now tasked with filling some pretty big pads. For the Panthers sake, let’s hope one of them can rise to the occasion.
Key Losses: Tag Weiss, Brendan Andros (both to graduation)
Outlook: Head Coach Andrew Sinibaldi is confident his Masuk Panthers will improve on last year’s performance after sneaking into the playoffs with a 5-14-1 record. But they’ll have to do this without mainstay Tag Weiss in net. It’s not senior Evan Laguardia’s turn to man the crease. Up front senior forward Kyle Cirillo (7 goals, 5 assists) will lead the Panthers’ charge. On the blue line it’s junior Michael Domenichelli that will be counted on to protect the Panthers’ zone. The Panthers are excited about some of the new bodies joining the fray as well. Numbers continue to be low for Masuk and eight new faces will be counted on to contribute right away. Senior defenseman Ross Beck has decided to play for Masuk this year after playing for the CT Jr. Wolfpack in the past. Andrew Labella, a sophomore defenseman has come over from Fairfield Prep and freshman forwards Drew Scalia and Colin Deering should see playing time early on for the Panthers. For me, replacing Weiss is a near impossible task. If the Panthers are to have success this year, those new bodies have to take some of the burden off of Cirillo and Domenichelli and any other returning Panther’s shoulders. If not, it could be a long year for Masuk.