New Canaan Rams
2018-19 Record: 13-6-1
Tournament Result: As 7-seed lost in Division I Quarterfinals to 2-seed Northwest Catholic 1-0
Head Coach: Clark Jones (3rd season)
Key Returning Players: Justin Wietfeldt (D, Sr.), Bennett Ong (D, Sr.), Eric Wills (D, Sr.), Griffin Deane (F, Jr.), Boden Gammill (F, Jr.)
Goalie Situation: All new goaltenders for the Rams this year. A battle is on between freshman Beau Johnson, sophomore Evan Hayes and senior James Gibbing. May the best man win.
Key Losses: Gunnar Granito, Walker Ker, Shane Pickering, Turner Ives, Jack O’Hare, Brendan Knightly, Campbell Lewis, Dylan Shane, Jack Spain (all to graduation)
Outlook: New Canaan put together another solid campaign last year notching 13 wins and reaching the state quarterfinals before falling to Northwest Catholic 1-0. However, an area where I think they’ll improve this year is their performance against Division I opponents. Last year the Rams went 5-6-1 against Division I teams (excluding St. Joseph). I think this new look Rams squad (Jones reports over 56 kids tried out) will put together another solid season but will do things in a much different way. Stud goal scorer Gunnar Granito has graduated. He accounted for 40% of the Rams goal scoring. They’re now led from the back to the front. The Rams boast three gifted senior defensemen in Justin Wietfeldt (3 goals, 9 assists), Bennett Ong (1 goal, 5 assists) and Eric Wills (3 assists). Junior Griffin Deane (10 goals, 11 assists) was second to only Granito in Rams’ points last year. He’ll lead the offense with junior Boden Gammill (4 goals, 15 assists) who was third in scoring and certainly has a great hockey pedigree. We’re not hearing much about who will take the goaltending reins and it seems like a fluid competition at least at press time. Right now, I’m thinking the Rams are in the middle of a DI top ten with the opportunity to climb the ranks as the season progresses. Goaltending and finding a few consistent goal scorers will be key to this.