2019-20 Season Preview: Newtown
2018-19 Record: 8-11-1
Tournament Result: As 8-seed lost in the Division III Quarterfinals to 1-seed Daniel Hand 5-0
Head Coach: Paul Esposito (16th season)
Key Returning Players: Matthias Paltauf (F, Sr.), Jack Stanton (F, Sr.), Jack O’Connell (F, Sr.), Eli Kirby (F, Jr.), James Celentano (F, So.), Adam Kliczewski (D, Sr.), Phil Makris (D, Jr.), Markus Paltauf (G, So.)
Goalie Situation: Sophomore Markus Paltauf came into last season with high marks from his Roughrider days. He lived up to those expectations. Paltauf is a smaller netminder but when it comes to skill there’s few that come up as big as he does. He’s easily among the top of the heap as far as DIII goalies come this year.
Key Losses: David Brestovansky, Andrew Gardner, Jetson Ku (all to graduation)
Outlook: Newtown kicks off this season with their lowest number of bodies, well ever. They’ll only be dressing about 15 guys. There is definite talent back. Senior forwards Matthias Paltauf, Jack Stanton and Jack O’Connell lead a group that while thin in terms of numbers will battle each and every night out, mirroring their Head Coach Paul Esposito, one of the best in the biz. Junior Eli Kirby and sophomore James Celentano will be looked upon to provide a spark as well. On D, senior Adam Kliczewski will bring some leadership while junior Phil Makris will add an offensive edge to the blue line. Sophomore netminder Markus Paltauf has the chops to be able to steal some games for the Nighthawks this year and should keep them in most games. Newtown is coming off a season which saw them earn home ice in the tourney but couldn’t get past top seed Daniel Hand in the quarters. They said goodbye to the superbly talented David Brestovansky as well as Andrew Gardner and Jetson Ku. These losses will be hard to replicate. Since winning the Division III title back in 2013-14, Newtown is a sub .500 team which is hard to swallow considering how powerful they were when we started this thing. Newtown is an easy team to root for. Like New Milford, you have to admire their propensity to stay independent. They’ll struggle this year and it may be a type of rebuild, but with the Paltaufs still in tow, I think they find some dubs.