2019-20 Season Preview: Ridgefield
2018-19 Record: 20-0
Tournament Result: As 1-seed lost in Division I Quarterfinals to 8-seed Xavier 3-2 (OT)
Head Coach: Shaun Gallagher (13th season)
Key Returning Players: Kees van Wees (F, Sr.), Luke Welsh (F, Sr.), Will Stewart (F, Jr.), Kevin McNicholas (D, Sr.), Patrick Rigby (D, Sr.)
Impact Newcomers: Mikey Conciatore (F, Jr.), Eric Periera (F, So.), Ryan Tullo (D, Jr.)
Goalie Situation: Last year’s Division I Goalie of the Year Sean Gordon has graduated. This leaves a big vacancy in net for Shaun Gallagher’s Tigers. As of press time, some new blood to the program are currently battling it out for the starting spot. Certainly a fluid situation worth watching.
Key Losses: Nick Cullinan, Matt Walker, Will Forrest, Simon van Wees, Daniel Parson, Brady McSpedon, Henry Garlick, Sean Gordon (all to graduation)
Outlook: Ouch. The way it ended. The way it happened. When it happened. It’s hard to look at last season’s quarterfinal loss in overtime to 8-seed Xavier and not pine for what could’ve been for Shaun Gallagher’s Ridgefield Tigers. An undefeated regular season and arguably the best group of talent I’ve seen since doing this thing, Ridgefield has to feel like they left one on the table. Entering the year with this on their mind but not their focus is key. For returning players like the supremely talented senior Kees van Wees and guys like senior Luke Welsh and junior Will Stewart, defensemen like seniors Kevin McNicholas and Patrick Rigby, making sure the new guys understand what was lost and playing with a chip on their shoulder could go a long way for Ridgefield this year. They still are a very talented group and if we weren’t comparing it to the Cullinan-Walker-Forrest line, this preview would probably read very differently. It’s a new look, it’s a new time and it’s now their time to shine. Gallagher reports that there are some new bodies looking to contribute including junior forward Mikey Conciatore. We also have not been given word on who will be taking over for the talented Sean Gordon in net. We shall see when it comes to Ridgefield. The saving grace is the fact that while the group returning isn’t as scary offensively, they should be damn good on the blue line, lead by McNicholas. Quite frankly, there are 6-8 other Division I teams who would love to return what Ridgefield is returning this year.