2019-20 Season Preview: Westhill-Stamford

Westhill-Stamford Knights

Conference: FCIAC

2018-19 Record: 11-9

Tournament Result: As 11-seed lost in the Division II First Round to 6-seed Glastonbury 6-2

Head Coach: John Santagata (10th season)


Key Returning Players: Gavin Dolan (F, Sr.), Hunter Gilchrist (F, Sr.), Jason Marchese (F, Sr.), Edward Zelikman (F, Sr.), Tucker Healy (F, Jr.), Aidan Rella (D, Sr.), Tyler Tuccinardi (D, Sr.), Luca Scotto (G, Jr.)


Impact Newcomers: Jay Bacco (F, Jr. Trinity Catholic), Eric Osterhus (G, Fr.), James Leydon (F, Fr.), Jordan Gabine (F, So.)


Goalie Situation: With the amount of fire power Westhill-Stamford possess, goalie becomes an afterthought. However, the co-op allowed 5+ goals ten times during the regular season last year and six in their first round loss to Glastonbury. Returning starter junior Luca Scotto looks to lock down the job but by no means is it a given. There are three netminders behind him that would also like to see some time in net. Sophomores Evan Crawford and Jared Maloney and freshman Eric Osterhus are all looking to grab the starting reins.


Outlook: Westhill-Stamford returns everyone. They possess an offense that even the best at the DII level can struggle to match. We’ll start with the senior class. Gavin Dolan (20 goals, 35 assists), Jason Marchese (11 goals, 36 assists), Edward Zelikman (25 goals, 23 assists) and Hunter Gilchrist (10 goals, 11 assists) combined for 66 goals and 105 points last year. Add in talented junior Tucker Healy (24 goals, 24 assists) and his nearly 50 point sophomore campaign and this co-op is ready to not only battle at the DII level but possibly put some fear in their DI FCIAC counterparts. Westhill-Stamford will also receive the transfer talent of junior forward Jay Bacco (3 goals, 5 assists) formerly of Trinity Catholic. On D, seniors Tyler Tuccinardi (8 goals, 17 assists) and Aidan Rella (1 goal, 9 assists) are more than capable of locking it down. Their job is greatly eased by the amount of offensive firepower this team possesses. The remaining question mark is in net which I went into more detail above. Simply, Scotto doesn’t have the job locked. There are other options and whoever can play a competent brand should be able to lock down some crease time. I think the combination of playing the FCIAC’s Division I competition (first time that’s been a good thing) and the offensive potency that this team possesses put Westhill-Stamford in the driver’s seat at the DII level. Look for huge things out of Terry Conners this year.

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