2019-20 Season Preview: WMRP
2018-19 Record: 15-5
Tournament Result: As 9-seed lost in the Division II Semifinals to 4-seed Branford 6-1
Head Coach: Dennis Tulimieri (34th season)
Key Returning Players: Trevor Piecewicz (F/D, Sr.), Aaron Cholewa (F, Jr.), Jack Healy (F, Sr.)
Impact Newcomers: Evan Partridge (F, So.), Dylan Reynolds (F, So.)
Goalie Situation: We have a fun one to check out in Eagle land. Jake Peckrul has graduated and moved on after being a mainstay in net for WMRP over the last two years. Junior Trevor Schad is the only returning goalie for the Eagles and he saw only 35 minutes of action last year. Returning to CIAC hockey is senior Patrick Creel who spent time with the Connecticut Chiefs this past winter. Add in sophomore Tanner Healy and you have a good old fashioned goalie battle on your hands. Given Creel’s experience, he has the early edge but no one should get too comfortable with other bodies lurking.
Key Losses: Jake Peckrul, Ben Mroczka, Riordan Mertens (all to graduation)
Outlook: WMRP returns plenty of firepower this year from a team that was very well spread out in terms of offensive distribution. Senior Trevor Piecewicz (34 points), junior Aaron Cholewa (27 points) and senior Jack Healy (16 points in 10 games) lead an offense that is filled with role players after these three. It should be noted that Piecewicz will see plenty of time on the blue line as well. Former Eagle Cam Partridge’s brother, sophomore Evan Partridge is going to be looked upon to add a spark offensively as will sophomore newcomer Dylan Reynolds. If those two click, this offense could be down right dirty. We will be in for a goalie battle in net with three candidates looking to lock down the job. Creel looks like the favorite so far. Similarly to the Eastern CT Eagles, WMRP is a team that went from the doldrums to great heights. Over the last three seasons, WMRP has gone 44-15-1. The prior two seasons as a co-op saw them go 6-32-2. This turnaround is incredible and it’ll continue this year as I see WMRP as a top five team entering the season and if strong on the back end, they should remain there all year.