Woodstock Academy Centaurs
2018-19 Record: 12-5-2
Tournament Result: As 13-seed lost in the Division II First Round to 4-seed Branford 6-2
Head Coach: Kevin Bisson (2nd season)
Key Returning Players: Doug Newton (F, Sr.), Jake Starr (F, Sr.), Guerin Favreau (F, Jr.), Austen LeDonne (F, Sr.), Kyle Brennan (F, So.), Brendan Hill (D, So.)
Goalie Situation: Dylan Shea has graduated leaving an opening in net that will pit senior Josh Lavitt and junior Colin Liscomb up against each other. The Woodstock goalie has been a position of stability and fortitude over the years with past netminders like Baylee Johns, Cal Wilcox and the aforementioned Shea. Getting solid performance out this position this year will be huge for the Centaurs.
Key Losses: Matt Odom, Liam McDermott, Ethan Thorpe, Dylan Shea (all to graduation)
Outlook: Woodstock Academy had to move up from DIII when they did. They were coming off 34 wins over a two year span and a healthy 7-3 win over Hall-Southington in the Division III championship to cap off the 2016-17 season. Their performance at the DII level hasn’t quite matched that success. Losing guys like Ryan Black and Nathan Deluca and Cal Wilcox, no one said it would. They’ve gone 20-26-2 over their two years and while that doesn’t sound terrible, if you probe deeper you’ll see that this team has been overmatched for two years. They bowed out in the first round of the DII tourney both years by four goal margins and last year despite a 12-5-2 record, only four of those wins came against DII competition, all against, now DIII teams Hall-Southington and SGWL. I’m not saying this to beat down Woodstock but more to point out that success is certainly fleeting. I’m also saying this because I think this year’s Centaurs group is the strongest of the last three years. Up front, they return senior Doug Newton, a 34 point scorer from a year ago, senior Jake Starr, a playmaker who had 20 points, including 18 assists last year, senior Austen LeDonne, another 20+ point scorer from a year ago and junior Guerin Favreau who might have the most upside of the lot. Add in sophomore Kyle Brennan, Newton and Favreau’s linemate from a year ago and we’re cooking. On D and in net the Centaurs are a bit more inexperienced but look for sophomore defenseman Brendan Hill to have a big year. I think they bounce back this year, not to the level of being a title contender in a loaded DII field, but I think they’ll be a tough out for sure.