2019-20 Season Preview: Xavier
2018-19 Record: 8-10-2
Tournament Result: As 8-seed lost in the Division I Semifinals to 5-seed Fairfield Prep 5-2
Head Coach: Karl Sundquist (1st season)
Key Returning Players: Jake Lion (F, Jr.), JJ Ford (D, Sr.), Adam Bradshaw (D, Jr.), Ryan Drust (D, So.)
Impact Newcomers: Aden Hotchkiss (F, Sr. The Gunnery)
Goalie Situation: With Jake Woznyk graduating and Kellen Beauton heading to Pomfret, experience is not something the Falcons will have in net to begin the year. Senior Justin Child appears to have a leg up to start. But he will be battled hard by junior Ryan Soloman. This is another growing pain for a Xavier club who was decimated with early exits and graduations.
Key Losses: Chase Maxwell, Trevor Earley, Brendan Buckley, Jake Woznyk (all to graduation), Luke Lappe (other), Nick LeClaire (Northfield Mount Hermon), Kellen Beauton (Pomfret), Tommy Lynch (Choate)
Outlook: Xavier brings on veteran coach Karl Sundquist who will take over for Kyle Heins and Rick Longobardi. Sundquist is familiar with Wesleyan coming off of years coaching at Cheshire. After playing one of the most ridiculous out of state schedules, Xavier toned it back down this year playing only three opponents outside of Connecticut. This is probably a good idea considering the sheer amount of bodies and talent the Falcons lost. Maxwell is gone so are role guys like Earley and Buckley, both goalies are gone, Nicky LeClaire and Tommy Lynch are off at prep school and Luke Lappe has committed his focus to baseball. Enter Aden Hotchkiss who enters with a lot of pressure to be the Falcons’ savior. Now back from The Gunnery, the former CTHSHockey Freshman of the Year, is a sight for sore eyes for the Falcon faithful. Xavier also boasts senior JJ Ford, one of the better returning defensemen in DI. They’ll need some production out of junior Jake Lion and they’ll rely heavily on a pretty deep D core. Xavier will look to build off their success and improbable semifinal run from a year ago, but as good as Hotchkiss is, and he is that good, they’ll need to find scoring elsewhere.