2020-21 Season Preview: Newington Co-op Indians
2019-20 Record: 17-3-0
Head Coach: Dave Harackiewicz (25th season)
Key Returning Players: Sam Hedlund (F, Sr.), Sam Davies (F, Sr.), Killian Ranger (F, Sr.), Braeden Humphrey (D, Jr.), Joe Petronio (F, Sr.), Harrison Ranger (F, So.), Andrew Fogarty (G, Sr.)
Impact Newcomers: Josh Grimm (So.), Evan Howard (So.), Evan Oliver (So.), Mike Deegan (So.)
Goalie Situation: Newington Co-op sits in a quite profitable position returning a goalie the caliber of senior Andrew Fogarty (.948 SV%, 0.88 GAA.). Fogarty not only posted those eye-popping stats but he also led the state in shutouts with seven. The next highest total was four.
Key Losses: Justin Stergos, Chris Brandon, Alex DiPaola, Nick DeRiu (all to graduation)
Outlook: After a 17-win regular season last year, Newington Co-op was surprisingly not affected by the shutdown as they were just coming off one of the bigger upsets in recent memory, losing to 15-seed Housy 4-0 in the first round. That certainly wasn’t the way Newington wanted to go out but it should lead to an added hunger this year. There’s reason to be excited if you’re a player, coach, or supporter of Newington Co-op. They indeed lose the services of Justin Stergos, 2019-20 CTHSHockey Division III Defenseman of the Year, but aside from that, they return five of their top six scorers. Senior Sam Hedlund (9 G 15 A, 24 Pts) led Newington in scoring last year. He returns alongside seniors Sam Davies (8 G, 7 A, 15 Pts), Killian Ranger (6 G, 9 A, 15 Pts), and Joey Petronio (4 G, 8 A, 12 Pts). On top of the loss of Stergos on the blueline, Newington also graduated Chris Brandon, an all-league player from a year ago. So, if we had to name a weakness on this year’s Newington group, it would be depth on the back-end. Junior Braeden Humphrey (4 G, 9 A, 13 Pts) is coming off a great sophomore year and will be tasked with helping a new group of defensemen keep the puck away from stud senior goalie Andrew Fogarty. Fogarty is as good as they come in net, but was also the beneficiary of two of the state’s best defensemen in front of him last year. If this is the only growing pains area for Newington, I think they can contend at the CCC South level.