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2020-21 Season Preview: North Branford T-Birds

Conference: SCC/SWC

2019-20 Record: 1-18-1

Head Coach: Ralph Shaw (12th season)

Key Returning Players: Nick Poulin (F, Sr.), Ryan Michonski (F, Jr.), Tyler Waligroski (D, Sr.), Dakota Cooper (F, Jr.), Joe Marra (D, Jr.)

Impact Newcomers: Michael Matteo (F, Fr.)

Goalie Situation: Sophomore Aiden Geist will take over the netminding duties for the T-Birds this year. Geist served as the team’s back up last season behind junior Tyler DiNapoli who transferred out to Canterbury.

Key Losses: Joe Carbone, Jack Michonski (both to graduation), Tyler DiNapoli (Canterbury)

Outlook: North Branford ran aground and had what has to be their worst year in program history last year. One win in a deep DII SCC/SWC pool had to be frustrating for all involved. This is a North Branford program that has been a power throughout most of the 2010’s, making it to four semifinals and two championship games. While they aren’t returning to that prominence this year, one has to think they are going to be significantly better than the one-win team from a year ago. On offense, they return their top two scorers in senior Nick Poulin (11 G, 8 A, 19 Pts) and speedy junior Ryan Michonski (10 G, 8 A, 18 Pts). Junior Dakota Cooper is expected to have a solid season as well according to 12th year Head Coach Ralph Shaw. On the back-end, senior Tyler Waligroski and junior Joe Marra will man a blueline that struggled last season. With goaltender Tyler DiNapoli leaving for Canterbury, it’ll be up to sophomore Aiden Geist to take over in net. I think North Branford should improve from a year ago. How much remains to be seen.

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