2020-21 Season Preview: North Haven Indians
Updated: Feb 6
2019-20 Record: 11-6-3
Head Coach: Chris Avena (3rd season)
Key Returning Players: Aaron Racino (F, Sr.), Eli Brubacher (F, Sr.), Mason Sullivan (F, Sr.), Will Fiore (F, Sr.), Nick Howlett (D, Sr.), Justin Marks (D, Sr.), Andrew Sacco (G, Sr.)
Impact Newcomers: Jake Donovan (Fr.), Kevin Lawler (Fr.)
Goalie Situation: Head Coach Chris Avena is thrilled to have the depth in net that he has this year in a year like no other. Senior Andrew Sacco (.920 SV%, 2.00 GAA) is the top dog, coming off another impressive season last year after transferring into North Haven from LHK. Junior Jared Anderson (2 shutouts last season) and sophomore Bryce Petersen are both capable netminders in their own right and can spell Sacco when needed.
Key Losses: Donny Funaro, Alan Tancreti, Jake Wentworth (all to graduation)
Outlook: North Haven bounced back nicely last year after a down year in 2018-19. This year, with what they’ve returned, they can and should contend for an SCC/SWC DII title. The Indians bring back one of the state’s best goalies and most colorful characters in senior Andrew Sacco. He will be pushed for playing time by Jared Anderson; you better believe he’s going to be the guy strapping it up when it’s all on the line. Depth is something North Haven has that other teams would kill for at this point, and it’s talented depth at that. Seniors Aaron Racino (13 G, 8 A, 21 Pts), Eli Brubacher (8 G, 13 A, 21 Pts), and the hulking Mason Sullivan (10 G, 3 A, 13 Pts) is one of the stronger offensive units there are at this level. On D, seniors Justin Marks and Nick Howlett will attempt to make up for the loss to Donny Funaro, a player who would log 35+ minutes like it was nothing. Now in his third year with the Indians, Chris Avena thinks the depth and experience of this crew, returning 20 players will be a major edge for North Haven. “In a year where meeting as a team and going over systems and film study will be challenging and different than any other season, our experience should be an advantage. Also, our depth at every position will benefit us. Our next man up mentality is something we are preparing for and preaching,” Avena told CTHSHockey. There’s a definite edge to this team as well this year. Senior goalie Andrew Sacco explains “We are coming with a different attitude. We are blessed to have the opportunity to have a season and we are gonna take full advantage of the time we have and the team we have put together. We feel no one belongs in the same rink as us in our division, and we want to blow the absolute doors off of every team we play.” Insert wide-eyed emoji and find me the nearest wall to run through. I think there’s merit to these feelings. Remember, this is a strong group that is only a year removed from a 1-0 loss to Branford in the SCC/SWC DII title game.