2020-21 Season Preview: Northwest Catholic Lions
2019-20 Record: 7-12-1
Head Coach: Dan Melanson (4th season)
Key Returning Players: Griffin Macary (D, Sr.), Connor Melanson (F, Sr.), Bobby Lachance (F, Jr.), Jack McDermott (F, Jr.), Cam Barone (F, Jr.), Will Burke (F, Jr.), Owen Macary (D, So.), Ethan Porter (F, So.), Evan Curtiss (D, So.)
Impact Newcomers: Cory Alissi (F, So.), JJ Hurley (D, Fr.), Cullin Horn (F, Fr.), Fin Boyd (D, Fr.)
Goalie Situation: The Lions graduated any of their goaltending depth from a year ago. Right now, it’s a three-horse race and could come down to whoever has the hottest hand. Senior Patrick Schulitz has the most experience of the group, appearing in a couple games over the last three years. Senior Owen Jacobs will vie for time, as will promising sophomore Hunter Wilcox.
Key Losses: Nathan Loitz, Luke Gfeller, Cam Porter, Brandon Waitt, John Lewis (all to graduation), Noah Melanson (NAHL)
Outlook: The Lions return to action this season after a season that didn’t necessarily mirror a proud Northwest Catholic tradition. But with a strong D-core and some needed experience up front, the Lions are looking to rejoin a group of talented Division I teams. The most important shot in the arm Northwest Catholic is receiving comes in the services of senior defenseman Griffin Macary. Macary saw his 2019-20 season cut short with an ugly concussion sustained in a win against Glastonbury. Northwest Catholic returns second leading goal scorer senior Connor Melanson (14 G, 5 A, 19 Pts) and a cast of role playing forwards that will need to elevate their game to make up for the loss of the likes of Noah Melanson, Nate Loitz, Luke Gfeller, and Cam Porter. There are some question marks, however, namely in net where 4th-year Head Coach Dan Melanson will have to find some magic in the form of one (or more) of his inexperienced netminders. Northwest Catholic will be playing predominantly a sub-DI CCC schedule that has the likes of Xavier and Simsbury sprinkled in. This should allow them to be a favorite in the CCC North and compete for a conference title.