2020-21 Season Preview: St. Joseph Cadets
2019-20 Record: 4-16-0
Head Coach: Chris Nelson (1st season)
Key Returning Players: Liam Gelston (D, Sr.), AJ Gerace (F, Sr.), Wyatt Chrisman (F, Sr.), Kyle Marcinko (D, Jr.)
Impact Newcomers: Jonathan Vitka, Brady Tomassi
Goalie Situation: Junior Tyler Stiewing will be back manning the crease for the Cadets this year. A battle-tested netminder who has seen the battles that come each night in the FCIAC. His experience should bring a calm to first-year Head Coach Chris Nelson.
Key Losses: Brendan Prendergast, James McLaughlin, Michael Mulligan (all to graduation)
Outlook: It’s unfortunate and frankly heartbreaking that I have to write multiple team capsules acknowledging active head coaches who passed away during our offseason. This tragedy struck St. Joseph when Eddy Lemaire passed away back in July. Lemaire was with St. Joseph since 2009 and officially became the head coach in 2016. The Cadets won’t step on the ice for once second this year without thinking about their coach, and because of that, this will be an important, cathartic season for them. Long-time assistant Chris Nelson is taking over the Cadets this season and strictly from a competitive standpoint, has a tall task in front of him. Gone are the games against FCIAC Division III opponents; a loaded schedule awaits. But these Cadets are eager to show what they can do. Senior defenseman Liam Gelston will lead the charge alongside junior Kyle Marcinko on the back-end. On the blue line, seniors AJ Gerace and Wyatt Chrisman (6 G, 10 A, 16 Pts), the team’s leading scorer from a year ago, will be impactful. Junior Tyler Stiewing will be back in net for the Cadets after gaining a full year of experience last year. Ultimately, St. Joe’s is not a favorite in the FCIAC. I don’t think anyone will question that. The Cadets have lost 17 straight regular season games against FCIAC DI opposition. But, there is certainly room for improvement and goal setting. I think that’s where we’ll see the Cadets this year. Results will be tighter, mainly because of their veteran leadership in their upperclassmen and playing for something greater tends to bring out the best in athletes. For that, I wish them all the best.