2020-21 Season Preview: Westhill-Stamford Knights
2019-20 Record: 14-5-1
Head Coach: John Santagata (11th season)
Key Returning Players: Tucker Healy (F, Sr.), Jay Bacco (F, Sr.), Eric Kelly (D, Sr.), Ethan Skaug (D, Sr.), James Leydon (F, So.), Eric Osterhus (G, So.)
Impact Newcomers: Emmett Donoghue (F, Sr. Trinity Catholic), Matt DiMartino (Sr. Trinity Catholic), John Leydon (Sr.), Kevin Unger (Fr.)
Goalie Situation: After an impressive freshman year, sophomore Eric Osterhus will be Westhill-Stamford’s choice to man the crease on most nights. He will be backed up by senior Luca Scotto and a new face or two.
Key Losses: Gavin Dolan, Tyler Tuccinardi, Jason Marchese, Eddie Zelikman, Hunter Gilchrist, Aidan Rella (all to graduation)
Outlook: So, if you recall, I picked Westhill-Stamford to win the Division II tournament last season in our pre-tourney package despite Branford and Hand and FVG being loaded. That group was just as loaded. But now, Gavin Dolan, Jason Marchese, Eddie Zelikman, Hunter Gilchrist, and Tyler Tuccinardi are all gone, all graduated. That’s 144 points and 65 goals. It has to be a sore subject around parts of Stamford. The “what could’ve been…” brigade bringing up the missed opportunity at coffee shops all over town. Well, knowing some of the bodies they’re bringing back, knowing the quality of netminder they return in sophomore Eric Osterhus, I think the pity party has long ended and these guys are ready to get back to work. They’re led up front by Player of the Year candidate and last year’s second-leading scorer, senior Tucker Healy (16 G, 18 A, 34 Pts). He’ll be aided by impressive senior Jay Bacco (8 G, 14 A, 22 Pts), a player who just keeps getting better and better since his days at Trinity Catholic. Speaking of Trinity Catholic, Westhill-Stamford reaped the rewards of that program unfortunately shutting down because seniors Emmett Donoghue and Matt DiMartino move right into prominent roles in Stamford. They may just be excited to have normal line changes and shift times. On the defensive end, seniors Eric Kelly and Ethan Skaug are quite dependable and should log big minutes. I feel kind of guilty abandoning my pick from last year but I’ve already gone on record backing Trumbull in this new FCIAC DII/DIII hybrid tier, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this Westhill-Stamford team gains the traction needed to have a monster year.