2020-21 Season Preview: Wethersfield Eagles
2019-20 Record: 17-3-0
Head Coach: Dennis Tulimieri (35th season)
Key Returning Players: Aaron Cholewa (F, Sr.), Chase Millen (F, Sr.), Kevin Avery (D, Sr.), Will McCarter (F, Jr.), Colby Quinn (F, Jr.), Spencer Bartone (D, Sr.)
Impact Newcomers: Matthew Ruck (G, Fr.), Ben Caufield, Jack Millen
Goalie Situation: Through graduation and the disbandment of WMRP, Wethersfield was left without a netminder. Freshman Matthew Ruck will be the only rostered goalie for the Eagles this year. No pressure, kid.
Key Losses: Trevor Piecewicz, Jack Healy (both to graduation), Evan Partridge (Loomis Chaffee), Trevor Schad (Rocky Hill Co-op), Dylan Reynolds (Xavier), Brody Davidson (Rocky Hill Co-op), Owen Davidson (Rocky Hill Co-op)
Outlook: When I wrote about teams like Branford and Westhill-Stamford really feeling as though they missed a great opportunity last season, WMRP has to be included on that list as well. The Eagles had a loaded group and now that Wethersfield has gone independent, the losses are far greater than those solely to graduation. Trevor Piecewicz, CTHSHockey’s 2019-20 Division II Defenseman of the Year, and Jack Healy and their 60 combined points have both graduated. But their impacts were so much greater than on the scoresheet alone. Additionally, last year’s netminder Trevor Schad moved to the new Rocky Hill Co-op, as did Brody and Owen Davidson, and impressive underclassmen Dylan Reynolds has transferred to Xavier. Wethersfield will be a relatively young group with more new faces than returning ones, but of the returning players, leadership and talent aren't missing. Last year’s captains, senior forward Chase Millen (8 G, 17 A, 25 Pts) and senior defenseman Kevin Avery, are back to lead this new group of Eagles. Most importantly, senior forward Aaron Cholewa (34 G, 18 A, 52 Pts) is back ready to frustrate defenders statewide. Cholewa led all of Division II in goals last year and was third in the state. In net, freshman Matthew Ruck will be the only goalie on the roster but is already receiving high praise from some of the upperclassmen on the Eagles’ roster. Playing out of the CCC South as the only Division II member will give Wethersfield an edge from a scheduling/competition standpoint, one that they may need this year. Oh, what could have been.