When you’re the state runner up, it’s quite a challenge to improve from the previous season. There’s only one step left to take, but it’s the hardest step of all. After Hanover got trounced by Shrewsbury High School (a school with 1,630 students!) at the TD Garden last year, the makeup of the Hanover program immediately changed. The Class of 2014 was incredibly talented and extremely determined to reach the state final. Replacing them will be a hard task for the Indians. They also lose a pair of key juniors because Nick Joy left for Juniors and Colin Mahoney transferred to the Nobles & Greenborough school in Dedham.
The team still has a strong chance to repeat and potentially exceed last year’s performance. Now in their second year in D3, the Indians face inferior teams except for the final three games or so in division. They are one of the most talented programs in the division and will come into the tournament as one of the most battle-tested after a tough Patriot League schedule as well as non-conference games against top D3 foes Cohasset and Bishop Stang. In other good news, Hanover returns four of its top nine forwards from last year’s run. Junior Captain Landon Hasenfuss is back at 1st line Center. Senior Captains Tom Martin and Tyler Powers are back as well as Junior Trevor Doucette. Martin, Powers and Doucette formed a very potent and physical 3rd line during last season. They will be reinforced by seniors Ernie Meads, Joe Maguire, and Alex O’Dowd who had minor
roles on the varsity team last year as well as a slew of JV players moving up. The Indians will need the same offensive success from last year to make a deep run.
Defensively, things are a little fresher coming into this season. In the net, the Indians will be rock solid. Junior Captain Noah Clapp returns between the pipes after leading Hanover last season to their stellar year. He will be backed up Senior Drew Zwart, a talented net minder in his own right. Senior Cole Methot and and Sophomore Mike McGlame are the only returning defensemen who saw a regular shift last year but they will be reinforced by Seniors Christian Sarruda and Shane Fallon who saw varying degrees of Varsity ice time last year. The defense will need great contributions from underclassmen this year as well for Hanover to be successful. As the cliche goes, “Defense wins championships,” and it applies especially to hockey.
As is the case in other sports Hanover competes in, we will be the smallest school in the league. That has never prohibited the program from performing well. This year’s crop of players might be slightly behind last year’s team in terms of experience and talent but that doesn’t mean they won’t attain a high level of success. In fact, if the Indians play well, we have a good chance of seeing them at TD Garden again this season. To start the season, the Indians will play most of their games at the Hobomock Arena in Pembroke. To see their complete schedule please visit hanoverhshockey.com.