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HHS boys hockey reloads after title game run

by | Jan 9, 2024 | Sports

After advancing to the state championship game a season ago and graduating a dozen seniors from that talented team, the Hopkinton High School boys ice hockey team is right back to its winning ways with a new cast of characters in the spotlight.

“I think we want to be a consistent program, year in and year out, we want to try to avoid the ebbs and flows and having down years,” said coach Scott Hayes. “One of the messages to the boys is that you only get four years to play high school hockey, and you certainly don’t ever want to give one away.”

The Hillers started fast in 2023-24, and began the new calendar year with just one loss through the first seven games of the season. Hayes said his players, some of whom did not get significant ice time in the past, have responded to the challenge of keeping the team playing at a high level.

“We have a handful of kids who have taken control of this team this year,” Hayes said. “They are playing great hockey. They take a lot of pride in the program, and they want to continue the winning tradition.”

Hopkinton won 20 games last winter and advanced all the way to the state championship game before falling, 4-1, to Canton.

Hayes said this year’s team has “a full reloaded roster, and, so far, the kids have come in and done an outstanding job for us.”

Senior captain Wyatt Iantosca is among the team’s standouts and a reliable scorer. Fellow captains Danny White, a senior, and Parker Winn, a junior, have been mainstays on the defensive line.

Hayes had high praise for Steven Jackson, the goaltender, labeling his play during the early part of the season as “outstanding.” Hopkinton also has gotten a boost from the improved play of sophomores Jack Resnick and James Hayward.

“They have taken big steps since last season, and they are playing great hockey for us,” the coach said.

On the ice, Hayes said the focus in the new year will be on improving in the defensive zone. He said he wants his team to be stout defensively, and positioning will go a long way toward achieving that goal. On offense, the Hillers have started to click, and their play there has been a litmus test for the team as a whole.

“We have had success getting pucks deep and establishing our forecheck,” Hayes said. “That’s always a pretty good indicator that things are going well for us.”

The offense was on display early in the season when Hopkinton scored five goals apiece in wins over Algonquin and Holliston and ran up a seven-goal tally in a victory over Westwood.

Hayes cited Westwood, along with Medfield and Norwood, as the teams to beat in the Tri-Valley League.

“In recent years, they are always the schools at the top of the league,” he said. “But, if you are trying to win the TVL championship, you have to be ready for everybody.”

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