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2019-20 high school hockey preview capsules

It’s time to drop the puck on another Midstates Club Hockey Association season.

Play begins Monday (Nov. 4) for some teams while others begin later in the week.

St. Louis University High won the Challenge Cup over De Smet Jesuit last season. Lafayette won the Wickenheiser Cup with a win over Duchesne. Eureka won the Founder’s Cup by defeating Fort Zumwalt West.

Lafayette returns 15 players from last year’s team that won the Wickenheiser Cup championship under coach Jim Carrico. The Lancers are in a new conference that has such Challenge Cup powers as De Smet, CBC and Chaminade.

The Lafayette Lancers won the Wickenheiser Cup title last season and this year, they aim to have another good season. First Row: Nathaniel Yeaton, Luke Hansen, Kamren Canova, Dane Kemp, Jacob Rosomoff, Calvin Rogers, Josh Hansen, Jack Chubb, Shane Robinson. Second Row: Justin Sprague, Sam Rubenstein, Jack Carrico, Luke Carrico, Nathaniel Orf, Davis Rigg, Tyler Wojtow, Grant Robinson, Colin Stewart, Trevor Neuse, Carson Albers, Jacob Matus, Max Bennett, Cameron Coats, Ryan Duggan.

“We moved to a new conference this season,” Carrico said. “Every game is going to be tough. We are just hoping to compete every night.”

De Smet has lost in the Challenge Cup championship for the past two years. Coach Chris Durso and his Spartans want a different outcome this season.

“Based on what I’ve seen in the preseason, there should be a lot of parity among the top six to seven teams in the league. It could be anyone’s to win. I’m confident we will put ourselves in that conversation and hopefully make another run at getting to Enterprise Center — this time with a better result.”

There will be new conference alignments this season for the teams in the Midstates Club Hockey Association. That will create new matchups and possibly new rivalries, too.

Teams in the Central Conference are Clayton, John Burroughs, Ladue, Lutheran South, MICDS, Northwest, Priory, St. Mary’s and Webster Groves.

Teams in the Municipal Conference are CBC, Chaminade, De Smet Jesuit, Kirkwood, Lafayette, Marquette, Oakville, St. Louis University High and Vianney.

Teams in St. Charles Conference are Duchesne, Fort Zumwalt East, Fort Zumwalt South, Fort Zumwalt West, Francis Howell, Francis Howell Central, Francis Howell North, Wentzville Holt and Wentzville Timberland.

Teams in the Suburban Conference are Edwardsville, Eureka, Fox, Lindbergh, Parkway South, Parkway West, Seckman, Summit and Westminster Christian Academy.

Each team plays the others in its conference twice and schedules five teams out of the conference one time.

Here is a look at the teams in alphabetical order that responded to requests for information.

CBC Cadets
2018-19 record:
28-5-3 overall. Lost in Challenge Cup quarterfinals
Coach: John Jost. Entering 22nd year as head coach at CBC.
Assistant coaches: are Nick Carosello and Randy Staub. We have all been together now for 21 years. We all also attended and played hockey at CBC.
Returning number of players:  13 players. 8 played regularly.
Team captains: Brogan Rumpf and Hunter Bulger.
Players on team to watch for this winter: Senior Ryan Yaeger in goal, juniors Brogan Rumpf and Tom Ramer on defense, junior Hunter Bulger at forward. All have a chance to play at the next level.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Sophomore forwards Connor McCaffrey, Charlie Wind, Gus Immken, and Nick Jones. Freshmen forwards Kyle Price and Nick Puricelli. Freshmen goalies Connor Hof and Jack Solomon.
Players who have committed to college: None.
Team strengths: Our biggest strength is depth at every position. It starts in goal with Yeager and the two freshmen. Senior goalie Matt Smith is currently injured so we hope to have him back by the new year.
Favorites to win Municipal Conference: As the defending champs, SLUH has to be the favorite.
First game: 8:25 p.m. Friday (Nov. 8) versus Lafayette at Affton.
Quote: “We lost quite a bit of scoring from last year so need our young forwards collectively as a group to contribute offensively,” Jost said. “Our defense has the most experience with most of our core group back from last year’s team. Our conference is very tough this year. It will be a dog fight between all of us to see who pushes them (SLUH).”

De Smet Spartans
2018-19 record:
13-5-3 regular season. Lost in double overtime to SLUH in the Challenge Cup championship game at Enterprise Center.
Coach: Chris Durso. Entering third year as head coach at De Smet.
Assistant coaches: Casey Ott, Nick Blase, John Gruendler.
Returning number of players: 16 returning players.
Team captains: Michael Mullen and Cameron Osdieck. Alternate captains are juniors Max Minkiewicz and Carson Wilhelm.
Players on team to watch for this winter: Senior forward Michael Mullen, sophomore defenseman Vito Biondo.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Freshmen Tommy Ruder, Nick Salthouse, Mitch Geiser, Jake Schneiderman, Brady Govero.
Players who have committed to college: None.
Team strengths: Youth and grit.
Goals: Make a strong playoff run and win the Challenge Cup after two straight years as runner-up.
Favorites to win Municipal Conference: CBC.
First game: 8:15 p.m. Friday (Nov. 8) versus Edwardsville at Queeny Park.
Quote: “We are excited to get under way here for another season,” Durso said. “The guys have been working hard at practice and are ready to go. We have a younger team than we’ve had the last couple years, with 14 players without varsity experience. The newcomers have injected a lot of compete level into our practices. We are working hard as a coaching staff to build something special with the program and it’s really rewarding to see what the teams have accomplished entering year three as the head coach. Based on what I’ve seen in the preseason, there should be a lot of parity among the top six to seven teams in the league. It could be anyone’s to win. I’m confident we will put ourselves in that conversation and hopefully make another run at getting to Enterprise Center — this time with a better result.”

The De Smet Spartans have finished second in the last two years in the Challege Cup. This season, the Spartans want to have a different result. First Row: Dan Karr, Tyler Loughman, Kelly Coldwater, Colton Walpert, James Wiley, Tommy Deneault, Carson Wilhelm, Jonah Watkins. Second Row: Grant Ahlheim, Tyson Davenport, Jacob Kausch, Brendan Kemp, Dan Kinzel, Vito Biondo III, Jed England. Third Row: Connor Clancy, Jack Walters, Jack Estes, Max Minkiewicz, Kyle Brauch, Michael Mullen. Fourth Row: Josh Abel, Ben Lodes, Ryan Brickhaus, Tommy DiMaggio, Justin Reynolds, Cameron Osdieck, Tommy Kampmeinert. Fifth Row: Assistant coach Casey Ott, head coach Chris Durso, assistant coach Nick Blase. Not pictured: Harrison Brown, Jakub Dobes, and goalie coach Luke Venker.

Lafayette Lancers
2018-19 record:
11-7-2 in regular season. Went 9-0 in playoffs and won the Wickenheiser Cup with a 4-2 victory over Duchesne at Enterprise Center.
Coach: Jim Carrico. Entering fourth year as head coach at Lafayette.
Assistant coaches: Anthony Cappelletti and Jeff Hansen.
Returning number of players: 15.
Team captains: Seniors Josh Hansen and Kamren Canova.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Freshman forward Drew Knapp.
Players who have committed to college: None.
Team strengths: Depth.
Goals: To be playing our best hockey in February.
Favorites to win Municipal Conference: CBC or Vianney.
First game: 8:40 p.m. Monday (Nov. 4) versus Duchense at Chesterfield Sports Complex.
Quote: “We moved to a new conference this season,” Carrico said. “Every game is going to be tough. We are just hoping to compete every night.”

Marquette Mustangs
2018-19 record:
18-1-1 Earned a No. 6 seed in the Challenge Cup and made it through the first round. Lost to De Smet in the second round.
Coach: Gary Tockman. Entering fourth full year as head coach at Marquette.
Assistant coaches: Craig Campbell, Gregg Rohlfing, Mikey Selve, Nathan Pflantz.
Returning number of players and starters: This is a different year for Marquette. We graduated seven seniors, five of them starters and then lost six underclassman starters who left town with other hockey opportunities. We lost some very good players but also some real leaders in the locker room but have a great group of dedicated players that will represent Marquette well. These losses provide opportunities for others to step up and be an integral part of the team.
Team captains: Seniors Charlie Katke and Drew Cuba. Seniors Andrew Farrell, Devin Tockman and Josh Salmon are assistant captains this year. We have a lot of senior leadership and really lean on our captains so always have an abundance of them.
Players on team to watch for this winter: We have been blessed to have great goalies in the past and this year is no different. We were lucky to get Mac Beatrice back who was unable to play for us last year so that is great for us. We also have two other standout underclassman goalies in Isaac Weatherford and Cole Eckert who will help carry the load. We are deep in seniors who all have great experience. Have four-year varsity players in Drew Cuba, Charlie Katke, Devin Tockman, Josh Salmon, Zac Maupin and Andrew Farrell. All have good experience and should play key roles for us. Jared Busch, Tyler Burroughs, Evan Miller, Andy Richman and Jacob Lawton are also all seniors that will be a big part of our plans. As a junior, Justin Rapp has come a long way and expectations are high for him.
Players who have committed to college: We have quite a number of players that have ACHA D1 and D2 offers for college programs but none have officially committed at this point. I would expect three of our seniors to select and accept college offers by late December. We do have a lot of players that have committed to college that may or may not continue their hockey careers, which is great and the ultimate goal.
Team strengths: We don’t have a bunch of individual horses like we had in the past but we have a lot of great talent that when they work hard and within our system, will have success. Our depth will be a strength but as always, our goaltenders will carry us.
Goals: We were moved to the Municipal Conference this year, which was a surprise with us losing 13 of 18 starters but we look at it as an opportunity to play the top teams and test ourselves. We always want to provide our players with the best overall experience we can. Win or lose, we will compete.
First game: 9:20 p.m. Friday (Nov. 8) versus Vianney at Chesterfield Sports Complex.
Quote: “We are excited to play the top teams and test ourselves,” Tockman said. “When the day ends, we are looking to build our program and provide each player with the best experience we can. This is a close group of kids and with 12 seniors, we all are dedicated to giving them a great final season. Winning is always a part of that and we have had some great seasons leading up this to this year. We expect nothing to change.”

MICDS Rams
2018-19 record:
18-5. Eliminated from the Challenge Cup round robin.
Coach: John Mattingly. Entering ninth year at MICDS, 20th Midstates season, 25th season coaching
Assistant coaches: Spence Myer, Charlie Mohr.
Returning number of players: 8 skaters and 1 goalie.
Team captains: Tripp Gatch, Joe Condie, Nick Niemann.
Players on team to watch for this winter: Offensively Nick Niemann, JT Williamson. Defenseman Joe Condie and goaltender Riley Clinton.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Will Jensen, Alex Kohler, and goaltender Darren Peligreni.
Players who have committed to college: None.
Team strengths: Two solid goaltenders.
Goals: Develop a class of 10 freshman.
Favorites to win Central Conference: Priory, MICDS, Ladue.
First game: 9:30 p.m. Friday (Nov. 8) versus Fort Zumwalt East at Chesterfield Sports Complex.

Parkway South Patriots
2018-19 record:
9-10-1 in league play. Did not advance from the round robin play in the playoffs.
Coach: Jim Taylor. Entering fourth year as head coach at Parkway South.
Assistant coaches: Pat Gifford, and goalie coach Jon Ranney.
Players on team to watch for this winter: We do have some solid upper classmen leadership returning in both our Junior and Senior classes though we’ve already lost some of that leadership to injury.
Players who have committed to college: None.
Favorites to win Suburban Conference: Lindbergh and Rockwood Summit.
First game: 8:15 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 7) versus Lindbergh at Queeny Park.
Quote: “We’re coming off of one of the largest graduating classes we’ve seen in years and, unfortunately, depth in our program will reflect that for a couple seasons going forward,” Taylor said.

Parkway West Longhorns
2018-19 record:
14-12-1. Lost to Duchesne in Wickenheiser Cup semifinals.
Coach: Brian Waddell. Entering second year as head coach at Parkway West.
Assistant coaches: Rich Meek and John Overstreet.
Returning number of players: 5 returning seniors.
Team captains: Cole Waddell. Assistant captains Maggie Bradley, Daniel Talbots and Ty Waddell.
Players on team to watch for this winter: Ty Waddell, who was third in points for the 2019 playoffs and Andrew Meek, the senior starting goalie.
Newcomers expected to contribute: Have high expectations for newcomers Jeremy Emch and Jake Gould. Both are players from different Parkway schools.
Players who have committed to college: None.
Team strengths: Our team strengths will be on the defensive and goal tending side of the puck.
First game: 8:15 p.m. Monday (Nov. 4) versus Fort Zumwalt South at Queeny Park.
Quote: “We are excited at Parkway West for this upcoming year,” Waddell said. “We exceeded everyone’s expectations last year. Parkway West competed in the semifinal of the Wickenheiser Cup, a feat that Parkway West has not seen in last 15-plus years. We hope to build on that. Parkway West is a small hockey program with deep roots in Midstates hockey. Our first season was in 1974. We have begun some alumni relations to help rekindle the community in Parkway West Longhorn hockey. Myself and coach Overstreet are alumni of West and hope to shine a positive light on the program moving forward.”

Westminster Christian Academy Wildcats
2018-19 record:
8-12-5. Lost in Wickenheiser Cup quarterfinals series to Duchesne.
Coach: Dean Penberthy. Entering third year as head coach at Westminster.
Assistant coaches: Tom Canfield and Sam Canfield.
Returning number of players and starters: Lost four seniors and four additional players due to transfer.
Team captains: Not named.
Players on team to watch for this winter: Veteran leadership from Aidan Penberthy, Jack Bystrom, Ben Parres, and Dylan Wells.
Players who have committed to college: None.
Team strengths: Are fairly balanced between the classes. We are strong on defense with players that have varsity experience from being thrown into the fight last season.
First game: 7:20 p.m. Friday (Nov. 8) versus Lutheran South at Fenton.
Quote: “We are excited about the upcoming season,” Penberthy said. “The players on the squad this year are a good group. We look forward to surprising a few teams and competing at a very determined level. We will need to show grit and determination to be successful, but I have faith that we will. Our goalies are young and for the most part untested. It will be important for us to give them as much support as possible and play well in our own zone. This will allow them to gain more and more confidence as the season progresses.”

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