There may not be an abundance of ice hockey teams in the area, but that doesnâ€™t mean our 2018-19 All-Herald Ice Hockey Team is lacking in talent.
The Newington co-op turned in a strong season, going 15-5 during the regular season, and reached the Division III semifinals for the first time since 2013.
As such, the program placed four players on our team.
Every good team needs strong playmakers on offense and the co-op had plenty. But it was Newingtonâ€™s Ethan Ranger and Berlinâ€™s Matt Lavoie, who stood out above the rest in an incredibly strong field.
Ranger was dynamic on the offensive end of the ice for the co-op, whose numbers jumped considerably from the previous season.
The senior captain scored 21 of the teamâ€™s 97 goals, up seven from a year ago, and finished with 39 total points. Both were team highs this season. But Ranger also showcased his ability to do more than find the back of the net. He recorded 18 assists, good for a tie for second on Newington.
Overall, Ranger averaged 1.6 points per game and almost a goal a contest this year. Rangerâ€™s season earned him an all-CCC selection for the second straight winter and he will certainly be tough to replace next season.
Lavoie was just as crucial to the teamâ€™s success.
The senior was the co-opâ€™s second-leading scorer, with 15 goals, and had a knack for finding his teammates at some of the most opportune times. Lavoie finished with a team-leading 19 assists. For the season, Lavoie averaged 1.4 points per game, good for second on the team, behind only Ranger, and 0.8 assists.
He will be another player that will be difficult to replace going forward.
Every good team also needs strong defensive play and Berlinâ€™s Tyler Ralph provided that for the Newington co-op this season.
But Ralph showed he was much more than capable of being a strong presence on the blue line on a squad that surrendered just 58 goals and an average of 2.4 goals against this season.
The senior defenseman was also an asset on offense, recording 10 assists to go along with three goals.
No team is complete without a strong presence in net either and Alessandro DiPaola is the goaltender for our All-Herald Ice Hockey Team.
The junior played in 14 games this season for Newington and came away with a 9-4 record. DiPaola recorded three shutouts and had a 2.2 goals against average and a .900 save percentage during 606 minutes of ice time.
A strong student in the classroom as well, DiPaola was an honor roll student in both the first and second quarters this school year.
Bobby Allan is the final member of our team and also happens to be the youngest and lone member to represent Hall-Southington.
The sophomore forward was an all-CCC selection this winter and itâ€™s easy to see why. Despite the Warrior-Knights finishing with a 1-10-1 record, Allan closed out the year with some outstanding numbers.
He scored 28 goals this season, while also recording 18 assists to show off his playmaking ability
With two seasons still to play, Allan is someone opponents will have to account for going forward.
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org