With a whole host of experience taking the ice, the Champlain Valley boys ice hockey team has high hopes for the season.
Eight seniors and six juniors make up the bulk of the Redhawk (1-0) roster, which has coach Mike Murray hoping the team can build off last year’s Division I semifinal loss.
“If they come together the way they should, I think we will be in the running,” Murray said. “I certainly think we can play with anybody.”
The team’s veteran presence, especially on the back end and in goal, will help CVU integrate the new players they do have and build on its depth as the young season progresses.
Here are three players to watch:
Richard Hall, junior: The go-to, shutdown defender for the Redhawks, Hall provides a strong leadership presence from the backend as a member of the team’s top pairing. The junior will see time on both the penalty kill and the power play. “He’s a good skater, heavy shot, sees the ice well,” said Murray. “He is all the things you want in a defenseman.”
Nate Shanks, senior: The other member of the Redhawks’ top defensive pairing, Shanks does a little bit of everything. The team’s captain, Shanks is a well-rounded player and a calm presence for CVU, his coach said. “He does it all,” Murray added.
Tyler Brooks, senior: According to his coach, Brooks is the kind of player you do not want to go into the corner with; a big physical presence, he will come up with the puck. “He is kind of scary to play against,” Murray said. “He will level you if you let him.” As a member of the first line, Brooks is expected to be one of CVU’s top scorers.
Other players to watch: Ty Parker, goalie, senior – the clear-cut No. 1 goalie for CVU, he takes over the net after splitting time last season; Joe Parento, forward, senior – Parento is a multi-sport athlete that will center the top line; Charlie Bernicke, defense, senior – The third member of what Murray calls the “Big Three” on defense, he will log a lot of minutes.
Up next: Saturday at Rutland at 3:30pm