by Jack Dakin
Last year, North Attleboro Hockey ended their season with a record of 13-5-4, after a 3-0 loss to Canton in the playoffs. This year also looks very promising for North as the majority of their starters will be returning. Captains Zach McGowan and Erik Clements anticipate a successful season and the whole team is very excited to get back to playing hockey.
However, the North hockey team is currently under scrutiny for an off-ice issue involving senior and starting defender Paul Baker. His last two seasons were cut short due to injuries, and now his season is in jeopardy for academic reasons.
The other starting defenseman Vinny Zammiello commented, “Losing Paul could be a big loss to our team, but we have to stay focused on our season and not get distracted.”
As the season approaches, the team looks to move forward as their top two leading scorers from last year look to make their senior year memorable. These seniors, Zach McGowan and Erik Clements, have also worked extremely hard in the offseason hoping for an even better season.
This season the Rocketeers are moving their home rink from the Foxboro Sports Center to the New England Sports Village in Attleboro. The New England Sports Village is a brand new sports complex and the players are thrilled to have the opportunity to practice and play in the new rink.
Senior Captain Zach McGowan shared, “I can’t wait to play there with my team and I’m sure they all feel the same way. Also, the shorter drive for the games makes it easier for the fans to get there–the fans give us a reason to play.” The hockey team has a very devoted fan base that will likely yield a large crowd at the games and boost the team’s energy.
“As a fan, I would love to see the hockey team win their first Hockomock championship and put that ‘16’ up on their banner,” says senior Ryan Kingston.
North hockey has yet to win a Hockomock league championship; however, this year they have a better chance of winning the championship than when the program first started. The chances of North hockey winning the title this season is high because their schedule has become a little easier. Also, with the combination of underclassmen sensations such as the sophomore goalie Ryan Warren and experienced and talented upperclassmen, North hockey is likely to have a very successful season.