With the Prep Season kicking off this week, NZ scouts were in attendance at two preseason events. The first event was a Thanksgiving Showcase held by Clifton Park Dynamos on November 23rd-25th at Union College. There were both travel teams from the Northeast, and Prep teams in attendance, providing a unique chance for the two to play each other. The second event was the Berkshire Jamboree held on November 28th at Berkshire School. There were four teams in attendance, all given the opportunity to play a mini game against each other. The mini games consisted on a 14 minute period, followed by a 1 minute and 30 second power play/penalty kill opportunity for each team. Below are the teams we were able to see and a few notable players to watch out for this season.
The Bears play a very disciplined defensive game, patiently waiting for opportunities to pounce on. Most of their offensive chances are generated by odd man rushes to the net. They move the pucks well through the slot forcing the goalie to move cross ice and can capitalize with purposeful shots. Senior forward, Holley Riva brings a sense of maturity and poise to the team. She is able to keep calm and get pucks to the net. Catherine Appleyard, a junior for forward, supports the play and is vital in moving the Bears from zone to zone.
A very hard working team, that gives an extra effort and has a sense of awareness to maintain possession of the puck and make a play. Even when heavily pressured, they do not panic and work to get the puck into a safe space. With a relentless attack and refusal to give up on the puck, most of their goals are off of rebounds or tips. Grace Genest, a junior defender, and Emma McCauley, a freshman defender, both keep players to the outside and out of dangerous areas; bringing a sense of calm and control in their own zone. Head Coach, Jamie Goldsmith is looking forward to the season, “We have experience at important positions to go along with a lot of new potential. We will compete with any opponent, and we think we will surpass most outside expectations.”
This team has the ability to be creative offensively and finish on scoring opportunities. A poised group that uses hockey sense and puck protection to gain space. A very offensive minded team with defenders jumping into offensive play often. Junior forward, Olivia Branch is a deceptive player that is able to control the play; she thrives in the offensive zone. She plays well with sophomore forward, Alia Piccinni, who uses her speed to create space and opportunities for her teammates.
A physical team that gains puck possession by out muscling their opponents. They have a strong mix of flashy, creative players, and more simple players that do their job well. They get a lot of shots on net with a strong net front presence. Kinga Horvathova, a junior defender, is solid in the defensive end and able to contribute in the offensive zone. Junior forward, Borbora Machalova, has good vision and is able to quarterback the power play.
A very disciplined team, patiently working to move the puck from zone to zone to zone. With a quick and smooth regroup they are able to attack their opponents’ net quickly and get purposeful shots on net that force the goalie to make a save. Junior defender, Jelani Adorno is a two way player, with the ability to be very offensive, rivaling some forwards. Sandrine Brien, a junior forward, excels at the net front. She is strong and powerful, making her hard to move and keeps her stick free for deflections.
The Williston Northampton School
A team with a big roster filled with smaller, players that are fast. Their skating and puck movement is smooth and they have a few tenacious and deceptive forwards that are hungry to score. Bryn Saarela, a junior forward, is a natural goal scorer with vision and loads of puck confidence. Another forward, Christina Vote looks ready to start her sophomore season off with a bang; a hard worker that is offensively dangerous.
With the launch of the Girl’s NZ Prep site there is now access to rosters, schedules, statistics, and much more. The response from the prep community has been encouraging with tons of excitement surrounding the increase in coverage. This is a completely free league website that will serve as a central area for players, parents, college coaches and fans to follow. Be sure to check back here for our monthly prep rankings.