Merrimack eyes next step in D-II ranks

In Division II, the Hollis Brookline/Derryfield co-op team is dealing with a numbers issue, but for the present. The future, though, looks good, according to coach Kurt Mithoefer, who expects as many as 13 new players in the next two years.

"Right now it’s just one of those lulls in the numbers," he said. "This year is not so much about wins and losses but in bonding as a team. It’s truly a building year."

For Merrimack, a semifinalist a year ago, it’s just the opposite. The Tomahawks, led by senior forward Ryan Downie, have several back from a 14-win team that came one overtime goal (vs. Dover in the semis) from making the finals.

"I think we’ve got a great team; we just have to keep working on our fundamentals," Tomahawks coach Matt Davis said.

Besides the ‘Hawks, the usual suspects are considered contenders – defending champion Dover, Spaulding (unbeaten until Dover won in finals), Bow, and perhaps Windham..

DIVISION II

MERRIMACK

COACH: Matt Davis (1st year)

2014-15: 14-5, lost to Dover in semifinals.

RETURNING REGULARS: Tyler Brewster, sr. fd; Owen O’Brien, jr. fd; Ryan Downie, sr. fd; Aaron Tupper, sr. fd; Remy Tupper, jr. def; Kyle Feeney, sr. def; John Tiano, jr. fd; Stephen Licata, so.fd.

OTHER RETURNING LETTER WINNERS: Owen Hastings, jr. fd; Jeff Gerhard, jr. fd; Darwin Carozza, sr. fd; Greg Bourque, so.def; Tucker Twardosky, jr. fd; Isaiah Kepnes, so. Def; Hunter Burke, so. fd., Greg Amato, so.goalie.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Ryan Deslar, so.def; Dennis Rattunde, so.goalie.

COACH’S COMMENTS: "I think it’s a good team," Davis said. "For the most part, I think we’ll pick up right where we left off last year."

HOLLIS BROOKLINE/DERRYFIELD

COACH: Kurth Mithoefer (2nd year)

2014-15: 5-13, did not qualify for tournament.

RETURNIG REGULARS: Michael Schiasson, sr. fd; Stewart Arend, jr. def; Sam Poisson, jr. fd; Connor Glosner, so. Fd; Patrick MacDonald, so.goalie.

OTHER RETURNING LETTER WINNERS: Bryce Newsham, jr. fd; Andrea Mello, jr. def.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Max Porter, so.def; Harrison Mahan, jr. fd; Cam Bishop, fr.fd; Alex MacEachen, fr.def; Dylan Terenzeni, fr.fd.