by Tim Rosenthal/Staff Writer
Head Coach: Blaise MacDonald
2006-07 Record: 8-21-7 (7-16-4 Hockey East)
Key Returnees: Nick Monroe F JR., Mike Potacco F JR., Mark Roebothan F JR., Ben Holmstrom F SO., Chris Auger F SO., Jason Bergeron F SO., Kory Falite F SO., Nick Schaus D SO., Jeremy Dehner D SO., Nevin Hamilton G SO., Carter Hutton G SO.
Key Losses: Jason Tejchma, Cleve Kinley, Jeremy Hall, Todd Fletcher, J.R. Bria
Last season was frustrating for the Massachusetts-Lowell Riverhawks. The team lost nine one-goal games and went into overtime nine times, tying seven of those games.
But nothing compares to the downright tumultuous offseason, when the program nearly was disbanded, and the head coach was nearly fired following a DUI incident.
The Riverhawks — and their coach — came through to fight another season, but work is cut out for them.
"There were a lot of positives to last season," said MacDonald. "We laid a lot of groundwork, competed in a lot of games and had a good youth work ethic. Our goal this year is to improve on that."
Granted last year's team was quite young. There were 15 freshmen last year and of those, nine played in 30 or more games, including Ben Holmstrom, who will serve as the team's captain this season.
The biggest question is the goaltending.
"That is the million dollar question," said MacDonald about his goaltending situation. "This will be the most competitive spot. Nevin Hamilton played well last year and had a strong finish. We also have Carter Hutton, who had a knee injury last year but was still able to play. Right now I am not sure who the number one goaltender is."
As far as this year's recruiting class goes, there is a lot, again. Eight members are added and MacDonald is expecting a lot out of them.
"We need them to be impact players," MacDonald said. "This year we got good skill, grit and size."
This year the Riverhawks will still be a young team with 18 freshmen and sophomores. Although there is good future for the Riverhawks, this year will probably be a rebuilding year.
"Some teams lost some key players," MacDonald said. "BC, UNH, UMass, they all lost a key player. "It will be interesting to see what happens this year. Some teams such as Northeastern will be difficult to handicap, but as far as the team goes, we are going to be young."