Team Overview: New head coach Peter Belisle finds himself in similar position to Castleton’s Alex Todd. He inherits a team which did not win a game last season although they competed well in certain games during the season.
“I got the job on June 10 this year and after putting my staff together hit the road to try to find five players that could make a difference this season,” said Belisle. “I spent a lot of time in the Midwest trying to find some players and may actually have more than the five I was looking for to make a difference. After interviewing each and every player from last year’s team and speaking with our captain Andrew Ward, it seemed obvious that we need some offense — so hopefully some of the kids we added will help.”
Scoring only a total of 39 goals last season, the Beacons do need some offensive firepower to take the pressure off the defense and goaltending positions. Senior Ron Hernandez returns as the teams leading scorer from a year ago with nine goals and five assists for fourteen points. Senior defenseman Andrew Ward doesn’t contribute much offensively but is expected to provide key leadership to the program in its first year of transition with a new coach. “It’s going to be exciting, stated Belisle. We are going to have lot of pieces to put together but you can sense the anticipation in the kids who want to be successful on the ice. There’s no place to go but up and we are just going to focus on getting better everyday.”
Special Teams: With only nine power-play goals during the season and 48 power-play goals against, the Beacons are going to need to improve specialty teams play significantly. Goaltending and some added depth will help on both fronts and improvement will probably evolve over the season as new and older players learn the new systems.
Schedule: Peter Belisle’s last game as a player at UConn was against Bowdoin College at Bowdoin. Coach Belisle’s first game as a head coach is at Bowdoin College at Bowdoin — a coincidence not lost on the coach.
The annual Codfish Bowl over the holiday break features in-league rival Skidmore along with Framingham State and Suffolk from the ECAC Northeast.
Summary: A new start with a promising young coach will have this team playing consistently hard every night. Expect to see some wins for the Beacons this season especially with their non-league schedule.