The Canalmen will take the ice tomorrow at 8:30 PM, skating their season opener in the first round of the Canalmen Classic against Stoughton. The earlier round at 6:30 PM will feature Holliston and Plymouth South.
This winter the trio of seniors Chad Marsh, Ed Lavalle, and Jimmy Commesso will captain the team. Marsh and Commesso are both four-season veterans of the BHS program and will skate together up front on the first line along with Austin Braley. Lavalle will lead the defense for the Canalmen.
“We’re looking for leadership from all our captains,” coach Tom Welsh said. “Marsh and Commesso were two of our top point scorers last year and Ed will anchor our defense and lead our relatively new defensive set.”
Bourne hopes to skate three lines this winter, but beyond the first line the others have yet to be named.
Sophomores Tommy Hidenfelter, coach Welsh said, “brings a lot to the team up front and sophomores Mitchell Eldredge and Jared Butler are maturing and improving.”
The varsity and junior varsity program will open the season with a roster of four seniors, three juniors, 10 sophomores, six freshmen and five 8th graders.
Joining Lavalle at the blue line will be sophomores Ryan Pezzone, Billy Conway and Jesse Bustard.
In net the Canalmen will open with another sophomore, Jack Lacasse, getting the start.
“Tim Johnston will back Lacasse up,” Welsh explained. “It is Tim’s first year, but he continues to improve.”
Sophomore Dawson Prophett and senior Devin Brito are also returning and are expected to contribute.
“I’m cautiously optimistic,” coach Welsh said. “Defensively, we’re ahead of the curve. If we continue to work hard and come ready to play, I think we’ll surprise some teams.”
The Canalmen are looking to claim the South Coast Conference title, reach the state tournament and get to Boston with a chance to play for a championship this season. Last winter the team finished 11-9-1 overall and 8-1-1 in the SCC.
“The chemistry is positive and the team is bonding well,” Welsh said. “We have a challenging schedule, which I think we’re capable of handling. This year I see a greater respect for the game, the officials, each other and their school. And those things are a recipe for success. This year we are really more of a family.”
In the consolation and championship rounds of the Canalmen Classic on Saturday, there will be a Teddy Bear Toss. Any person who brings a new unwrapped teddy bear to the game will be allowed in for free At each game, when the first team scores, the horn will sound and the teddy bears will be tossed onto the ice. All the teddy bears will be collected and donated to the US Marines for their Toys For Tots program.