Nine Townies join Quakers for 2019-20 boys’ hockey co-operative

Senior goalie LaValley leads EPHS players on Moses Brown squad

By Mike Rego
Posted 1/5/20

PROVIDENCE — The puck dropped on the second season of the Moses Brown School/East Providence High School boys’ hockey co-operative recently with the Quakers opening up their 2019-20 …

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Nine Townies join Quakers for 2019-20 boys’ hockey co-operative

Senior goalie LaValley leads EPHS players on Moses Brown squad

Posted

PROVIDENCE — The puck dropped on the second season of the Moses Brown School/East Providence High School boys’ hockey co-operative recently with the Quakers opening up their 2019-20 season by playing three games just before and after the holidays.
MB/EPHS started out against the projected top team in Division I LaSalle on December 20, then played back-to-back outings at Lynch Arena in Pawtucket last weekend, January 3 and 4, against Barrington and Burrillville.
MB/EPHS fell to the Rams late last month by the score of 6-1. EPHS rep and Quakers’ starting goalie Cole LaValley had an outstanding effort in the loss, making 47 saves. MB/EPHS mustered just 11 shots on net, Ben LeStage accounting for the team’s lone goal off an assist from Cam Bernard in the second period which made the score at time 4-1 LaSalle.
The Quakers dropped a tight 2-1 contest to Barrington in their return to league action following the holiday recess, the Eagles netting the winning tally in the third period. The next night, MB/EPHS picked up its first D-I point of the season when the locals played Burrillville to a 3-3 tie.
The Quakers finished with a 2-11-1 record in D-I games a year ago, missing the playoffs. Six Townies joined their Moses Brown counterparts for the first time last winter. Nine EPHS players are among the team’s ranks this winter.
“I just want to say last year, being the first year together, the East Providence kids couldn’t have been any nicer and the parents couldn’t have been any nicer,” said MB/EPHS head coach Dave Antonelli.
“I have to mention John Voll and Tyler Acevedo,” Antonelli continued about two Townies who graduated last year. “Any time you bring two schools together it’s tough, but John had such a great personality. He really tried to assimilate the two groups. I have a lot of admiration for him. He had a great attitude. And Tyler fractured his wrist about two-thirds of the way through the season. He was playing really well. If he could have stayed healthy, we would have won a few more games and maybe made the playoffs.”
This winter, Antonelli expects a handful of EPHS players to have what he calls an “impact” on the team, including LaValley. The senior opens as the starter in net after sharing time last season.
“Cole could be the best goalkeeper in the state. We’re going to rely heavily on him,” said Antonelli. “Last year, playing Division I hockey for the first time, he had about seven or eight games that he really impressed. He had a great stretch of games against LaSalle, Hendricken and Mount St. Charles where he stopped something ridiculous like 98 of 102 shots.”
Antonelli credited both LaValley’s work ethic and the efforts of goalie coach Greg Paolino with the improvement the former has shown season over season.
“I really appreciate his dedication. He works hard in practice. In the off-season he spent a lot of time in the gym working on his fitness. He’s matured a tremendous amount,” Antonelli added. “Cole is our top guy. And if he plays to his capabilities, in my opinion he could be one of the top goalies in the state.”
Three forwards and a defenseman make up the bulk of the Townies also expected to contribute. Sophomore John Anderson begins among the core of nine forwards. Classmate Ryan Colson, a transfer from St. Raphael, will become eligible at mid-season. Freshman Riley Feeney could break into the forwards at some point. Sophomore blue-liner Alexander Crowley, like Anderson, starts the year grouped in the regular cast of defensemen.
“I really like John’s skating and puck movement. He’s improved from last year. Alex got a lot of ice time last year and he’s in our top five D rotation. Ryan will see time. He’ll probably play both forward and defense when he’s eligible. And Riley has a great speed, but he’s a little guy trying to play at this level. I was a little guy who played at this level, so it’s my job to teach him to play the right way. But he has the potential to be an impact player at some point,” Antonelli said.
The rest of the EPHS players skating with the team this winter include junior forward Nathan Perry along with freshmen forwards Ryleigh Grant, Colin Leddy and Chris Riel.
Of his squad in general, Antonelli is optimistic the Quakers can qualify for the postseason if it plays to its capabilities and its depth isn’t challenged.
“LaSalle is by far and away the best team. If we can keep guys healthy, we should be able to get a playoff spot,” he said. “All of the teams except LaSalle, in my opinion, are challenged in some way. Same thing with us, for us it’s our depth. If we can avoid injuries, we could have a nice season.”

— East Providence Post and eastbayri.com contributing photographer Julie Furtado shot the accompanying gallery of photos.

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