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CENTRAL CATHOLIC

Record Last Year: 10-8-1.

League: Merrimack Valley/Dual County League Division 1.

Home Ice: Merrimack College.

Key Losses: John O’Leary, Patrick Sheehan, Matt Giroux, Mark Loughran.

Returning Lettermen (16): Mark Brien, so., def; Mike Alesse, so., goal; Cameron Fisichelli, so., for; Brandon Giblin, jr., def; Matt Girouard, sr., for; Bill Helinski, jr., def; Tim Houston, jr., for; Capt. Paul Jaskot, sr., for; Justin Kurek, jr., for; Brendan McCarron, so., def; Capt. Kevin McCarron, sr., for; Evan Rurak, jr., goal; Capt. Derek Sacco, sr., for; Ross Sarmento, jr., for (Lowell); Brendan Slien, jr., for; Ryan Smith, sr., for.

Promising Newcomers: Mike DeGregorio, sr., for; Tim McElhanney, sr., for; Patrick Russell, jr., def.

Coach Mike Jankowski (6th year): “We’re very pleased with the numbers. It’s exciting for us, but it also forced us to make cuts for the first time and that’s a tough thing.

“We should be very strong all around. We have excellent overall depth, people that can put the puck in the net and the goaltending is solid. We also have good leadership.

“There is a good mix of size, strength and a couple of speedsters. We can play just about any style and that will work to our advantage. We expect to get stronger and stronger as the season moves along.

“In our division of the league, I think Billerica is going to surprise a few people. They had a decent sophomore class last year and they won’t be the same team this season.

“Chelmsford is always good, Acton-Boxboro graduated a lot and could be down and Westford could be a a nice little darkhorse. They have a nice group of young kids — and Skate 3 is always a tough place for visiting teams to play.”

Season Opener: Dec. 15 vs. St. Dominic’s of Maine at the Rice Memorial, Vt. Invitational (7 p.m.).

DRACUT

Record Last Year: 8-10-2.

League: Merrimack Valley/Dual County League Division 3.

Home Ice: Janas Rink (Lowell).

Key Losses: Kyle Marsan, Tom Gargiulo, Adam Ziaja.

Returning Lettermen (17): Capt. Steve McLean, sr., for; Brian Mennella, sr., for; Asst. Capt. Peter McSwiggan, sr., def; Mike Ide, sr., for; Zach Otis, sr., def; Ken Gately, sr., for; Tim Hire, sr., for; R.J. Descheneaux, sr., for; Capt. Ryan Miamis, jr., for; Jeff Hall, jr., def; Mike Noyes, jr., def; Brian Murray, jr., for; Justin Gauthier, jr., goal; Dave Couture, jr., goal; Dave Sayer, so., for; Joe LaBella, so., for; Zach Barry, so., for.

Promising Newcomers: Casey Sweeney, fr., for; Nick Esposito, fr., for; Anthony Catino, so., for; Tom Conley, fr., def.

Coach Mike Marshall (6th year): “Last year was the first time in awhile we didn’t qualify for the (MIAA) tourney. We’re not used to that and it didn’t feel good.

“This season we have tremendous depth at forward and all three lines have lots of speed.

“The first line all proved last year they can score. McLean finished with 41 points, Mennella 36 and Miamis 28.

“Our four top defensemen are all over 200 pounds (McSwiggin, Otis, Hall and Noyes), so we can play the physical game.

“Our goaltending needs some work. There is not much varsity experience at the position, but all three are very athletic. In the league Lowell can never be counted out. Weston and Concord-Carlisle will be good and Wayland always plays us tough.”