PEABODY — With plenty of laughs and good memories, the St. Mary’s boys hockey team celebrated its 2018-2019 season at its annual banquet Wednesday night at Spinelli’s.
The Spartans recapped their season, highlighted some of their best moments through the winter, handed out team awards and named next season’s co-captains.
St. Mary’s finished the regular season at 16-5-1. Despite the five defeats, the Spartans went toe-to-toe with some of the best teams in the state. They defeated Central Catholic, tied Pope Francis and swept their season series with Catholic Central League rival Bishop Fenwick. The Spartans finished 8-2 in league play. St. Mary’s JV team also tested itself with a competitive schedule and finished its season at 11-5-3.
St. Mary’s earned the No. 8 seed in the Division 1A ‘Super 8’ tournament. A 5-3 loss to Marshfield in the play-in game put the Spartans back in the Division 1 North state tournament. St. Mary’s season ended after a tough 3-2 loss to St. John’s Prep in the sectional quarterfinal. With just over three minutes to play, St. Mary’s held a 2-0 lead over St. John’s but the Eagles mounted a late comeback and won in a five-round shootout.
“It was a great season,” Spartans coach Mark Lee, who has tallied 454 wins at St. Mary’s since taking over in 1986, said. “The Coaches Association and the MIAA voted us as the No. 8 team in the ‘Super 8.’ We had a great postseason. We lost a couple of tough games in the tournament but it wasn’t because of lack of effort. We lost in double overtime and then a shootout, and that’s not a good way to lose but the effort was there. We’re going to take the positives and move forward. We only graduate five seniors with a great nucleus coming back so we’re excited about the future.”
The award winners at Wednesday night’s banquet included Dante D’Ambrosio and Liam Locke, “Tough Guy” Awards; Joe Purtell, Leadership Award; Chris Kolodziej, Sportsmanship Award; Will Flynn, Spartan Spirit Award; Luke Sargent, Dedication Award; Bryce Bedard, Most Improved Defenseman; Kory Ouellette, Spartan Potential; Owen Maguire, Unsung Hero; Alex Nazarian, Most Versatile; Max Giardina, “Mr. Hustle” Award; Christian Moran, “Iron Man” Award; Brady Carpenter, Most Improved Forward; Colby Magliozzi, Seventh Player; Davis Kinne, Defensive Player of the Year; Jared Coppola, Coaches Award; Nick Napolitano, Offensive Player of the Year; Damon Maribito, Martha Ferrari Award; Kyle Ouellette, Patrick Reddy Award; Colin Reddy, Most Valuable Player; Kyle Lonigro, JV Coaches Award.
Receiving the “Varsity Awards” were Kyle Lonigro, Ralph Juffre, Sam York, Owen Giangrande, Seamus Foley, Eric Toto and Brady Bullock.
Next season’s co-captains are Maguire (forward), Kolodziej (defenseman) and Purtell (goalie). All three will be seniors next season.
“They’re three of the best guys,” Lee said. “They’re true leaders. They do the right things in the classroom, in the locker room and on the ice. I think they’re going to help guide this team and be successful.”
This season’s five graduating seniors are Reddy (forward), Napolitano (forward), Maribito (forward), Kyle Ouellette (defenseman) and Coppola (forward).
“They were a part of the most successful time ever since we established the program in 1945,” Lee said of his seniors. “We will miss them. They’re great guys, great locker room guys. Not only are they great players but they’re really good people and that’s what we look for.”