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2021-22 NCAA Preview: NEWHA, part 1

Part 1 of the 2021-22 NEWHA Season Preview is here, featuring the 2019-20 season’s bottom three finishers in Post, Saint Anselm, and Saint Michael’s.

Most of the NEWHA didn’t compete in 2020-21 due to the constraints of the pandemic, with the only schools to take the ice being LIU and Sacred Heart (whose season outlooks we’ll discuss in part two of the NEWHA preview!)

Today, we’ll be taking a look at the key losses from 2019-20 and 2020-21

Post

Key Losses

  • Paige Dundas, F — Came in fourth on the team in shots on goal (84), finishing with a .060 shooting percentage
  • Mia Landry, D — Finished third on the team in blocked shots (41) while also tallying three goals and six assists
  • Kendall Fitzgerald, F — Concluded the 2019-20 season with 87 shots on goal, good for third on the team

Key Returners

  • Jenna Abeyta, Jr., F — Registered 15 goals and 10 assists for a team-leading 25 points in 2019-20
  • Eve Lundin, Jr., D — Totaled 70 blocks over the course of the 2019-20 season
  • Sadie Storm, Jr., F — Her 13 goals and four assists placed her second in scoring on the Eagles in 2019-20

Season Outlook

Post concluded the 2019-20 season in fourth place in league standings, and their on-paper statistics suggest more of the same. The Eagles allowed the most powerplay goals in the NEWHA (35) two years ago and scored the fewest goals with the skater advantage (15), which means their special teams could use a little bit of work if they want to contend with the likes of Franklin Pierce and LIU.

The return of Jenna Abeyta, Sadie Storm, and Eve Lundin can honestly not be understated, as the impact the two forwards and defender had on the team in 2019-20 was huge. Abeyta had a 10-point cushion on the team’s next highest scorer, placing her fourth league-wide in the points race.

Saint Anselm

Key Losses

  • Kia Castonguay, G — Transferred from Clarkson to Saint Anselm, played eight games in 2020-21 and posted a .901 SV%
  • Katy Meehan, F — Led the Hawks with 15 goals and 12 assists, good for 27 points
  • Gabriella Monaco, D — Registered a team high 38 blocks in 2019-20

Key Returners

  • Kelly Golini, Sr., F — Finished with eight goals and a team-high 14 assists in 2019-20
  • Erin Meyers, Sr., F — Posted sixteen points and 99 shots on goal

Season Outlook

Through 33 games played in 2019-20 (and zero games in 2020-21 due to the pandemic cancelling the season), the Hawks allowed a league-low 67 goals against...but only managed to score 88 goals, which placed them squarely in fourth place in the six-team conference.

While Saint Anselm’s defense is undoubtedly strong, the squad needs to work on generating offense. The loss of Katy Meehan will be especially tough for Saint Anselm to swallow given that she was their leading scorer, and newly-appointed head coach Jen Kindret will have to look to the underclassmen to help create scoring chances and put pucks in the net.

Saint Michael’s

Key Losses

  • Jordan Monbouquette, F — Led the team in scoring with three goals and 11 assists in 2019-20
  • Arianna Boscia, F — Placed first on the team in goals (5) and registered a team high 96 shots on goal
  • Vika Simons, G — Started 29 games for the Purple Knights, finishing with a 3.25 GAA and .919 SV%

Key Returners

  • Gabriella Dicomitis, Sr., G — Led the team’s goaltenders with a 2.99 GAA through four GP
  • Maeghan Kennard, Jr., F — Finished third on the team with 78 shots on goal, and tallied a team-leading nine goals

Season Outlook

Saint Michael’s struggled in 2019-20...a lot. The team was barely able to score a goal per game, tallying 39 goals through 30 games — including a three-game stretch in November of 2019 when they were unable to score any goals against conference opponents. That being said, their defensive corps was actually really strong, allowing an average of 3.29 goals per game. While that might not sound like a great stat on paper, that puts them roughly in the middle of the NEWHA in terms of the strength of their blue line.

Looking ahead to the coming season, the Purple Knights are going to have to work hard to generate offense. The return of scoring phenom Maeghan Kennard is an advantage the Purple Knights will not want to squander, but they’ll have to look deeper than just the junior forward if they want to prove themselves in the conference tournament.

All data courtesy of the New England Women’s Hockey Alliance, EliteProspects, and respective program sites