DY/CCT/CCA Boys Hockey Drops Opener At Sandwich

by Brad Joyal
DY/CCT/CCA forward Elijah Naoom stick handles the puck after skating past two Sandwich players during Thursday’s game at Gallo Ice Arena. BRAD JOYAL PHOTOS
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BOURNE – A year ago, the Dennis-Yarmouth/Cape Cod Tech/Cape Cod Academy boys hockey team advanced farther in the Division 4 state tournament than any previous team in the program’s history.

But the co-op team’s coach Lew Alberti isn’t too focused on last year’s results.

“It’s history,” Alberti said. “It’s just in the past.”

With 15 eighth and ninth graders on this year’s Dolphins squad, it feels like an entirely different group than the one that advanced to last year’s Division 4 state quarterfinals.

The early-season growing pains were apparent during Thursday’s season opener, when DY/CCT/CCA suffered an 8-0 loss to Sandwich, the same program that ended its season in last year’s playoffs.

“We’re really young,” said Alberti. “We have 15 eighth and ninth graders that are taking basically 15 starter spots from last year. We knew that we were going to have some ups and downs throughout the year, so I’m glad that we got this under our belts so we can see where we are.

“Sandwich is a great team. They are well coached and have been at the top of Division 4 for the past five or six years, so this was a good measuring stick for us.”

Alberti said he’ll count on the team’s few upperclassmen to carry the brunt of the leadership responsibilities, especially co-captains Max Mingo and Andrew Popovich and alternate captains Max Hulten and Tanner Chicoine.

“We just need them to be leaders,” Alberti said. “[Hulten] is a junior defenseman that is going to be a leader on the blue line with Andrew, who is our senior captain. Both of them are going to be huge.”

Despite so many inexperienced players in the lineup, the underclassmen have already demonstrated that they are mature beyond their years.

After the season-opening loss, Cape Tech freshman goaltender Cam Wood was awarded the team’s hard hat helmet given to the Player of the Game. Instead of accepting the honor, Wood, who entered the game in the third period, passed off the helmet to Will McAdams, the team’s freshman goaltender that started the game.

“That’s two freshmen that have stepped up in front of guys that they just met, some of them just a few weeks ago,” Alberti said.

With so many newcomers on the team, Alberti said the team’s focus will be to compete as the players grow more familiar with each other.

“In these first couple weeks, it’s about being in every game,” he said. “Tonight is obviously a huge step backwards for us in some ways, but in other ways, it’s like, ‘Hey, this is what it’s going to take. This is the top of Division 4.’ So, I think in some ways it was good for them to see it. Now we just have to go to the drawing board.”