Pinkerton Academy junior varsity hockey coaches Jim Fletcher and Sam Littlefield and their charges were able to sit back proudly at the end of the 2013-14 season and know that they’d gotten some pretty nice work done.
The Astro icemen finished with a record above the .500 mark (8-4-3), had a number of performances with which they were particularly happy, and most important of all, brought players along a few important steps in their high school development.
“Coach Littlefield and I both feel that there are several players that have shown the ability to move up to the varsity,” said veteran coach Fletcher, who also serves as an assistant on the varsity team. “This year’s group was very coachable and had a strong work ethic, and those are qualities which will help them in the future. As always, player development is the ultimate goal of the JV program.”
The Astro players included goalies Jordan Puzzo and Chris Ronan, defensemen Cam Appleyard, Mike Francis, Brandon Levesque, Kenny Chamberlain, and Jack Bisson, and forwards Kailee DeCosmo, Eddie Welch, Aaron Harmon, Chris Gile, Colin Philippon, and Liam Rooney.
With the varsity team which made it all the way to the Division I tournament semifinals before being eliminated by the arch-rival Londonderry High Lancers losing five players including key forwards Ryan Christie, Bailey Walsh, and Mike Bellmore, defenseman Tyler Prendergast, and goalie Sean Hall to graduation this spring, there may well be positions open on the varsity for the 2014-15 campaign.
When asked to point out his team’s top performances of the season, Fletcher found quite a few from which he could choose.
“Wins over traditional rivals Salem and Londonderry are always special,” said Fletcher. “In addition, beating Hanover at home 4-2 after losing up there 6-3 was very gratifying. And the 3-2 overtime loss at Exeter to a very good team showed that the team had a great deal of character.”