From The Telegram

Posted Jan 31, 2018 at 5:13 PM
Updated Jan 31, 2018 at 8:27 PM

Link to article on The Telegram website.
Used with permission.

Locals leading Winchendon

Many prep hockey programs are carried by students who come to the school from outside the region. However, that is not the case for the Winchendon School’s girls’ hockey team, as the Wapiti roster is littered with local talent. Of the 20 student-athletes on the roster, seven hail from Central Massachusetts.

“It’s nice to have girls from the area in our program,” Winchendon coach Laura DiCarlo said. “And having those girls only helps our program in the future, as girls playing youth hockey see these girls having success here at the Winchendon School.”

Leading the way for Winchendon has been junior Stef Caban. A Fitchburg native, Caban starred at Oakmont Regional in ice hockey and field hockey before transferring to Winchendon earlier this fall.

Since her arrival, she has been a standout for the Wapiti, playing huge minutes on defense and earning all-tournament team status at the annual E.G. Watkins Tournament at nearby Cushing before Christmas.

“Stef has been a solid defenseman for us all season, and consistently shuts down the opposing team’s offensive threats,” DiCarlo said.

Caban’s defensive partner, Ashley Greene, has been just as important to the Winchendon School’s success. The only-four year player on the Wapiti, Greene, a native of Winchendon, is the team’s captain and often finds herself on the ice against the opposing team’s top offensive line.

Meanwhile, two other local players — both sophomores — are starting to play a larger role as the season progresses. Royalston’s Emma Landry recently netted her first goal in a 4-0 win over Buckingham Browne and Nichols, while Leominster’s Mikayla Walsh has shown big improvement from last year while earning more ice time.

Junior Cesira Barrett of Westminster has played well in limited appearances in goal, while DiCarlo expects contributions in the future from sophomore Taylor Sheppard (Winchendon) and freshman Hannah Bergeron(Leominster).

Things started slowly for the Wapiti, but the team seems to be hitting its stride. Winchendon had won three straight games (and five out of six) heading into Wednesday’s game against Deerfield Academy. Goaltending and defense has been the key during that stretch. Freshman Hope Walinski has posted four shutouts, and the Wapiti have allowed just six goals during the streak.

The Wapiti return to home ice at 1 p.m. Saturday for a huge showdown with defending New England Prep School Division 2 champion Worcester Academy. The two teams again meet Feb. 14 at the Worcester Ice Center.

 

—Contact Steve Kendall at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @tgsports.