New Coach, New Players for KP Girls Hockey

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
February, 2020
Article Body: 

After securing only four wins on the ice last season, the King Philip girls hockey team has a new coach looking to bring the team back to prominence and into the tournament once again. That’s not going to be easy since the Warriors return just a handful of skaters from last year.
“We have three seniors, six juniors, five sophomores and seven freshman on this year’s team with five or six returners, but only a couple of them with previous playing time,” KP’s new coach Ken Assad said. “With that being said, I am not calling this a rebuilding year. We are going to be competitive in the league and give each and every opponent a run for their money.”
Assad brings an entirely new system to Wrentham and he is expecting each and every player to compete in all three zones. If this is accomplished, KP will be competitive and the wins will come.
Senior captain Sammy Robison will solidify the blue line for the Warriors in addition to clearing pucks away from the front of the net. She will not only be the leader, but the team’s defensive stopper in the defensive zone. Libby Curran will be paired with Robison, while Gabriela Trujillo and Alison Donovan will make up the second defense pair. Freshmen Brielle Hearon, Maggie Griffin and Emma Sullivan will all be vying for defensive ice time for the Warriors as well.
Offensively Assad believes that the team has not one but two top lines, with either being the number one line during any given game. Senior Makenzie Shandley will center sophomores Sydney O’Shea on the right side and Jennifer Daniels on the left. On the other line junior Avari Maxwell will be the center with sophomore Morgan Cunningham on the left and freshmen Katarina Precobb on the right. Last winter O’Shea netted 10 points for King Philip, while Maxwell added 9 points and Cunningham chipped in 6 points.
Following the top two lines, the Warriors will go with juniors Nicole Brady and Olivia Donovan and sophomore Megan Sherwood on the third line. Junior Karly Wilson will center freshmen Sydney Cloutier and Bridgett Nally on the fourth line. The new coach is looking for all four lines to not only capitalize, but crash the net and finish.
“The top two lines are going to primarily be our scoring lines and I believe that all six of them should be able to put up 10-15 points,” Assad said. “I’m not expecting them to all get to 10-15 points, but they all have the ability to do so. If we are to be successful it’s going to be a team effort this year…no one individual.”
Starting between the pipes for King Philip will be senior Cristina Coleman, last year’s back-up goalie. Early in the season she has made some key saves to keep the Warriors in the game. According to Assad, Coleman sees the puck very well through traffic and has really surprised the first year coach with her ability to make saves at the far post. Freshman Mallory Johnston will serve as the team’s back-up goalie and will see some varsity action here and there. Coleman will primarily see the bulk of work this season, while Johnston will get most of her work at practice with the team putting a lot of shots on her.
As a young team, King Philip will be looking for leadership from their few older, more experienced players. King Philip is hoping that leadership, combined with the experience and improvement made by the younger players over the course of the season, results in another trip to the tournament at the end of the season.