Rob Peters enters his first year behind the bench of the boys’ hockey team.
Following its best season in at least 15 years, the momentum is strong for the Whitman-Hanson Regional High boys’ hockey team.
Now it’s first-year head coach Rob Peters’ job to keep it going.
“Really good group of guys, good leadership by our seniors, everything has been good so far,” said Peters, who takes over for Chris Googins, after he stepped down to spend time with his family.
W-H was hit hard by graduation, losing Patriot League All-Stars Adam Solari (23 goals, 11 assists last season) and Chris Stoddard (nine goals, 28 assists last season). But the cupboard isn’t completely bare, as they do return sophomore standout Matt Solari (18 goals and 14 assists last season). Junior John Ward and freshman Luke Tropiano will join him on the first line.
“We lost a lot of points up front,” Peters explained. “But Matt has gotten even bigger, stronger, he’s gonna be a great power forward for us. That top line is really jelling right now really well. I think they’re gonna be a really tough line to play against. They’re tough. They work hard.”
Peters said the first line and defense will power his club. Senior captains Jack Allen and Kevin Willis are back on the blue line, while fellow senior captain Bobby Siders, a league all-star last season, returns for his third year in net.
“We’re gonna rely a lot on our backend,” Peters said. “Those guys have really stepped up nicely.”
Junior goaltender Erik Dean and senior defenseman Josh Pike are also key returnees on the backend. Additionally, W-H had 11 freshmen try out for the team.
“I’m just really excited where this club is right now,” Peters said. “They’re all jelling, coming together and they’re just a really good group of guys and I love coming to the rink every day.”