The new-look Brookfield Stars boys hockey team will be counting on some young players to fill some big holes due to graduation.
Last year's team - it was a combination of both Brookfield Central and Brookfield East - should be even better this season with the addition of Catholic Memorial and Crusaders coach Steve Chapin at the helm, with former Stars coach Matt Shapiro back on the staff.
"We are very excited about the opportunity to build a hockey program between Brookfield and Catholic Memorial," Shapiro said. "Both programs have great pride and tradition and we expect to continue the legacy moving forward. Both teams graduated the majority of their scoring from last season and we will look to a lot or our younger players to have bigger roles this year.
"We expect to make up for our inexperience at the varsity level with hard work, dedication and playing the game as a team. We have a number of younger players who will experience their first varsity action this year."
The Stars finished last year with a 20-8 record, heading to the state tournament for the first time.
They went 1-1 at state, beating Eau Claire Memorial, 3-2, in a thrilling overtime victory in the quarterfinals and then lost to Wausau West, 6-3, in the semifinals.
According to the coaching staff the following players should help lead the Stars to a successful first season as the Brookfield/Catholic Memorial Stars.
Catholic Memorial will add senior forwards Nick Stagl and Nate Gentile and junior defender Vince Dombrowski to the mix.
Key returnees for Brookfield include senior forward Mason Kollakowsky, junior defender Robbie Fosdick, junior goalie J.J. Murnane and sophomore defender Michael Hawthorne.
"Our boys are very excited and you can see it in our first week of practice," Shapiro said. "We started out very well. We know we have a lot to learn, but we understand what it will take to get to where we want to be."
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