48 in 24 Series: New England Stars
August 24, 2016
The 48 in 24 series will feature an in-depth look into all 48 teams in the NA3HL for the 2016-17 season, with new teams being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. 48 in 24 goes in-depth into each NA3HL team and will include interviews with all 48 head coaches in the NA3HL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the 2016-17 season, including taking a look at their potential roster and their strengths as a team for the upcoming season. It will also take a look back on the 2015-16 season and how each team fared and what they accomplished. Best of all, 48 in 24 will provide the fans of the NA3HL with an inside look at their favorite team and what to expect.
New England Stars
2015-16 Record: 32-9-3, 67 pts. (3rd in East Division, *in NA3EHL)
2015-16 Playoffs: Lost in the East Division Semi-Finals to the L/A Fighting Spirit, 2 games to 0
Head Coach: Darryl Green
2016-17 Division: Coastal
This is the first season for the New England Stars in the NA3HL after the merger of the NA3EHL and the NA3HL. Coach Darryl Green and the rest of the New England Stars had a great season last year, despite the sweep in the first round of playoffs.
When asked about his thoughts on last season, Coach Green said, “Last season we lost only 11 games in regulation. Unfortunately two of the losses were in the playoffs. We feel we have addressed what we were lacking last year in our recruiting this off-season,” said Green.
Green continued… “Development wise it was a good season for us. Two of our players (Kyle Weiss and Rob Campbell) will be playing NCAA next season and one other player (Steve Upton) who played for us for three seasons and then spent last season at a high academic prep school will also be playing NCAA next season. Two other boys have tryouts with the NCAA school they are at. Also Brian Glover will be playing in the NAHL.”
Coach Green not only has success as a coach, but as a player as well. Before attending UMass Lowell, where he earned 46 points (13 goals, 33 assists) as a defenseman, despite sitting out his freshman year, Green was in the Western Ontario Junior Hockey League (WOJHL), leading them to back-to-back WOJHL Junior ‘B’ Championships in 1998 and 1999. Green earned the title of the league’s Defensive Most Valuable Player for the 1997-98 season.
The success on the ice last season is good momentum going into this new league and playing new teams. Following the question of how Coach Green plans on building a team for this year, he said, “We felt we needed more size and more grit without sacrificing skill. Our GM Dan Fontas did a good job acquiring that, I believe.”
Dan Fontas has become very respected in the hockey community, with much playing and coaching success. His career includes: Captain Cushing Academy (1998), last Cushing team to win New England Prep School Championship (NEPSAC), UMass-Lowell, Hockey East (1998-2002), helped team to highest ever ranking in the programs history at #3 in NCAA Division 1, Indianapolis Ice, CHL, (2002), UMass-Lowell Volunteer Coach (2003), 2006 MVC/DCL Division 1 Coach of the Year, 2006 Metro-West Daily News Coach of the Year.
The expectations for Green this season are to take it one game at a time. “We expect to be in the thick of things inside our division. Some teams that struggled last season will be much improved. Cape Cod and LA are always strong and the addition of Long Beach will make our divisional games a battle each and every night.”
When it comes to community support, Green likes to give back to the youth hockey group. “We have a youth organization from mites to junior. Our guys will be at youth practices all season and will help our weekly skills session every week. They'll make connections with the youngsters instantly. Also our Saturday home games will proceed after 3 or 4 of our youth games.”
Next up in the 48 in 24 series: New Ulm Steel