Broadneck

Maryland Scholastic Hockey League Eastern Conference

Coach: Robert Atkinson

Players to watch: D Ryan Atkinson, Sr.; C Tim Harris, Soph.; G Blake Foster, Sr.

Outlook: At the outset of the season, Coach Atkinson said he was hoping to achieve a .500 record for the 2002-03 campaign. Now, after a few games, he's shooting for more. "We'll be right up there in the Eastern Conference," he said. "Maybe not first, but a close second or third." Broadneck features a solid defense and has good chemistry, with some players who have skated together for a number of years. Foster, who played for the Navy Rec League team, is a "smart, experienced goaltender," Coach Atkinson said.

Old Mill/Glen Burnie

MSHL Eastern Conference

Coaches: Bill Frye, Ray McKain

Players to watch: C Champ Frye, Jr.; F Patrick Fulton, Jr.; C Bobby Ferrari, Soph.; F Nick McKain, Jr.

Outlook: This new team in the MSHL has pooled its players from both schools in hopes of starting up a program at each within two years. The club plays a full regular season schedule but is ineligible for the playoffs. Through Dec. 22, the team had won three of its first six games and tied another behind the playmaking ability of Frye and solid goaltending by Matt Myers. Nearly all of the boys play rec league or club hockey, so there is experience to build on.

Severn

Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Division

Coach: John Turner

Players to watch: C Lyon Ellison, Sr.; G Kip Turner, Sr.; D Bill Pfinsgraff, Jr.; F Carey Nichols, Jr.

Outlook: Severn lost 10 seniors from the squad that won the MIAA B Division championship a year ago, but Coach Turner is still optimistic, especially with the likes of captain Ellison at center and Kip Turner (the coach's younger brother) in net. "What is going to make or break us this year is the ability to play as a team," the coach said. "Last year we had superstars. This year we have smaller units to add up to something big." Severn has won nine straight in the conference since last December.

Severna Park

MSHL Eastern Conference

Coach: Chuck Fox

Players to watch: F Mitch Belisle, Sr.; F Dave Spohn, Sr.; D Tom Austin, Sr.; F Luke Freeman, Fr.

Outlook: Severna Park is the class of the Eastern Conference. With 12 seniors on the squad, the Falcons could easily match last year's undefeated conference record (10-0). However, they would like to make amends for a loss to Southern in last year's playoffs. Belisle, the team's leading scorer, has what Fox calls "a great work ethic." In fact, Fox said that's one of the strengths of the whole team. And the Falcons are pretty deep as well. "We mix up the lines a lot," Fox said. "Everyone is familiar with everyone else."

South River

MSHL Eastern Conference

Coach: Jeff Browne

Players to watch: D Tyler Stewart, Sr.; F Eric Ridgely, Jr.; F Ryan Cullers, Sr.; F Patrick Myers, Sr.

Outlook: After a one-win season in 2001-02, first-year coach Browne hopes a unit filled with talented scorers and many returning players with some experience can catapult South River into the playoffs. Myers scored six goals in a win over Southern last month. The solid play of Cullers, Ridgely and even Stewart in the offensive end should offset relative inexperience and youth on defense. "I expect all of the upperclassmen to take it upon themselves to set a new, winning attitude," Browne said.

Southern

MSHL Eastern Conference

Coach: Jim MacBride

Players to watch: C Rob Durkee, Soph.; F Will Richardson, Soph.; G Evan Norris, Soph.

Outlook: Southern, which advanced to the MSHL championship game last season, must rebuild after the graduation of practically the whole team. Only two returning players are on the 13-man roster. Durkee is "a phenomenal hockey player" with good speed and shooting skills, first-year coach MacBride said. MacBride's goal is for Southern to "play good fundamental hockey." He said that "getting a win under their belts [as they did against Eleanor Roosevelt on Dec. 13] will take them a long way."

Spalding

MIAA A Division

Coach: Steve Moeglein

Players to watch: F Sean Gerding, Jr.; F Justin Sexton, Jr.; F Ryan Craig, Fr.

Outlook: Spalding lost in last season's A Division semifinals to rival St. Mary's, but one facet of the team -- its depth -- is improved. "I'm more comfortable putting three lines out there instead of two lines," said Moeglein, who said he looks for Spalding to finish in the top four of a highly competitive six-team conference (which includes area power Mount St. Joseph). Craig has provided a spark early in the season, with six goals and two assists in his first six games.

St. Mary's

MIAA A Division

Coach: Tom Judge

Players to watch: C Nick Torre, Sr.; F Grant Krebs, Fr.; F Will Dalton, Jr.; D Neil Butler, Sr.

Outlook: If the Saints are to get back to the A Division championship (where they lost to Mount St. Joseph last season), they will have to cut down on their penalties. "We're taking way too many," Judge said. The team is around .500 through the first few weeks of the season, but Judge likes his squad's gritty defensive play. St. Mary's also has pretty good size, led by 6-foot-4, 200-pound forward Dalton, the team's points leader thus far. Judge also sees his players' skating speed as one of their strengths.