Mr Merola AKA "Jim" back for another season!
Jim Merola has been involved in hockey for 56 years as a player, coach, and manager. Jim started playing at age 6 for East Providence Blues and Seekonk Youth Hockey. He went on to play for East Providence High School. After graduation Jim decided to go work for General Dynamics Electric Boat, which opened a new division in Rhode Island where he earned his BS degree in Engineering through Electric Boat’s college/work program. He worked in various levels of management and retired 40 years later in April of 2017. During that time he began coaching youth hockey when his son Jimmy started playing for Providence Youth Hockey moving on to Edgewood Youth Hockey. The teams that he was involved with as coach or manager from peewee to midget won 5 consecutive New England Championships and advanced to USA Hockey Nationals Championships in which 2 teams advanced to the finals. He has been a USA hockey certified coach for 20 years. His proudest achievement was coaching his son Jimmy, whom is arguably one of the best goaltenders to come out of Rhode Island.
Jimmy was Josh’s teammate at Saint Anselm's College and they both set individual and team records together. Jim started coaching last year with New England Hockey Club. "I am so thrilled Mr. Merola is coming back! He is a great man and has been a wonderful calming presence for the entire organization with his wealth of knowledge and experience. The girls have loved him and I am very excited to start a new season with him on board," said coach Hechter.
The New England Hockey Club is proud to announce SR F/D Emma Dorf (Kings Park, NY), has committed to Plymouth State University. Dorf committed to the Plymouth State University Panthers to play for the Division III Women’s Hockey Team for the 2018-19 Season.
Dorf was one of the first additions to NEHC in its inaugural season. She has worked extremely hard, played every position except goalie in her 2 years with the club, and was one of the NEHC Captains this season.
“I am very excited to move on to the next stage in my life, going off to college and getting to play NCAA Women's Hockey! I want to thank Josh for this amazing opportunity to play at this level, in the JWHL, for believing in me, and pushing me everyday to be my best. I improved as a player and a person thanks to Josh. I will always be grateful to him and my teammates from both seasons. I would not have been able to push through these 2 years without my teammates to chase my dreams to achieve my goals. I am blessed to have so many people supporting me including my parents, my grandmother and my brother. Everyone was always cheering me on, even my old boys team "KPC" back home in Kings Park. It wasn’t always easy but it has been so much fun. I have made some amazing friends and I've really enjoyed my time at Chelmsford High School.”
Head Coach Josh Hechter added “I am super excited for Emma, her family, and the program. She is an amazing person and I truly believe her ability, work ethic and drive will translate, bringing her individual success at the next level. We are excited that Emma will be close and I am positive next years team will be out to support her in her freshman campaign for the Panthers.”
Lorenzo wins National Championship!
The New England Hockey Club would like to congratulate the Norwich Cadets and former captain, F Nicole Lorenzo (Coral Springs, FL), on winning the Division III National Championship.
The New England Hockey Club is thrilled to announce its first HOCKEY EAST College Commitment for Senior Goalie MacKenzie Nicholas (Lake Worth, FL). Nicholas committed to the University of Connecticut (UCONN) Huskies to play for the Division I Women’s Hockey Team for the 2018-19 Season.
Nicholas’ was one of the first NEHC recruits in its inaugural season. Making it to all the practices, gym sessions, being a steady force for both seasons has been a strong point in her work ethic and development as a key part of the organization, not to mention her excellent academics as a top student and member of the National Honor Society.
“I just want to thank Josh and Janine Hechter for this amazing opportunity to play for their organization, at this level in the JWHL, competing against all these top college recruits for the CIS, and NCAA D1 and D3. I will forever be thankful for the time I had on this team!” said Nicholas about the news. “I also want to thank my family, especially my parents and brother for their sacrifices, my teammates and friends, all my coaches along the way, especially the Lady Viper Hockey Association with Rob and Pauline Ade. I could not have accomplished this without the help and support of all these amazing people who supported and believed in me and my dream!”
Nicholas’ parents, Nick and Melissa said “Josh and Janine have helped set our daughter up for her next stage in life at an exemplary university where she can have an excellent academic and athletic experience. We couldn’t be more grateful to them for the sacrifices they have made to start this amazing organization that empowers young woman. MacKenzie felt U CONN was a potential home from the first time she set foot on the campus a few years ago with her team from Florida. We are so thankful that Josh was able to be an integral part in giving our daughter this perfect opportunity to become a Husky. To say we are excited for our Kenzie is a huge understatement!”
Head Coach Josh Hechter added “I could not be happier for Kenzie, her family, and the program. She is extremely deserving of this opportunity. We will be looking forward to taking our 2018-19 Season Team to see a UCONN Game and show our support for Kenzie. We know her future is as bright as she is and we are just so happy to have played our part in making her dream happen!”
We are so ecstatic to have an ALL-STAR for our second year in a row at the JWHL CHALLENGE CUP! The team is so excited to cheer on one of our captains, JENNA ABEYTA! We could not be more proud of JENNA for being selected, exciting things coming soon for this NEHC JWHL VETERAN #JWHL #CHALLENGECUP #ALLSTAR
After a fantastic day of games Friday, NEHC faced off against NAHA and their high powered offense Saturday, at Bill Grays Regional ICE PLEX in the JWHL ROCHESTER, NY weekend.
NEHC had been playing their best team hockey on Friday and it continued in the game on Saturday. The first period ended with the score 0-0. SO G Lauren Barbro (Loudonville, NY) was amazing in net. NEHC went on a power play in minute 17 in the second period. Off a offensive face-off loss, JR D Ariel Garbin (Cape Coral, FL), made a terrific read to intercept the attempted pass, settled the puck and got a great shot on net. JR F Maxi Bird (Essex Junction, VT) was ready in the slot for the rebound and sniped top right corner to give the NEHC a lead for the first time in league play of the season.
Unfortunately, this did not last long as the team gave up 2 goals again in a stretch of under a minute.
The team showed great character and resilience battling back right until the final buzzer.
Next up for NEHC is the Ottawa 67's.
The NEHC coming off a great game vs Little Caesars in the morning faced off against the Ottawa 67's from Ottawa, ON, CANADA in the evening. The first half of the period was some of the best team hockey the group had played all season, one mistake later the 67's made them pay. NEHC regrouped and put together another great stretch going back and forth with the offensively gifted 67's. Another costly mistake and the 67's made it 2-0.
Forty seconds later NEHC was down by 4 which is how the first period ended.
The final score was 5-0 for the 67's. This was another great team effort and something the group can continue to build on down the stretch.
SR G MacKenzie Nicholas (Lake Worth, FL) was fabulous in net for NEHC which kept the team confident and ready to answer the constant pressure from the 67's.
Next up for NEHC is NAHA from Stowe, VT.
The NEHC travelled to Rochester, NY, for the first league weekend of 2018. Bill Grays Regional ICEPLEX on the campus of Monroe Community College, was the host for the weekends 4 games. First up for NEHC was Little Caesars, from Detroit, MI.
Lauren Barbro (Loudonville, NY) had the start in net for NEHC and was sensational in net, making a spectacular 60 saves of 63 shots!
NEHC was able to get one on the board in the third period, on a goal scored shorthanded on the PK by Jenna Abeyta (Aurora, CO) assisted by Maxi Bird (Essex Junction, VT) bringing the score to 3 - 1. This was as close as NEHC would come as the game ended 3-1.
Next up for NEHC is the Ottawa 67's, from Ottawa, ON, CANADA.
The New England Hockey Club (NEHC) played the PWHL's Toronto Leaside Wildcats, at the POWERADE CENTRE, home of the Tampa Bay affiliate, Brampton Beast of the CHL.
NEHC had a great start to the first period which had been an issue in the previous 2 games. Penalty trouble and a couple mistakes allowed Leaside to get on the board and extend the lead to 4 before the end of the second.
The girls battled hard until the end. The final score was 6-0 for the Wildcats. Next up is Team Illinois back at the POWERADE CENTRE.
In their second game of the day, the New England Hockey Club (NEHC) played the PWHL's Bluewater Hawks, based out of Strathroy, ON. The Hawks got off to a great start and were able to jump out to an early lead. NEHC was able to settle down and played much better down the stretch. Tomorrow NEHC will play the PWHL's Toronto Leaside Wildcats at the POWERED CENTRE.
The New England Hockey Club (NEHC) travelled to Brampton, ON, Canada to participate in the Two Nations Tournament, hosted by Kelly Katorji and RUSH HOCKEY.
In the first game of the round robin NEHC faced off versus the PWHL Aurora Panthers. This was the second meeting of the season between the 2 teams. In the first meeting, the teams played a very even, back and forth game that ended in a 3 - 3 draw. In todays game, the Panthers started out strong, while NEHC may have been working out their bus legs. SO G Lauren Barbro (Loudonville, NY) was spectacular in net making 34 saves on 35 shots, which allowed the team to find their legs and battle right to the final buzzer.
The game ended 1-0 for the Panthers. Next up for NEHC is the PWHL's Bluewater Hawks.
In its final game of the round robin at the Buffalo Inferno tournament, the New England Hockey Club (NEHC) faced off against Team Illinois (TI). NEHC got off to a great start, scoring one goal in the first period with a snipe from PG D Jenna Abeyta (Aurora, CO), assisted by SO F/D Lia Poggio (Cumming, GA).
In the second period, NEHC scored 3 PP goals to take a commanding 4-0 lead. JR F/D Maxi Bird (Essex, VT) scored the first goal, assisted by PG D Jenna Abeyta (Aurora, CO); JR D Molly Flynn (Arlington, MA) scored the second goal, assisted by PG F Bekki Antonelli (Wellesley, MA), and SO G/F Leo Clark (Stowe, VT). The final goal, her second of the game, was scored by JR F/D Maxi Bird (Essex, VT), with assists from SR F Georgiana Santullo (Woburn, MA) and PG D Jenna Abeyta (Aurora, CO).
Splitting the game, both goalies played strong, helping NEHC earn its first win of the season.
Next up for NEHC is the TWO NATIONS tournament in Brampton, ON, CANADA.
Saturday, NEHC played against HTI, the eventual tournament champion. Although NEHC started strong, HTI capitalized on turnovers and NEHC was unable to recover. Ultimately, NEHC lost, however, the team started and finished the game with impressive play.
In the final minutes of the game, PG D Jenna Abeyta (Aurora, CO) scored a beautiful goal after an excellent pass from PG F Bekki Antonelli (Wellesley, MA).
Next up for NEHC is a final round robin tilt vs Team Illinois.
In their second game of the day, the New England Hockey Club (NEHC) faced off against the Aurora Panthers from the PWHL. SR G MacKenzie Nicholas (West Palm Beach, FL) started in the net for NEHC. Aurora came out strong and ready and was able to score 2 early goals in the first period.
MacKenzie Nicholas made 20 saves in the first half of the game. SO G Lauren Barbro (Loudonville, NY) played the second half and made 18 saves.
The final score was 3-0 for the Aurora Panthers.
Next up for NEHC is HTI.
The New England Hockey Club (NEHC) traveled to Buffalo, NY, for the Buffalo Inferno Tournament hosted by Kelly Katorji and RUSH HOCKEY. The first game in the round robin for NEHC was against Trinity College Prep. SO G Lauren Barbaro (Loudonville, NY) started in net, saving nine out of ten shots. SR G MacKenzie Nicholas (West Palm Beach, FL) played the second half making 6 saves. An exciting and action-filled game, JR F/D Maxi Bird (Essex, VT) put NEHC on the board with an impressive end to end effort while shorthanded, putting the puck upstairs over the goalie’s glove.
SR F Georgiana Santullo (Woburn, MA), gave NEHC its second lead of the game with a PP marker; after digging the puck out of the corner, she skillfully carried it to the front of the net and slid it five hole on the goalie, another unassisted goal for NEHC.
Trinity College Prep responded and scored two quick goals gaining a lead of 3-2. With time winding down, SR D Molly Flynn (Arlington, MA) made a breakout pass to PG D Jenna Abeyta (Aurora, CO), who skated it into the offensive zone and shot to the low blocker side to tie the score 3-3.
Next up for NEHC is the Aurora Panthers from the PWHL.
#24 Jenna Abeyta
#17 Emma Dorf
Becky Antonelli #7
JENNA, BEKKI AND EMMA NAMED "A'S" FOR THE 2017-2018 SEASON.
Jenna Abeyta is from Aurora, CO and begins her post-graduate year and fifth season playing for Coach Hechter. Possessing a high hockey IQ, Jenna has always had a strong offensive presence on the blue line, and her work ethic motivates the team on and off the ice. She arrived in superb physical shape, ready to lead by example and make an impact. “I am so proud of her and am very excited to see all of her hard work pay off,” said Coach Hechter.
Regarding her title as an alternate captain, Jenna commented, "I'm happy to be back on the east coast. I am honored to be selected as an assistant captain and hope I can help NEHC pick up where we left off and continue to push forward. I am thrilled to be able to share my experiences with the team and help in any way I can." Willingly accepting any challenge, Jenna is expected to make both personal and team goals come to fruition.
Bekki Antonelli, a post-graduate, is from Wellesley, MA; this is her second season playing for Coach Hechter. Bekki’s personal improvement can be attributed to her admirable work ethic; since last season, the changes she has made are impressive. She reflected, “The JWHL was a big adjustment from what I had been playing before, especially the speed and physical play.
I am excited for a second opportunity to play a full season with NEHC and to be more of an impact player for the team.”
Emma Dorf joined NEHC last year and came from Kings Park, NY. Currently a senior at Chelmsford High School, she looks forward to the upcoming season. Although most of Emma’s experience has been as a defenseman, she will be playing forward for NEHC this year. Her comprehensive understanding of the defensive zone as well as her strength on offense will bring NEHC many advantages. Emma is a strong skater with great hands and a quick release. She commented, “It is an honor to be a captain. I look forward to helping the team in any way I can.” Jenna, Bekki and Emma hold themselves to the highest expectations, and will inspire the NEHC to bring full effort to every contest this season.
Lauren Barbro #40
#1 Mackenzie Nicholas
U19 JWHL Season 11 begins in Buffalo, NY
The JWHL U19 hosted its opening weekend at the Harborcenter in downtown Buffalo, NY, the practice facility for the Buffalo Sabres, and home of the D1 Canisius Griffins.
The NEHC travelled from its home in Marlborough, MA for 3 league contests, which started Friday with a game versus the Washington Pride. The Pride is based out of Rockville, MD, one of the original four teams and is coached and operated by league Co-founder Kush Sidhu.
“This was a great way to start league play. It’s always an adjustment at the beginning of the year for all of the girls to get acclimated to the speed, physical play and length of the games. Kush has done a tremendous job with his program; they get better and better each year and they are always fun to play against,” said Coach Hechter.
SO G Lauren Barbro (Loudonville, New York) started in net and was sensational, making 55 saves in the contest. The final score was 6-0 Pride.
Saturday, NEHC faced off against the Balmoral Hall Blazers of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Blazers have always been a tough matchup for the NEHC. SR G Mackenzie Nicholas (West Palm Beach, FL) started in net for NEHC and was tremendous. She made 2 breakaway saves early in the game to keep the NEHC within striking distance. She finished the game with a total of 55 saves.
“The first period and beginning of the second were great. Once the momentum swung it was really hard to get things back on track in the second. It was great to see we were able to make some adjustments and have a better third,” said Coach Hechter. The final score was 7-0 BH.
Sunday, the NEHC played its final game of the weekend against Little Caesars from Detroit, Michigan. This was the first time NEHC had faced off against the new JWHL squad. “This was the best game of the weekend for the team and again we got some great goaltending, which never hurts,” said Coach Hechter. SO G Lauren Barbro (Loudonville, NY) started in net, making an impressive 36 saves. The final score in the game was 3-0 Little Caesars.
Next up for JWHL competition is October 27-29, 2017 in Wilmington, MA.
After a week of practice, the New England Hockey Club (NEHC) left the New England Sports Center (NESC) located in Marlborough, MA, on August 31st en route to the 16th Annual Labor Day Classic hosted by NAHA in Burlington, VT.
Head Coach Josh Hechter said, "There is never an easy game at the Labor Day Tournament. It’s a great way to start the season, to see the top level competition, and get a sense of where you as an individual, and team.”
The quality of competition at this prestigious event, known as one of the best girls hockey tournaments in the U.S. and Canada, attracted 101 scouts from NCAA Division 1, Division 3 colleges and universities as well as coaches from the CIS.
“We started the tournament off versus the Minnesota Whitecaps Grey on the Olympic sheet at UVM. So it really was right into the fire. Later that day we played the Pittsburg Pens Elite. Both games were very similar. The other team was able to get off to a quick start, the girls battled hard and we were able to make some adjustments and really play our best hockey in the second half and right up to the final buzzer,” said Coach Hechter.
Day 2 saw NEHC faceoff versus the perennial PWHL powerhouse, the Stoney Creek Jr Sabres. It was another game like Day 1. Slow start, into a great finish, which served as excellent momentum heading into the fourth game, a battle versus fellow JWHL team, the Washigton Pride.
In the fourth game the girls came out ready right off the opening faceoff. Snake bitten up until this point in the weekend, NEHC was finally able to get on the board, with a Power Play goal by PG D Jenna Abeyta (Aurora, CO), assited by JR D Madie Olson (Minot, ND), and Emma Dorf (Kings Park, NY).
Sunday the NEHC finished the weekend against the Sudbury Wolves, another Canadian team from Ontario. It was the closest game of the weekend and NEHC came up short giving up a late Power Play goal to fall 2-1.
“Some of the best ‘takeaways’ of the weekend were that things we worked on in practice showed up in the games and the team is a group that responds and can make adjustments. We definitely made some mistakes, but those we can work on to fix. I am excited to get back to practice!"
Day 1 Season 2 for NEHC
Day 1 of the second season for the New England Hockey Club (NEHC) began at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, MA.
Head Coach and Team Owner Josh Hechter had this to say on Day 1 for the second season of the New England Hockey Club, “I am super excited for the new season, to see all the hard work the veteran players have put in over the summer and specifically since the last time the group was together in July. As well as how the new girls are going to step right in to help push us to the next level.”
The team is returning 9 players from last year’s team and inaugural season. Those players include PG F Bekki Antonelli (Wellesley, MA) and PG D Jenna Abeyta (Aurora, CO), SR G MacKenzie Nicholas (Lake Worth, FL) and F Emma Dorf (Kings Park, NY) , Juniors Maxi Bird (Essex Junction, VT) and F Peyton Nagy (Columbia, MO), Sophomores Lia Poggio (Cumming, GA) and Savannah Willard (Plymouth, MN) and F/D Cordi Campbell (Orlando, FL).
Hechter continues, "I am thrilled with the core that we have returning. It will allow us to start so much further ahead this year. It is still a young group and I am excited about where we can end up, especially with the awesome kids we added to the roster."
Heather Schwarz serves as both AC and Strength and Conditioning Coach for 2017-2018 season
Heather Schwarz has joined the New England Hockey Club staff as an assistant coach and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Club’s second season. “I am beyond thrilled to have Heather on board as an Assistant Coach and as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach,” said Head Coach Josh Hechter about the news. “Heather is an extremely impressive young lady who has achieved great success in her NCAA and Professional career. She is an excellent addition to the New England Hockey Club and a valuable role model for these players trying to achieve their dreams.”
Schwarz finished her high school career as captain of the Boston Shamrocks U19 JWHL team. There she became the team’s MVP and JWHL All-Star, and accepted a scholarship to Syracuse University.
Schwarz spent her college career at Syracuse University, playing in 141 games for the Orange, tied for 7th in program history and accumulating 51 career points on 29 assists and 22 goals.
At Syracuse, Schwarz earned a B.S. in Heath and Science and completed an internship with Mike Boyle. Currently, she works at Republic Boston as a certified personal trainer, specializing in Strength and Conditioning, training for athletic performance, weight loss, functional movement training and cardiovascular training. As a trainer, she promotes athletic lifestyles and confidence through training and education, highlighting the importance of preparation.
The New England Hockey Club (NEHC) is the most recent team to join the ten team elite Junior Women's Hockey League (JWHL). Our home rink is the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, MA (nes.com). Our objective is to prepare and create opportunities for young women to pursue their hockey and academic aspirations at the college level.
MacKenzie Nicholas University of Connecticut
Emma Dorf Plymouth State University
Bekki Antonelli St Olaf College
Meggan Rodriguez Trinity College
Noelle Mandery Bentley College