Chatham 2021-22 preview: Park back to lead young team

CHATHAM COUGARS

Head coach: Brendon Herr, seventh year. 66-54-10 career record.

Division: Mennen

Last year: Chatham played just seven games last season due to two separate COVID-19 pauses- with one coming at the end of the season, prohibiting it from playing in the Mennen Cup. It finished with a 2-4-1 record.

Key losses: Ryan Sordillo, F. Declan Curry, F.

Top returners: Tommy Sennett, F., Sr.; Tim Triano, F., Sr.; Ronan Curry, Jr., F; Doyle Curry, D., Jr.; Jeffrey Burke, D., Jr.; Dillon Gagliardi, D., So.; Michael Park, G., Sr.

Outlook: Chatham has been a steady and reliable program during Herr’s tenure. It always is competitive with the top teams and is known for playing its best late in the season when the games matter the most.

Unfortunately for Chatham, we didn’t get to see the team reach its full potential last season due to two COVID-19 related pauses which shortened its season even further. We caught some glimpses of this team’s potential in a stunning comeback win over Morris Knolls-Hills, along with a pair of competitive losses to Randolph, but it was ultimately a small sample size.

That said, it’s reasonable to expect another strong season from Chatham. Herr expects his squad to be a young team, but a strong defense along with one of the top netminders in the Mennen Division should give the team a chance to win a lot of games.

Goaltending figures to be a strong suit, with a Second Team All-Mennen Division pick in Michael Park returning as the starter once again. He posted a .914 save percentage last season.

Chatham will be led up front by seniors Thomas Sennett (2 a.) and Tim Triano, along with junior Ronan Curry (1 a.). On the blue line, junior Doyle Curry (1 g., 2 a.), junior Jeffrey Burke, and sophomore Dillon Gagliardi will all be counted on. Chatham will be led up front by seniors Thomas Sennett (2 a.) and Tim Triano, along with junior Ronan Curry (1 a.).

E-mail Mike Gurnis at michaelgurnis@gmail.com

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