MacQuarrie Looking Forward to the Challenge as the Blue Raiders Hockey Coach

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
January, 2020
Article Body: 

He’s been sitting in the wings for the last five seasons coaching the very successful Hopedale junior varsity hockey program and when Varsity Coach Greg LaBossiere decided to step down he immediately put in his name. Having been involved in hockey for some 20 years Mike MacQuarrie will now be leading the Blue Raiders onto the ice and into play this season.
MacQuarrie began his hockey coaching career in the Framingham Youth Hockey program, before moving onto Tri-Valley Hockey, where he coached athletes from Millis, Medway and Hopedale before it disbanded. Nipmuc Middle School Hockey was next on his list before getting the Hopedale JV job, where he has been coaching a team that has only lost four times in the last three years.
“When I heard that Greg had stepped down I applied and luckily I got the job,” MacQuarrie said. “I am looking forward to the challenge.”
Last winter Hopedale went 9-10-1 and qualified for the Central Division 3A Tournament, where they unfortunately lost 3-1 to Lunenburg in their first contest.
“My number one goal is that I would like to win a playoff game as the program has never done so,” the new coach said. “We’ve been to the tournament three years in a row and have three straight loses there, so our next hurdle is to claim a tournament victory.”
Looking to help the team earn that first tournament victory will be the teams returning top line of junior alternate captain Hunter Dunn and senior captains Patrick Gray and Nick Patterson.
“I’m assuming that the three will all be back together again this year,” MacQuarrie said. “All three are highly skilled athletes that can move the puck well while scoring. They were productive last year, each scoring around 12 goals, while Dunn had more assists than the other two.”
Right below the first line is junior Nick Reneau, a good second line player on the verge of cracking the top tier. Newcomer freshman Brady Butler should be fighting for a spot on the second line as will Tyler Lane, a solid third line player last year. The third through sixth lines will be comprised of a lot of parody with a lot of junior varsity players looking into make the jump up to the varsity squad. According to the Coach, Eric Landry will be leading the charge to step up their game.
On the defensive side of the ice alternate captain junior Michael Govoni will be the leader on the blue line, a solid player who works extremely hard. Two other returning defenseman who saw action as freshman last year are Cam Gibbons and Matt Gerard,
MacQuarrie also has some up and coming freshman in the likes of Joey Mahoney and Brody Gooding, who both play for quality prep level hockey teams and have a good shot at cracking into the top four defenders for the team. Sophomore Jared Morris, who saw very little time on the varsity level last winter, is another solid defender who may see some regular action this year.
Guarding the Blue Raider net will be sophomore John Tomaso, who was last year’s varsity back-up and the JV starter.
“We are putting a lot of pressure on him this year as we lost our starting goalie to graduation,” the coach said. “John played in about five games last year winning two, but unfortunately he also drew some of the top teams when he took the net. It will all be on his shoulders this year.”
Playing in the Russell Conference, where Hopedale finished tied for second last season, the Hopedale Coach knows that things are not going to be easy.
“Overall it’s a very quality conference with a lot of talented teams,” MacQuarrie said. “Last year we finished tied for second and it’ll be a tough road ahead but we expect to finish in at least second and hope to push Northbridge, the 3A State Champions, for the top spot in the conference.”