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International Junior Hockey League
Steve Stein

Monson, Loughlin power up Stars in early going

Led by the Super Elite Division’s highest- scoring line, the New England Stars soared during the first few weeks of the International Junior Hockey League season.

The Stars won eight of their first nine games. In those games, center Roy Monson had 10 goals and 11 assists and left wing Danny Loughlin had nine goals and 11 assists, making them the division’s top two scorers.

Linemate James Devlin had four goals and five assists from his right wing spot.

Monson and Loughlin are 1990-born players. Stars coach/general manager Dan Fontas said their experience played a major role in their quick start.

“Plus, they possess the puck well, move the puck smartly through the neutral zone, know how to drive around defensemen, and they’re not afraid to shoot the puck,” he said.

Devlin, a 1993-born player, has proven to be a younger and perfect complement to the Stars’ dynamic duo.

“James handles their speed well,” Fontas said.

This is the second year that Loughlin and Devlin have played for the Stars. Monson joined the team this season after playing for the Valley Jr. Warriors of the Eastern Junior Hockey League last season.

“The guys have been together since the start of practice, and their chemistry and confidence continue to grow,” Fontas said.

While the line’s production hasn’t been a surprise, Quinn Carroll’s contributions to the Stars’ attack have exceeded Fontas’ expectations.

“We knew Quinn would be an important member of our team, but we didn’t think he’d have this much impact on our offense already,” Fontas said.

Carroll, a 5-foot-8, 155-pound sparkplug, had five goals and 10 assists through nine games.

“Quinn is tenacious and hard-working,” Fontas said. “This is his first year on our team but he practiced with us a little last season. The guys hated to practice with him because he’d frustrate them so much.”

Slim roster not holding back the Wolfpack

By Steve Stein

The Long Island Wolfpack came out howling in their International Junior Hockey League Super Elite Division debut.

General manager/head coach Ken Uher said he was thrilled by his new team’s start this season, which featured four victories in its first seven games.

The plus-.500 record was particularly impressive considering the Wolfpack’s small roster (15 players) and crazy practice schedule.

Because of construction at their home building, the Dix Hills Park Skating Rink, the Wolfpack have two 5:30 a.m. practices each week at Dix Hills.

“Most of our kids had never played junior hockey before this season. I think the early morning practices have been their biggest adjustment,” Uher said.

Wolfpack home games are being played at the Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., because of the construction at Dix Hills.

The Wolfpack roster has a distinct local flavor. About 90 percent of the players live on Long Island.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised by our talent level, considering there are a few other junior teams in our area,” Uher said. “I’d love to have 20 or more kids on our roster. We’re out there looking for more guys every day.”

Forwards Nick Souza and Evan Katz have led the Wolfpack attack. Souza and Kurt Goess scored the first two goals of the Wolfpack’s inaugural season.

Kenny Uher, the coach’s son, is playing defense after being moved from goalie because of a thin defensive corps.

Miles Propper and Sam Mignoli are the Wolfpack goalies. Propper was in net for the team’s first-ever win, a 5-3 victory over the Mass. Mariners AAA hockey team.

Goess made two goals and two saves, while Souza had a goal and two assists. Katz also scored a goal and an assist, while Shane Higgins scored his first goal.

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