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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
After making it to the South semifinals of the Division I Tournament last season, the Needham High School hockey team is holding themselves to some high standards heading into 2018-2019.
Leading the Rockets this season will be a trio of senior captains in forward Tom Chmielewski, forward Sam Rutter, and defenseman Trent Kamke.“We want to build off of last year,” said Chmielewski when asked about his team’s general goals. “We made it to the playoffs and made some noise last year, and we fully expect to be back there again and in contention.”
Needham did lose some big names from last year’s senior class, including Tom Fachetti, Danny McEvoy, and leading scorer Phil Pascucci. However, along with Chmielewki and Rutter, some other notable impact players return for Needham on offense including Roman Tacelli, who missed the majority of last season due to injury, as well as Nick Mahoney, Sam Keenan, Kurt Brinkhaus, and Cole Nawrocki.
“Roman [Tacelli] is back and healthy after missing most of the season last year, and we expect him to be a key contributor,” said Chmielewski about his teammate. “We also expect big things out of Nick Mahoney, Cole Nawrocki, Sam Keenan, and several others to step up and produce on offense.”