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Champions of the Ice!

Champions of the Ice!

The Canterbury Boys’ Varsity Hockey team scored plenty of goals during the season, but on Sunday, they achieved their biggest goal—the 2024 NEPSAC small school championship! The 3-1 victory over The Rivers School at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, secured the title for the Saints and their Head Coach Padraic “Paddy” McCarthy ’94, Associate Director of Athletics at the School.  

The win came 30 years to the day after Saints hockey won its first New England title. A key member of that team? Paddy McCarthy! Talk about coming full circle. It was also a fitting finale for our stellar Sixth Form players, including Team Captains Nathan Ruzzi ’24 and Ryan Stratton ’24.

Ryan was grateful to have shared the experience with his teammates and Coaches McCarthy and Peter Gintoli, also an Academic Counselor on the hilltop. "Everything about this season was memorable. Getting the chance to play the sport I love every day with my best friends and turn it into a NEPSAC championship win is an amazing feeling," Ryan said. "The journey is something I will cherish forever and tell my kids about one day. It would not have been possible without Coach McCarthy and Coach Gintoli and their dedication to Saints hockey."

The game itself was tense and exciting to the very end. Goalie Maxim Pitts ’25 made 23 saves—perhaps none bigger than his glove save midway through the third period on a Rivers two-on-one rush to keep the Saints ahead 2-1 at the time. Overall, the team’s defense excelled in blocking shots and clearing pucks out of the zone. Goal scorers were Logan Martel ’26, Ryan, and Samuel Ciappa ’24.

The team advanced to the final game with a 7-4 quarterfinal win over Tilton School and a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Pomfret School in the semifinals. It was a tremendous turnaround for the Saints, who went from a sub-.500 record last season to 20-plus wins and a New England Preparatory School Athletic Council championship in 2024.

No one was more appreciative of their efforts than the Head Coach. "When this team committed to the concept of playing like we practiced, they usually ended up winning the game,” Paddy said. “Their self-motivation and compete level were consistently high all year long, and that continued in the playoffs. This paired with solid senior leadership was a winning combination.”

Congratulations to the entire team and coaching staff. You have earned the right to be called champions!