BEST OF THE BUNCH: Senior stars take final shift as finalists for Ice Hockey Player of the Year

WALLINGFORD — Man, it’s been months since we were watching the Sheehan and Lyman Hall hockey teams light the lamp at Choate and the Northford Ice Pavilion, months since they made their run to the CIAC Division II semifinals.

If there is one downside to this first day of summer, it’s that hockey season is over — unless this Colorado-Tampa Bay Stanley Cup final is doing it for you.

On the local ice, we were hoping for an-Wallingford D-II state final, a rematch of the Division III epic of 2019.

We didn’t get it, but the Titans and Trojans do furnish us with the finalists for Record-Journal Ice Hockey Player of the Year.

Both teams continued their extended run of excellence with 16-4 regular seasons in 2021-22.

Lyman Hall grabbed the bragging rights by sweeping the rivalry series, but it was close: 5-4 on Jan. 8 and 4-3 in overtime on Feb. 8.

The Titans were paced by two of their elder skatesmen, senior forward Anthony DeFilio and senior defenseman Brenden Hilinski.

DeFilio was named to the All-SCC/SWC Division II First Team after scoring 18 goals and assisting on 26.

In all, DeFilio played in 86 career games at Sheehan. He collected 77 career points on 34 goals and 43 assists.

As for Hilinski, he was not only one of Sheehan’s leading blue-liners, he was one of the team’s leading scorers with 15 goals and 17 assists. That included a hat trick on Jan. 26 against Amity.

Hilinski earned a spot on the All-SCC/SWC Division II First Team alongside DeFilio. He finished his career with 16 goals and 41 assists.

Across town, the Trojans were led by — who else? — senior center Jack Roberts.

A four-year player who skated on Lyman Hall’s No.1 line as a freshman in 2019, Roberts put together an 81-point season this winter that got him named SCC/SWC Division II Player of the Year.

And then he was named the CIAC Division II Player of the Year.

And then he was named the overall Connecticut Player of the Year. It was a first in Lyman Hall hockey history.

Roberts scored 37 goals this season and assisted on 44. That’s an average of 3.2 points a game and it’s Lyman Hall’s single-season record.

Had the 2020-21 season not been abbreviated by the pandemic, Roberts would have arguably overtaken his older brother Kyle as the program’s all-time leading scorer. Kyle Roberts stays No. 1 at 210 points. Jack Roberts finished just shy of 200.

Arguably. They can take up the discussion tonight over dinner, or perhaps watching the Stanley Cup.


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