By KEVIN ROBERTS
The WMRP boys ice hockey co-op is off to a 3-1 start this season, and several Plainville natives are contributing to the winning effort. Those Plainville players are Devin Norton, Connor McNamara, Cole McNamara, Branden Savard, Josh Fontaine, Michael Smith, Brody Davidson and Owen Davidson.
Norton, the McNamara brothers and Savard are all seniors. Fontaine and Smith are both sophomores while the Davidson brothers are freshmen.
Norton, a forward, recorded a goal and an assist in a 7-2 Eagle victory over Hall-Southington on Dec. 26 at the Newington Ice Arena. Norton plays on the second line for WMRP, which stands for Wethersfield-Middletown-Rocky Hill-Plainville.
“He has a strong shot and knows his role and positional play,” coach Dennis Tulimieri Sr. said about Norton.
Connor McNamara put pressure on the Hall-Southington defense from his forward position. McNamara used his speed and puck-handling ability to do so.
“He’s a starter on our first line,” Tulimieri said. “He’s creative and plays hard in both the offensive and defensive zones.”
Cole McNamara plays on the defensive end, and he helped the Eagles keep the Warrior-Knights scoreless through the first two periods. Tulimieri said Cole is a reliable defenseman and an excellent teammate.
Another Plainville contributor on the defensive end is Savard, who works hard to improve, Tulimieri said.
“He plays defense for our team and always with a ‘team-first’ attitude,” Tulimieri said.
Fontaine, a sophomore and second-year player, can contribute on the offensive and defensive ends, according to Tulimieri.
“He has a very positive attitude and is a team player,” Tulimieri said.
Smith is also a sophomore but is a first-year player. Tulimieri said Smith is working hard to improve his skills while playing at the varsity level.
The Davidson brothers have jumped right in and play regular minutes, Brody as a forward and Owen as a defenseman. Brody is on WMRP’s third line.
“He will benefit from gaining more experience and has a bright future,” Tulimieri said. “He conscientious and he respects people, he respects the game.”
Owen provided some solid hits on defense in the Hall-Southington game.
“He improves every game while gaining more experience,” Tulimieri said. “He has a solid future and even as a freshman has leadership qualities.”
WMRP plays its home games at the Newington Ice Arena. The Eagles faced the rival Newington co-op on Dec. 29 in a road game at the Newington Ice Arena. The co-ops both play their home games at the Newington Ice Arena.
WMRP plays its next home game on Saturday at 7 p.m. against Enfield-East Granby-Stafford.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com