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Nipmuc Players Anchor Hockey Co-op

The Northbridge hockey co-op finished the regular season with a 13-5-2 record and a season that included a number of highlights. The success of the program is due, in large part, to a quintet of Nipmuc players who have helped spark the team's strong season. "We've had a lot of highlights so far, from making the district tournament, to winning our Christmas tournament, to some individual players who have had some big moments," said head coach Greg Ostopowich.
Senior center Tyler Peabody was one of the individual highlights. The Nipmuc product scored 36 goals this year, the 5th highest total in the state and a new program record. The goal total was three better than Daniel Bednarik who lit the lamp 33 times for Northbridge during the 2008-2009 season. "He's one of the best forwards in the area," said Ostopowich. "He could play for any school and I'm sure he is someone teams will be looking at next season."
Peabody is joined by fellow seniors Tucker Capabianco, Liam Drennan, and Brandon Thornton, as well as sophomore Tyler Costello as the Nipmuc contingent on the team. Peabody and Capabianco are both captains. Capabianco has a goal and six assists on the year, and Thornton has added 11 points, including four goals.
Ostopowich says Drennan has come a long way as the team's goaltender. "He didn't play a lot his first two years," said the head coach. "He had a chance to play a little bit towards the end of last season but he has come into his own in his senior year and has played very well. Drennan has gotten the majority of the time in goal and has allowed fewer than three goals per game while posting an .830 save percentage.
Rounding out the Nipmuc crew is the sophomore Costello, who finished the season with a goal and seven assists. "He is a very good up and coming player," said Ostopowich of Costello. "He has had an excellent year."
The Northbridge co-op includes four players from Sutton and four from Uxbridge in addition to the student-athletes from Northbridge and Nipmuc. The 13 win season included an 8-4-1 mark in the Russell Conference. Northbridge finished the season riding a five game unbeaten streak and will take on Oakmont tomorrow in its first playoff game.
Ostopowich stresses that every school is essential to making the program work as well as it has. "We could not survive with anything less than what we have right now, and that's why the acquisition of Nipmuc into the co-op is essential to the stability of the program," he said. "None of these schools could stand alone, the sport is just too costly and they don't have the numbers to support a program. This works out for everyone, each school can participate and we can field a competitive team."




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