15 CHSGHA girls ice hockey players to watch in 2022-23

A look at some players to watch in Connecticut high school girls ice hockey during the 2022-23 season: 

Taylor Alfano, Jr., D, West Haven/SHA: The West Haven/SHA co-op is a perennial SCC contender and Alfano will help anchor a defense which could be a team strength this winter.

Amanda Benson, Sr., D, New Canaan: Defense figures to be a strength for New Canaan and Benson is one of the main reasons. The experienced defender, who was named to the CHSGHA All-State second team last year, can also provide the Rams with offense.

Kelsey Brown, Sr., F, Darien: The Wave returns plenty of offensive firepower and Brown is among those top scoring threats. That depth will be key as Darien, last year’s state runner-up, looks to contend for FCIAC and CHSGHA titles.

Bella Bonfiglio, Sr., F, Avon/Southington co-op: The star forward racked up 43 points last winter and is part of a strong corps of returning players. The Nighthawks won the CCC championship in 2021-22 and reached the semifinals of the CHSGHA tournament.

Thora Clark, Sr., F, Simsbury: The perennial state and CCC contender graduated a few key players, but Clark gives them a big boost on the offensive end.

Kendall Conley, Sr., D, Trumbull/St. Joseph: Conley is a stellar defender who has been a key part of the Eagles’ squad for four seasons. The Trumbull co-op has been a playoff contender the past few seasons, reaching the FCIAC semis in 2021, and qualifying for the states last year.

Isabel DiNanno, Sr., F, Wilton: A CHSGHA All-State second teamer as a junior, DiNanno is the team’s top scorer and will be a leader as Wilton attempts to skate into a playoff berth this winter.

Chelsea Donovan, Sr., F, Darien: The CHSGHA and GameTimeCT All-State forward scored goals and dished out 13 assists for 31 points in 22 games last winter. She’ll be a top weapon for the Blue Wave again this winter.

Kim Evans, Sr., D, Guilford: Evans, a top returning defender, was the Most Outstanding Player of last year’s SCC tournament when the Grizzlies won their second straight league title. Guilofrd graduated a lot, but are experienced on defense with Evans leading the way.

Peyton Jelinek, Sr., F, Greenwich: The first-line center returns as a senior captain and will be a prime weapon as the Cardinals hunt for FCIAC and state tournament berths.

Kelsey Kolwal, Sr., G, ETB: Kowal played in 10 games as a junior and had a .938 save percentage with four shutouts. Even with the graduation of Maren Riley, Kowal provides the Storm with experience between the pipes.

Emma Kunschner, Sr., G, Greenwich: Not many teams have an experienced goalie this year, so Kunschner gives the Cards a leg up on the competition. She came through in several bug games last season, and will look to continue those kinds of performances.

Nicole Partridge, Sr., F, Avon/Southington co-op: The Nighthawks’ all-time leading scorer was a GameTimeCT and CSGHA All-State player as a junior, and was the MVP when the co-op won the CCC tournament crown.

Paige Tuccinardi, Sr., F, Stamford/Westhill/Staples: The SWS co-op was the breakout team of the 2021-22 seasons, and Tuccinardi played a big role as the team reached its first FCIAC final. SWS has just five seniors this season, and Tuccinardi will be the leader as the lone captain.

Lexie Tully, Jr., D, New Canaan: One of the state’s best defenders, Tully was a key part of the Rams’ run to FCIAC and state championships. The first team All-State player also has an eye for the offense and had four goals and 20 assists in 25 games last winter.

David.Stewart@hearstmediact.com; @dstewartsports