POTSDAM - The Potsdam Central girls hockey team will begin defending a banner season on Saturday when the play host to High School League rival Canton Central at Pine Street Arena.
Guided by coach Joe Stark, the Lady Sandstoners are coming off a 21-1 season where they captured both the Section 10 regular season and overall playoff championships. Only four players graduated from the 2011-12 squad, including standout goaltender Abby Tardelli, defenseman Keeley Rice and forward Lia Davis, giving Potsdam a strong veteran nucleus.
Returning forwards include; seniors - Emily LaRoe and Megan Stevenson, juniors - Ally Miller, Jenny Tardelli and Megan Plumb, sophomores - Kirstin Barkley and Kelsey Green, freshmen Paige McCabe and Kalie Grant.
Seniors Kady Hart and Sierra Gagnon are back to anchor the blueline corps along with freshman Jordan Emerson. Stevenson and Plumb are also slated to contribute on defense this winter.
First-year players looking to make an impact at forward include junior Abby Gruneisen, freshman Kendall Stone and eighth-graders Peyton Warden and Jayden Young.
Sophomore Allie Compeau leads the Potsdam goaltending hopes after showing potential in a back-up role last season. Rookie netminders looking to see playing time between the pipes are freshman Kelsie Rathbun and eighth-grader Sidney Molnar.
Saturdays season opener at Pine Street Arena is slated to face-off at 1 p.m.