EASTON — Opposing coaches knew them as Nos. 7 and 9.
Sts. Peter & Paul High’s head coach for ice hockey, Will Weisman, didn’t need to lobby for them when the coaches met to vote on this year’s best players in the MIAA.
Sabres freshman center Connor Stokes and sophomore all-purpose player Hunter Hoffman were already on the team — the 2020 All-MIAA B Conference ice hockey team. SSPP senior Brooks Hoffman, less flashy but dominant on defense, also earned a place on the team for a trio of Sabres among 14 players selected.
SSPP finished 6-6 this past season and reached the conference semifinals before falling to Loyola-Blakefield, 5-4, in overtime. The Dons were then nipped by Gilman, 6-5, in the final, the Greyhounds’ second-straight conference title.
The Sabres will lose nine seniors to graduation this spring, but with Stokes and Hunter Hoffman eligible to return and some new recruits, they’ll hope to remain competitive in a highly competitive league.
The younger brother of Brooks, Hunter scored 20 goals and provided eight assists for SSPP this season.
“Hunter, one thing he can do is play all positions. Whether it’s defense, offense, we can put him anywhere and he can play the position well,” said Weisman. “Probably one of the most dominant players in the league on the puck, puck handling, then like his brother his positioning. Seems like he’s in every play when he’s on the ice. He’s got an eye for the back on the net too. He’s a goal-scorer.”
Hunter and Stokes also both play for Team Maryland, an AAA youth and junior hockey program. Hunter played for Team Maryland’s 14U Bantam Major 2004 team this season while Stokes played for the Bantam 2005 squad.
Stokes scored 13 goals and dished out 14 assists this season.
“Connor, freshman, great addition to the team,” said Weisman. “Hunter and Connor they were pretty much locked in to make the (All-MIAA) team. Before I even said a word in the meeting they had already been voted in by other coaches. When the meeting started, they were the first two players brought up — No. 9 and 7 for Sts. Peter & Paul. Everyone was like, ‘Yep, they’re definitely on it.’ They’re two of the best players in the whole league I’d say. It kind of goes by the other coaches’ voting and then we kind of talk it out to try to be fair to everybody.”
Weisman likes Stokes’ overall approach to the game.
“Connor, he just plays hard no matter what,” said Weisman. “He’s not into the trash talking aspect of the game. He goes out there and he does what he needs to do to better the team — score goals, most kids don’t back check the way he does. He’s just another kid that’s just a dominant player. When he’s on the puck good things happen. But his attitude is by far … I wish all the kids had attitudes like him. He’s a good attitude, a good leader, quiet but just naturally leads by example.”
Brooks scored six goals and provided 10 assists for SSPP this season.
“He played really well all four years,” said Weisman. “A real solid defenseman, knows the game well. Nice kid too, athletic, plays baseball and golf as well.”
Weisman identified Brooks’ hockey strengths as “his positioning and his shot. He has a really good shot, a hard fast shot. And then just his positioning and his awareness of where to be and what’s going on in a game. He’s a smart player.”
MIAA honorable mentions for SSPP are seniors John Albrecht (11 goals, 10 assists), Aubrey Perry (10 goals, 7 assists), Joey Greaney (11 goals, 4 assists), and Peter Fritzche (8 goals, 6 assists).