Deer Lakes hockey staff off to robust begin in return to PIHL

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Monday, November 7, 2022 | 12:35 PM


Varsity hockey has returned to Deer Lakes Excessive Faculty this season.

The Lancers gained their first three video games towards the likes of Wilmington, 8-1, Central Valley8-1, and Carrick5-2.

“I’m extraordinarily pleased with the boys to date, particularly since that is our first varsity staff in years to take the ice,” coach Jonathan Merlo stated. “They’re a mature, gifted and smart group of younger males who’ve purchased into each other for a standard purpose. What I really like seeing is how a lot of a staff recreation we’re taking part in for the time being which has contributed to our defensive and offensive energy.

“Beginning 3-0 isn’t a shock to us, however we do perceive that the work ethic must proceed to be able to preserve the success now we have. The teaching workers is happy to see how this group evolves because the 12 months continues.”

There are 24 gamers listed on the 2022-23 roster, together with two seniors, 14 juniors, 5 sophomores and three freshmen. Deer Lakes is a co-op staff with gamers from Ambridge, Apollo-Ridge, Aquinas Academy, Eden Christian and st joseph.

The Lancers are members of the PIHL Varsity D2 Gold Division and had been tied for first place with Bishop Canevin with 3-0 data, adopted by Neshannock (2-0) and Burrell (2-0). Wilmington (1-3) and Central Valley rounded out the standings.

“We’re wanting ahead to striving for extra success because the season goes on,” Merlo stated, “and I consider groups ought to pay attention to the return of Deer Lakes this 12 months as we plan on making some noise. Our purpose is to make the playoffs and contend for a D2 championship.”

An early season spotlight for Deer Lakes was its Oct. 24 win towards Carrick at Alpha Ice Advanced, the Lancers’ house ice.

Sophomore ahead Ryan Grunden had a hat trick, and junior ahead Shawn McIntyre added two objectives to guide Deer Lakes and hand Carrick its first lack of the season.

AJ Schaaf, a junior ahead, contributed 4 assists.

“I am extraordinarily pleased with our staff’s efficiency and have excessive expectations that we’ll proceed to develop and turn into a good stronger staff then we are actually,” Schaaf stated. “Our power must be the chemistry we constructed in a short time for us being a mixed staff of a number of colleges. It has helped us succeed on the ice, and we have turn into a household off the ice.”

After three video games, Schaaf led the Lancers in scoring with 4 objectives and 4 assists. McIntyre and Grunden netted 4 objectives apiece, and junior ahead Gio Porco peppered in three objectives.

“I really feel as if my private season has been fairly strong,” Schaaf stated. “I all the time have room for enchancment and have expectations that I hope to fulfill by the tip of the season.”

Junior defenseman Hank Szenyeri shared the staff lead with Schaaf with 4 assists to go together with his one purpose.

Junior ahead RJ Noullet netted two objectives and three assists, and three different Deer Lakes skaters knocked in a single purpose: junior forwards Mark Rauenswinter and Jack “JZ” Zawalnicki and freshman ahead Nick Kozub.

Ben Korol, a senior goaltender, stood at 3-0 with a 1.44 goals-against common and .937 save proportion. Korol allowed 4 objectives on 63 pictures. Junior Aaron Haney is a reserve goaltender.

“I am very pleased with how our (varsity) staff has carried out thus far this season,” Korol stated. “We have now had nice teaching, and all of the gamers have contributed to our success. Defensively, now we have been very constant, which has benefited me drastically.

“With my groups’ earlier early exits from the playoffs. I am anticipating this staff to make a deep run into the playoffs and compete for a championship.”

The Lancers’ defensive corps consists of juniors David McCombs, Jackson Vollmer, Owen Neidig and Szenyeri, together with sophomores Carter Catalano, Jake Bradley and Ryan Bogacz.

Bogacz, Bradley and Szenyeri are the staff’s high defensive gamers.

Grunden, Schaaf and McIntyre skate collectively on Line 1 for the Lancers. Line 2 consists of Porco, Rauenswinter and Noullet.

“In the mean time, we do have two sustained lineups that appear to have good chemistry,” Merlo stated. “These lineups are interchangeable by way of a high line for the membership.

“I additionally wish to notice that (junior ahead) Zach Nacey orchestrates our third line however has the power to play on the highest two strains. Zach additionally performs essential minutes on the ability play and penalty kill models.”

Merlo’s fundamental teaching philosophy entails gamers understanding their roles whereas on the ice.

“Play good, easy and supportive hockey whereas limiting the variety of penalties we take,” he stated. “There isn’t any have to overcomplicate the sport as it will probably get complicated whereas it happens. If our gamers perceive their roles, then our probabilities of success improve.”

Tags: Deer Lakes

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