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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The puck has droped. So what does the season look like?

The Puck has Dropped
what does the 2011-2012 season look like?

Here we are heading in to December and we have had a small taste of Ohio High School hockey.  While regular season league play begins this week,  many top schools have meet in either preseason or season kick off tournaments.  So what are we seeing this year?

Out of  the Capital Hockey Conference.  We see Upper Arlington with what has to be their best team in years, poised to likely win the white division, and I proclaim contend at the end with Dublin Coffman as the best team in the Capital conference.
In the Greater Cleveland Hockey league
I anticipate Rocky River again becoming a key player.  As contentious they were in the 80's over the next few years.  I just see a resurgence in this program moving forward. 
As for the North division.  We will agian see this being a year of keen competitiveness.  Yet when the smoke clears I see Saint Ignatius emerging as the top team. Not by leaps and bounds mind you, but that smallest of margins that routinely separates these teams.  St. Ignatius just maintains that edge. St. Eds can never be counted out in the battle for Cleveland and I will be watching closely the entire season.

In the NHC.  
It will be a as a above a highly contested year.  Do not expect to see St. Francis repeat as a State Champions.  This year looks to be a battle between Toledo St. Johns and Sylvania Northview.  Bowling Green, Findlay and St Francis should all be right there as well, but none are strong the top two.  Clearly a timely hot streak by a solid goaltender (Nate Gay) could launch BGHS to district playoff game.  Where as for the Findlay Trojans competitiveness and out right grit can be their catalyst.  But for the top two.  Toledo St. Johns is fielding their best team in 6 years.  Highly capable, and well coached this disciplined will battle in all three zones and fight to control the pace of every game.  The best team in the NHC top to bottom is Sylvania Northview.  This is easily the best team to every emerge from the club.  Mike Jones team has the most speed, skill and determination they have ever had.  Add in 4 lines.  Yes 4 lines that are all equally capable.  Exceeding in fact, last years lines in speed, talent and all abilities across the board.  The icing on the Northview cake, is the best goal-tending tandem in school history. This is Coach Jones 5th season with the Wildcats, and having developed the best team in school history its now or never for a state title.  Thursdays game which is prelude to the likely district and league championships between Toledo St. Johns and Sylvania Northview.  Will be a battle of St. Johns trying to contain Northview's high octane offense(averaging over 5.5 goals a game) and trying to penetrate a strong defense and even more stingy goal tending ( allowing only 1.7 goals per/game).  St Johns offense is averaging 2.37 goals per/game and surrendering 3 goals per/game.

Past player updates:
Nolan Culver traded from Youngstown USHL to Amarilo Bulls NAHL -1 game +2
Ryan LaPlante to report New England Huskies 
Jordan Jones Joined the Metro Jets
Alden Hirschfeld Miami University averaging .6 points pergame for the Red Hawks
Matt Wurst has 5 points coming as assists on 20 shots, as well as 40 pim in 23 games

2011-2012 Ohio HS scouting reports to begin posting in  December