Middle school teams' success provides promise for Hempfield hockey
By Alex Oltmanns
Published: Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, 6:50 p.m.
With first place on the line in Section 4, two of the top teams in the PIHL middle school division took the ice at Kirk S. Nevin Arena on Jan. 27 as Hempfield went up against … Hempfield.
That's right, the Spartans field two evenly split middle school hockey teams (blue and white) this season and boast a combined 25-1-2 record while offering a bright outlook for the future of Hempfield hockey.
Led by Kane Mills' hat trick and Christian Gorscak's three assists, the white team defeated the blue squad 5-2, but the final score did not quite reflect just how close the game was.
“I couldn't have been prouder of both teams,” said Gary Gorscak, head coach of both teams. “Watching them battle and it being as good a game as it was. Very close game.”
Gorscak wanted to remain impartial and let his assistant coaches run the two benches while he watched in the stands at center ice.
Leading the blue team to a 13-1-1 record and the white to a 14-0-1 mark, the two teams compose a total of 30 players who will soon look to make a positive impact on varsity head coach Denny Zeravica's team, a squad that is 14-2 in the PIHL Open Division this year after dropping down from the Class AAA level.
“It's a great feeling,” Zeravica said. “I give a ton of credit to Gary Gorscak. … He's been real instrumental in their success this year, and he's got those guys doing a lot of things that we're doing at the varsity level.
“So it's great for me to actually see not only their success throughout this year but just watching their game and seeing the type of game that he's got these guys playing because it's going to translate perfect into the varsity system we've got running.”
The system Zeravica is referring to is a 1-2-2 forecheck, a style that he has used with his varsity team and Gorscak instills with his middle school players to get them prepared for the future.
“One thing I embraced is Denny's way of play for the future,” Gorscak said. “So these kids, when they get to Denny, he's just fine-tuning them.”
With increasing numbers even starting at the developmental level of its program, Hempfield will look to continually grow.
But before Gorscak and the Spartans in the middle school ranks have a chance to move on to the next level, a postseason collision course appears likely if the two teams remain on their current paths.
“There's a chance that they could reunite again in the playoffs,” Gorscak said.
Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitt rallies in final seconds of regulation en route to OT win at Clemson
- Man injured in fight outside South Side bar
- Penguins notebook: Fleury feeling sharp entering tough stretch
- Greensburg woman accused of assaulting nurse in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital
- Ganassi celebrates 25 successful years with Target
- Pirates notebook: Liriano looks to complete consecutive quality seasons
- East Hills brawl involves 50 people, nets at least 1 arrest
- Penguins stave off Ducks’ shooting barrage to win in shootout
- Led by Kittanning’s Nolf, 3 locals win Class AA state wrestling titles
- Fuel spill discovered on Loyalhanna Creek
- Keisel might be at end of Steelers career