Hampton enters season with new challenges
TribLIVE Sports Videos
A new hockey season often comes with its own set of challenges. That's certainly true for the Hampton Talbots, who enter a new season playing in a new classification with a new head coach.
Hampton has moved up to compete in the Class AA level after playing previously in
“It sounds like a lot but I don't think we're too daunted by that,” said senior defenseman and captain Andrew Coyle.
New head coach Anthony Scolieri, who was an assistant coach at Hampton the past two seasons, is highly respected by the players.
“He's a very smart guy on and off the ice,” said junior goaltender Cameron Raidna.
Scolieri took over the team shortly after the end of last season and the transition has been a smooth one.
“The biggest change is becoming more defensive-minded,” said Raidna.
That's because Scolieri has stressed that he wants his players to commit to team defense.
“Keeping the puck out of the net is the top priority and goals will come after that,” he said.
This year's team is young, and lack of depth is an issue. There are only four seniors on the roster, with most of the players coming from the sophomore class.
“We have a good crop of young talent. They just need to be attuned to the varsity game,” Scolieri said.
Hampton lost two of last season's offensive leaders in Ian Wood and Luke Leya, adding to the team's goal-scoring concerns.
“I think we're going to struggle to score goals, but we're going to lean heavily on our backbone, (which) is our goaltender,” Scolieri said.
Raidna said he is more than happy to shoulder that burden.
“I love the pressure. I love being the last line of defense, making sure my team stays in the game.” Raidna said. “The pressure gets to me sometimes but that's what I live for and that's why I play the game.”
Being a first-year head coach in a new classification also poses some problems for Scolieri.
“It's new territory,” Scolieri said. “I don't really have a scouting report on many of the teams in AA.”
The Talbots are excited about the change and are looking forward to the tougher level of competition.
“You just have to play to your potential and work hard,” said junior center Zack Kosick.
Rather than sitting back and attempting to adjust to an opponent's style of play, Hampton hopes to dictate how the games are played.
“We just go in and play our game and try to make them play our game,” Coyle said. “We want to set the tone early, hopefully.”
In the opening game of the season, Hampton made a strong statement, beating Gateway, 12-2, on Oct. 29.
“It was an encouraging game. I thought we played disciplined, defensive hockey and capitalized on our scoring chances,” Scolieri said. “We still have some things to work on, but, all in all, it was a good effort and something for us to build on for the future.”
With all of the changes that have taken place, Hampton entered the season as an underdog that is not expected to have success in its first year in Class AA. The Talbots are not letting that stop them.
“Our expectations are the same,” Scolieri said. “Win the division, go to the playoffs and we want to win it all.”
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.
- Man charged with passing counterfeit bills at Rivers Casino
- Pirates claim Ishikawa off waivers; Marte injured
- Fire at Wilkinsburg row house displaces residents
- Alvarez homer triggers winning outburst for Pirates
- Residents return from church to discover fire-damaged Greensburg home
- Don’t remove history’s lessons
- High tax could scuttle online gaming in Pa., CEO says
- Carnegie man sought after hammer attack, police say
- New playhouse big success at Lower Burrell’s TryLife Center
- Pittsburgh singer Lee spreads love through music, charitable works
- Woman shot at Kennywood Park in ‘freak accident’