Bishop Canevin duo headed north to continue their hockey careers
While their classmates are finishing packing and getting ready for their first semester of college, recent Bishop Canevin grads Chadd Lounder and Chris Reda are getting ready for a different kind of education.
The duo will head north this weekend as they begin their junior hockey careers with the Minnesota Owls.
“It is all I have been thinking about,” Lounder said. “I am really excited. I wish the season started today.”
The Owls are a Tier III Junior A hockey team that competes in the Minnesota Junior Hockey League. The team competes in the Minnesota Division of the league. The MNJHL also has a Great Lakes Division that features teams from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Junior hockey teams allow players to become better known to coaches for recruiting.
The Owls have sent players to Division I programs such as American International and Minnesota-Duluth, to Division III programs and even to other junior hockey teams and semi-pro teams.
Lounder attended a 5-Hole Hockey Camp in Indiana where he was spotted by the Owls coaching staff and eventually signed a tender with the team. He had to attend the tryouts in June to get a contract. When Reda heard Lounder was trying out for the Owls, he decided to make the trip to Minnesota, as well.
“It was three days of all scrimmages,” Reda said. “After that I talked to the coach and got a contract.”
The duo report to Isanti — home base of the Owls — this weekend for camp. The duo will spend the next seven to eight months — depending on how far the Owls advance in the postseason — living with billet families in the Gopher State.
While it is a big step, the players said they are handling it like they are going off to college, and making the move north with a high school teammate should help the transition.
“(Lounder) and I have been teammates for the last few years,” Reda said. “It should really help. It will be kind of sad being 16 hours away from my family, and I will miss a lot of people but having other Pittsburgh guys like Hunter Anthony from Kittanning and Daniel Trageser from Cathedral Prep will be nice.”
The duo was part of a five-player senior class — brothers Patrick and Austin Large are competing for the Rochester Ice Hawks junior team — that led Bishop Canevin to a 16-1-2 record and an appearance in the Penguins Cup semifinals. It fell to Pine-Richland, 3-2, in overtime of the semis.
Reda finished his senior season with nine goals and 30 assists for Bishop Canevin. Louder finished with eight goals and eight assists.
“I couldn't be happier with Bishop Canevin,” Lounder said. “I am proud of the season we had, but I wish it would have ended better. We did beat Latrobe on the road and got two wins over (Chartiers Valley). It was a great season.”
With the season getting underway in just more than a month, Reda and Lounder are focused on their ultimate goal of improving their games.
Both said they would like to develop their speed and strength and hopefully gain the attention of college coaches and earn a scholarship.
But earning some hardware along the way would be nice, too.
“Playing bigger and faster players can only help me,” Reda said. “And we are on a team who knows how to win games. They have been to the national championships nine times over the last twenty years. We want to get back there and win a national championship.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-388-5813.