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Shaler ice hockey ready to drop puck

| Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Louis Raggiunti | Shaler Journal
Shaler's Luke Grossman will be the leader of a Titans team ready to make another run toward the playoffs.

A good core of skaters will help direct the success of the Shaler ice hockey team this season. Returning players like senior forward Luke Grossman, sophomore defenseman Braden Harbison and top scoring threat Austin Martz will give the Titans a chance in every game.

Among the returning starters is goalie Ian Zacharias, a player Shaler head coach Curt Hetz will count on if this team is going to take the next step.

“The play in goal will dictate our season,” Hetz said.

“When he is focused, he can do a good job. He had a really good freshman season.”

Backing up the senior goalie is freshman Tom Haggarty, who will see a lot of time on the junior varsity team.

Hetz has more options in other areas, as Grossman has the ability to play forward or defense. Hetz seems to prefer to anchor one line with Grossman and the other with Martz.

“I am expecting big things from Luke this season and Austin was one of our top two scorers from last year,” Hetz said.

“Austin is a big kid with good skills and is a young player, and Luke has come a long way and brings a lot of leadership.”

The team is young overall once again with talents like Harbison, Martz and sophomore forward Alex Cicarelli, but despite the youth, this core does not lack experience.

“We have some seniors with less experience than some of the sophomores,” Hetz said.

While the scoring will hinge largely on Grossman and Martz, the team still is unsure of the depth that will be around them. With some players not having committed to the team due to travel teams, the depth could be strength or a weakness based on their decisions.

“What it will come down to is our goalie and then being able to get just enough points,” Hetz said. “We have our top two lines and a serviceable third line of grinders who will give us good minutes. The kids played well over the summer and were very competitive.”

Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or jeclark@tribweb.com.

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