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Greensburg Salem hockey hopes to continue steady rise in Open Class

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After losing eight players to graduation, the Greensburg Salem hockey team will have some work to do to improve its record like it has the past three seasons, finishing 11-6-2 in 2011, 15-5-0 in 2012 and 15-4-1 last year in Section 4 of the PIHL's Open Class.

“I'm sure it's like anyone else. All schools lose senior players,” coach Mike Steinhauser said. “But I don't think it's going to be a problem.”

Now playing in Section 3, the Golden Lions are chomping at the bit to get the season started, Steinhauser said.

The offense is anchored by standout Logan Davis, who led the team with 38 goals last year and in points per game with 3.42. Also returning are Vincent Defazio (17 goals, 21 assists) and Garrett King (10 goals, 20 assists).

The real strength of the team will be the defense. The blue-line will have plenty of leadership this year with captain Nick Garner and alternate captains John DeMarchi and Matt Steinhauser.

Starting goalie Dakota Sheetz is also back for his senior season after starting all 20 games last year, posting a save percentage of .833 with a 3.68 goals-against average and three shutouts.

Greensburg Salem prides itself on its proficiency in odd-man situations.

“We're going to work hard — and have worked hard in the past — on special teams with penalty kill and good puck possession,” Steinhauser said. “We're just going to work on the basics and let the kids do what they do best.”

The team will be filling its holes with players like forward Colt Datz, who is stepping up from the junior varsity squad. Steinhauser said these young players are the key to yearly success.

“If you look at some of the teams that have been strong in the past, they've got a good developmental program,” he said. “So it's from the bottom up. I think that's the mark of successful teams, and I think it always will be.”

Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at ghorvath@tribweb.com.

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