Serra Catholic hockey team prepares for season with new coach
TribLIVE Sports Videos
There is a new face of the Serra Catholic hockey team this season.
After working under Brian Boehm the past four seasons, Dennis Tokarski takes the reins as Eagles' coach for the 2013-14 campaign.
Coming off a 12-12 season in which Serra advanced to the Penguins Cup Class A quarterfinals, Tokarski inherits a team with just one senior and will attempt to give his squad a bit of a different identity this year.
“We want to defend as much as possible, so we want to shore up the defense, make sure we're playing good solid defense and taking advantage of our scoring opportunities when they arise,” Tokarski said.
The defense will be led by the team's lone senior, Jacob Gunn. Not only will Gunn be called upon to lead with his play but also to mentor freshman defenders Mike Ulishney and Richard Ware.
“My expectation for him is to run the show, be the guy on defense, put a lot of minutes in, and he'll be expected to play a good solid defense and do the right things,” Tokarski said of Gunn.
Offensively, the Eagles lost their top two scorers from a year ago, but Roman Kraemer and his 25 goals return. Jon Henschel, Jon Lesnak and Ryan Bennett also will contribute at forward.
“I think we're going to see a lot out of Henschel and Kraemer,” Tokarski said of the linemates. “Roman is just maturing more and more as the season goes on— even from last season — and I think putting him on a line with Jon Henschel is just going to open up things and provide opportunities for Roman.”
That maturity was on display in the St. Margaret Foundation Fall Face-Off Tournament. Kraemer chipped in five of the Eagles' seven goals despite going 0-3 against a tough slate of opponents while hamstrung by a limited roster.
Goaltender Ian Ritchie returns, and Tokarski said he expects him to steal a game or two with his play in net.
“Our goaltending, with Ian Ritchie coming back — I'm expecting a lot out of him, a lot of leadership along with just being big in the net,” he said.
While Class A has been dominated by Mars and Quaker Valley, Tokarski is optimistic about his first season as Eagles' coach.
“Our goal is to make the playoffs; that's No. 1,” he said. “We'd like to win our section and make the playoffs. Once you make the playoffs, it's a whole new season.”
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.
- Shareholder vote causes ATI to review executive pay packages
- Lowly job likely awaits former Pittsburgh police chief after prison
- Islamic State claims suicide blast in Saudi mosque
- Fox Chapel, Ambridge capture WPIAL volleyball titles
- Cole outduels Mets rookie, carries Pirates to victory
- ‘Dope sick’ man in custody in Mt. Pleasant stick-up
- Gorman: Obama Academy boys volleyball leads way for City League in WPIAL
- Dunbar Township MedExpress plans open house for Tuesday
- Monessen man faces trial in shooting
- Vanderbilt council addresses abandoned homes, parking
- Woodland Hills’ Brooks eyes PIAA prize in long jump after strong triple jump showing