Bishop Canevin hockey's expectations high heading into season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Bishop Canevin hockey team knows the highs and lows of the Penguins Cup playoffs.
The Crusaders – who won the Class AA cup in 2011 – went into the playoffs last season as the top seed with a 16-1-2 mark. But in the quarterfinals, Pine-Richland eliminated Bishop Canevin, 3-2, in overtime with a controversial goal that was scored with the net coming off its moorings.
“We didn't like ending the season that way” senior forward and alternate captain Garrett Godlewski said. “It is serving as motivation to not let it get to that point. We have to finish off games strong and not let something like that happen again.”
The Crusaders will use a mix of returning veterans and emerging underclassmen as it searches for its seventh Penguins Cup.
Bishop Canevin's greatest strength could possibly be a glaring weakness. The team returns senior goalie Nikita Meskin, who has started the last two seasons – and made 580 saves along the way.
“He is one of the most successful goalies in the league,” Bishop Canevin coach Kevin Zielmanski said. “He is a big kid who moves his legs well and has a good glove. It is a confidence boost to have him.”
But as strong as the team is with Meskin, low numbers in the program have led to the Crusaders not having a backup goaltender.
Defenseman and captain Brennan Adams should help relieve some of the stress placed on Meskin. The senior has been paired with freshman Patrick Bane to help break the youngster into varsity hockey.
The duo of Jason Bilski and Nicholas Rajakovich got experience last season and should provide depth for the defense. Augustus Peponidis will be a presence on defense when he his amateur hockey team's schedule permits.
The forward on the team gained praised as one of the team's strengths from Zielmanski – despite losing the team's top three point producers to graduation. While it was a team effort to score last season, several players could step into go-to scorer roles this year.
“Most of the guys have the ability to score,” Zielmanski said. “(Godlewski) is back and he does a great job around the net getting his stick on shots for tips and rebounds.”
The offense could go from strong to lethal depending on the playing time it can see from Randy Unger, who also plays at the amateur level. The line of Alex Bosnic, Blaine Adams and freshman Liam Walsh is expected to be dangerous this season. Walsh is the younger brother of alumnus Matt Walsh who scored 60 goals as a senior during the 2011-12 season.
Freshman Jacob Ondrejko is also expected to contribute.
“I think with the addition of some freshmen and players who can put the puck in the net, we should be strong,” Brennan Adams said.
Bishop Canevin won't be able to ease into the season as it welcomes West Allegheny to the Mt. Lebanon Ice Center tonight, Thursday, for a 9:10 start. Monday the Crusaders take on rival Chartiers Valley.
“It will get the players attention,” Zielmanski said. “It will be challenge not just because of who we play but also because we haven't had much time on the ice together. Plus, the games with Chartiers Valley are always interesting in their own right.”
Zielmanski used a motto he used through his coaching career – if the team plays well often enough, it should win a majority of the games – to describe what he wants from his team this season.
His players don't plan to just play well – they want to be the best.
“We want to get back to where we were freshman year and make it back to states,” Godlewski said. “We have to take it one game at a time but I think we have the team to do it.”
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.
- Gateway, Franklin Regional hockey teams renew rivalry
- Fox Chapel hockey’s Zmenkowski a reliable scorer
- Winning ways continue for Armstrong hockey
- Quaker Valley ice hockey staying afloat amidst injuries
- High school roundup: Deer Lakes’ Rupprecht scores 10 goals in win