Norwin hockey team working through depth, experience issues
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Norwin hockey team knew this season would be difficult, given the graduation of several key players from recent teams.
So far, the results are matching the Knights' expectations.
Norwin entered the week with an 0-7 record, having been outscored 43-12 in its first seven games. After finishing 11-10 last season, the Knights are dealing with a lack of depth and a lack of experience at several key positions this year.
“Some of those players are kind of finding their way and learning, and they're making great strides,” coach Jim Reith said. “For us, we had to work with our system and make adjustments, and we've done that. We keep getting better, and that's kind of where we are. Certainly we're disappointed with the record, (but) we kind of knew it was going to be a struggle early on here.”
The Knights' lack of depth comes as a result of high graduation numbers and a low amount of replacements. As a result, Norwin is fielding one of the smallest rosters in Class AAA.
“You're not a team that can give up 30 to 35 shots,” Reith said. “You're kind of worn down by that right there. You're throwing out two or three defensemen, and really we only have a line and a half of experienced players up against another team's group. And that's what's hurting us right now.”
The depth issues usually hurt Norwin toward the middle and end of games, Reith said. The Knights held first-period leads in four of their first seven games, and a game against Butler last week was scoreless midway through the second period before the Golden Tornado exploded for a 7-0 victory.
While Norwin is having trouble scoring goals, Reith said part of the problem is that key players are playing heavy amounts of minutes. Jon Shirley and Timmy Palmer are tied for the team lead with four goals, and Palmer and Dante Youhon share the lead with six points.
“They're out there a ton, and it's definitely an issue,” Reith said. “I'd like to see more out of them offensively, and they know it, too. ... They're playing very well, but we're challenged scoring goals.”
Despite the results and the underlying problems, Reith said he is seeing improvement, most notably in goaltender Anthony Barca. The sophomore, getting his first taste of experience at the varsity level, had stopped 79 percent of the shots he faced in six games entering this week.
“With our goaltending right now, they're making tremendous progress from where we were,” Reith said. “That's a tough position right there. It takes years and years and years to learn it. We asked them because of a numbers situation to play at a (Class) AAA varsity level, and (they're) doing really well for their experience and making a lot of progress.”
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.
- Steelers RB Archer trying to catch up after tough rookie season
- Steelers LB Timmons has grown into leadership role on defense
- Judge lets New Kensington Ten Commandments monument stand
- Consol takes $603 million loss in second quarter
- Steelers notebook: Backup QB Gradkowski remains out with shoulder issue
- Rising East Liberty out of reach for Pittsburgh’s poor
- Leisure, hospitality lead Pittsburgh area job gains
- Pirates third baseman Ramirez’s last ride is about winning a ring
- Dollars and sense: High cost of child care keeps many out of work force
- UPMC, Allegheny Health Network employees win lunch-pay lawsuits
- Watering garden right during summer’s high temperatures makes difference