Bishop Canevin hockey warming up in summer league
The Bishop Canevin hockey team is back to work as it prepares to defend its Class AA Penguins Cup this winter.
The Crusaders are taking part in a summer league at the Mt. Lebanon Ice Rink. So far the team is off to a 3-0 start with wins over Bethel Park, Pittsburgh Central Catholic and Serra Catholic.
“Just getting time on the ice is good,” Bishop Canevin coach Kevin Zielmanski said. “The one good thing about this team through the years is it has developed a way to play and win since (the coaches) got here and they were in last place.
“It has provided a little continuity which is good.”
Zielmanski said the most important thing about the league is just getting players on the ice. The league has loose rules on who can play and many larger programs combined its varsity and junior varsity teams and enter two squads.
The Crusaders have players on its summer team not currently enrolled in the school.
“We don't take it too seriously,” Zielmanski said. “We had an extra guy (against Serra Catholic) and they were playing rock, paper, scissors to see who would go. It is good to just get guys here just so we know they were on the ice.”
All the work they put in will be needed as they team will need to replace six seniors from last season's team that went 23-3.
Zielmanski said his squad won't be lacking in offensive firepower as they return top forwards in Alec Bosnic (46 points), Blaine Adams (42) and Thomas Krivak (33).
Liam Walsh – who scored 44 points as a freshman – won't return as he joined the Victory Honda U16 AAA hockey team in Michigan.
The biggest question mark for Bishop Canevin moving forward is how to replace goalie Nikita Meskin. The three-year starter was a wall in front of the net for the Crusaders last season, allowing just over two goals per game.
“We still don't have an answer for goalie,” Zielmanski said. “We have three guys playing this summer.
“One is enrolled in the school and played on the middle school team. The other two are considering it. Goalie is the biggest spot to fill for us.”
But by the end of the 10-game league, the coaching staff hopes to be a little bit closer to an answer.
“We went through the league last summer and didn't lose a game,” Zielmanski said. “But were not concerned with winning.
“If we can continue to get players to come out and get more ice time, it will be good for the guys who haven't played for us or had a lesser role last season.
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-388-5813.