Dan Humes and Jake Friedland spark Fox Chapel's turnaround
Fox Chapel senior forwards Dan Humes and Jake Friedland make up two-thirds of one of the most productive lines in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League.
That line doesn't have a flashy moniker, but Humes and Friedland have nicknames. To their teammates, they are Mr. Mott's and the Energizer Bunny.
In the PIHL, Humes and Friedland have made serious names for themselves this season. Humes (20 goals and 17 assists for 37 points) is tied for second, and Friedland (12/18/30) is fifth in points in Class AAA.
With the duo leading the way, Fox Chapel has gone from a 3-18 record last season to 13-0 this season. The Foxes are the only undefeated team in Class AAA. As a reward, Humes and Friedland will have an opportunity to show off their skills in the PIHL Class AAA all-star game at 5:30 p.m. today at Rostraver Ice Garden in Belle Vernon.
That Fox Chapel line features Humes at center, Friedland at left wing and sophomore Ethan Schollaert (three goals, six assists) at right wing.
"That line is what keeps us going," coach Cory Rome said. "It's a high-energy line. Dan has a sense of the dramatic. He scores a big goal when we need it. And Jake is Mr. Energy. He never quits. He hits everything that moves. Jake is more of a playmaker, while Dan is more of a finisher."
Humes' team-leading goal total includes five on the power play and three short-handed. Even though statistics show he's more of a finisher, Humes said he got his nickname from a slang term for assists — apples. Mott's produces apple products, particularly juices and sauces.
Humes said he appreciates the rapport he has with Friedland.
"We've played on the same team with each other for a long time," Humes said. "We're a perfect combo. I'm a big finisher, and he's a quick little guy who makes plays happen. He starts them, and I finish them."
Friedland, who earned his nickname with fast-paced, tireless play, said he and Humes bring something different — but equally important — to the ice.
"Each of us are better at certain things," Friedland said. "We really complement each other on the ice. We have a good chemistry."
Friedland was the only Fox Chapel player to make the all-star game last season. He scored the go-ahead goal for the Northeast team in a 5-2 win over the Southwest.
This year, Friedland will have plenty of teammates in the all-star contest. In addition to Humes, senior defensemen Colin Cheng and Will Lorenz and junior goaltender Tyler Fannie also were voted by the league's coaches to the event. And Rome was named coach of the team.
This probably will be the last season Humes and Friedland play on the same team. Both plan to play at the club level in college: Humes is headed to St. Vincent, and Friedland is considering Maryland, Penn State and Pitt.
"Coming off last year, we were so disappointed," Friedland said. "Injuries held us back. We knew we had the talent. It's nice to see the hard work paying off. It's been a blast."Additional Information:
Today's PIHL all-star games
• Schedule: Open Class, 11:30 a.m.; Class A, 1:30 p.m.; Class AA, 3:30 p.m.; Class AAA, 5:30 p.m.
• Where: Rostraver Ice Garden, Belle VernonAdditional Information:
• Ford City: Cam Cocchia (Sr., F), Alex Gladysiewski (Sr., F), Tyler Skerkavich (Sr., G), Jesse Valasek (So., D), Kevin Valasek (Jr., F)
• Kiski Area: Phil Cappo (Sr., G), Brandon Donnelly (Jr., F), Nick Faletti (Sr., F), Shawn McAdoo (Sr., D)
• Deer Lakes: Brett Olesnevich (Sr., D, alternate), Joe Smith (Sr., F), Matt Theys (Sr., F)
• Freeport: Jon Hill (Sr., F), Cody Lee (Jr., G), Dalton Moore (Sr., D)
• Kittanning: Jordan Ford (Sr., F), Heinz Koster (Jr., F), Cameron Langhan (So., G), Troy Schall (Sr., F).
• Knoch: Matt Eshelman (Sr., D), Shayne Hennessy (Sr., D, alternate), Nathaniel Medic (Sr., F)
• Fox Chapel: Colin Cheng (Sr., D), Tyler Fannie (Jr., G), Jake Friedland (Sr., F), Dan Humes (Sr., F), Will Lorenz (Sr., D)
• Plum: Hunter Brett (Jr., F, alternate), Cory Sakolsky (Sr., D)