Bishop Canevin hockey looking for the scoring touch
The Bishop Canevin hockey team has been shooting the lights out.
But its scores haven’t shown it.
The 3-4 Crusaders fell to Latrobe, 7-2, on Nov. 10. But the defending Class AA Penguins Cup champion outshot the Wildcats, 40-26. In a 6-3 loss to Moon on Nov. 3, Bishop Canevin outshot the Tigers, 31-17.
“We lost some games that weren’t even close but we generated way more shots than they did,” Bishop Canevin coach Kevin Zielmanski said. “There are times we wear ourselves out and cannot get back.
“That is a dangerous combination when you’re not scoring, using your energy and cannot get back.”
The transition from being a defensively strong team to relying on its forwards hasn’t been an easy for the Crusaders but it is still a work in progress.
After several graduations – including three-year starting goalie in Nikita Meskin – from last season’s state runner up squad depleted its defense, Bishop Canevin entered the season knowing it would need to rely on its group of returning forwards.
The forwards have looked strong as Blaine Adamds (seven goals, 10 assists) and Thomas Krivak (nine goals, five assists) both rank in the top 10 points produces in Class AA.
Others such as defenseman Alec Hnat (four goals, five assists), forward Jacob Ondrejko (four goals, five assists), defenseman Jacob Ondrejko (two goals, seven assists) and Alec Bosnic (two goals, six assists) have all given the scoring a spark.
“We have been working on our team bonding,” Adams said. “We lost some seniors from last year and gained some frehsmen. We have just been getting used to each other and practicing together.”
In addition to scoring, the forwards have been expected to help freshman goalie Neko Borghini.
“We had an experienced goalie who could cover our blemishes when we made a mistakes or relied on experienced defesemen in the past,” Zielmanski said. “It is not in the DNA for a lot of guys who are very offensive to understand they need to play better in the defensive zone than the offensive zone in front of an inexperienced goalie.”
Last week’s 8-0 win over Chartierrs Valley was an example of what the Crusaders can do when they are clicking.
Bishop Canevin jumped ahead 4-0 in the first period with goals from Hnat, Josh Ruffing and a pair from Krivak. Afdams, Ruffing, Dakota Smith and Jason Bilski rounded out the scoring.
“I have been trying to press upon them that we have the ability to generate offense,” Zielmanski said. “We also needed to play better in front of the goalie. We overall play well (against Chartiers Valley).”
The win over the Colts gave Borghini his first career shutout and has the players hoping they will turn a corner defeating one of its top rivals.
“We needed a bounce back game,” Krivak said. “Once we scored one goal, we opened the flood gates and poured the goals in. This will definitly be motivation.
Zielmanski said the Crusaders will practice more as a team as several players missed early practices due to fall sports such as golf and soccer.
Bishop Canevin is also looking to get healthy as forward Ross Langford returns from a shoulder injured suffered during the soccer season.
Despite a 3-4 start, the Crusaders are still in the thick of the Class Western Conference. Cathedral Prep (6-1) and Moon (6-2). But after that us a stackup of teams in the standings with North Hills (4-4), West Allegheny (3-4) and the Crusaders.
“The possibilities are endless with this team,” Adams said. “We can go as far as we push ourselves.”