ShareThis Page
Fox Chapel hockey team builds on difficult lessons |

Fox Chapel hockey team builds on difficult lessons

| Saturday, December 4, 2010 12:00 a.m

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but coach Cory Rome’s Fox Chapel hockey team has started a remarkable rebuilding project after a disappointing campaign last winter.

After ending up 3-18 last season, the Foxes have cruised to a 7-0 record and are one of only two undefeated teams left in Class AAA this year.

Fox Chapel was ravaged by injuries in Rome’s first season, but the Foxes now sport a relatively clean bill of health and get healthier every time they look at the standings.

“We were very confident coming into this season,” Rome said. “(Last season) we had a team meeting the day after the last game. To use a video game analogy, we said we were going to hit the reset button and focus on this year.

“Did I expect to be 7-0• I would say not,” Rome said. “Did I expect to be one of the top teams• With the players we had coming back, I think so.”

Fox Chapel had about eight players miss time because of injury last year, according to Rome. On the bright side, younger players gained valuable experience, and the Foxes lost only one player to graduation.

As a result, Fox Chapel has one of the most experienced teams in the PIHL this season.

“We had other players step up and get a ton of ice time (last season),” Rome said. “It’s really paid off this year.”

Fox Chapel has outscored its opponents, 41-14. Last year, the Foxes were on the opposite end of a 121-51 margin.

Last season, the most devastating personnel losses were top defensemen Colin Cheng, who missed the entire year after tearing his ACL, and Will Lorenz, who missed about two-thirds of the year with a wrist injury.

With Cheng and Lorenz back on the blue line, Fox Chapel’s defensive unit has improved greatly.

“Our defense was our weak point last year,” Lorenz said. “We gave up way too many goals and couldn’t score enough. Our defense is back, and we can create more offense from that.”

Offensively, Fox Chapel has been led by senior center Daniel Humes (10 goals, 12 assists), senior winger Jake Friedland (7, 10), and junior center Christian Wirginis (10, 2). Friedland was the Foxes’ lone PIHL all-star last season.

Cheng (4, 8) and Lorenz (0, 7) also have contributed to the attack.

Junior Tyler Fannie has performed well in his first season as the Foxes’ top goaltender. Fannie is 7-0 with 1.97 goals-against average, 0.91 save percentage and two shutouts. Last season, Fannie had a 1-6 record as a backup.

Fox Chapel could receive another boost soon as well. Sophomore center Bryan Hovanec, who led Fox Chapel with 11 goals last season, is in the process of completing league paperwork so he can rejoin the team, according to Rome. Hovanec originally wasn’t going to play for the Foxes for an undisclosed reason.

Fox Chapel will return to action against Shaler (3-2-2) at 7:30 p.m. Monday at BladeRunners in Harmar.

Following the strong start, the plan is to stay focused and avoid becoming over-confident, according to Rome.

“We’re working on keeping the kids grounded,” Rome said. “We don’t want the kids to relax. We are where we are because of the hard work they put in during the offseason and preseason and this regular season.”

Additional Information:

Quick turnaround

Here’s a look at how the Fox Chapel hockey team finished last season and has started this season.

2009-10 (3-18) :2.4 average goals for,5.8 average goals against

2010-11(7-0) :5.9,2.0

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.