Bishop Canevin rebuilding hockey program into PIHL Class B contenders

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Sunday, February 7, 2021 | 11:17 AM


Bishop Canevin has a great reputation on the ice.

The Crusaders won five PIHL Penguins Cup championships before the turn of the century, including three straight from 1983-1985.

Bishop Canevin went through a resurgence a decade ago and won three more high school hockey titles in 2011, 2014 and 2016.

They also won Pa Cup state championships in 1983, 1984 and 10 years ago in 2011.

However, low roster numbers finally caught up to the small school and Bishop Canevin hockey was shut down for the 2017-2018 season.

The last two seasons, the program returned with a new look, helped by players from other schools. The Crusaders finished 7-11-0 in 2019-2020.

Aided by a co-op with players from Keystone Oaks and Seton LaSalle this year, a new Bishop Canevin team has enjoyed great success in Class B of the PIHL. This is a separate classification for programs that have players from more than one school.

“From the beginning, the mindset was established that we are one team,” Bishop Canevin coach Eric Glover said. “That is reinforced at every practice, game and off-ice activity. They understand that in order to be successful, they must work together. We worked hard on learning about each other, and many of the players have found that they have a lot in common.”

The Crusaders have nearly matched last year’s win total. Through January, Bishop Canevin was tied for first place with Wilmington and Neshannock in the North Division with a 6-1-2 record.

“Playing as a team and trusting each other,” Glover said about his team’s success this year. “Having consistency with the lines and hard work on the part of the players is paying off. Goaltending is also a big strength that we have this year.”

Junior Adam Serakowski has been the Crusaders’ workhorse between the pipes. He has a goals-against average of 2.41, a save percentage of just under .900 and one shutout.

“One of the best goalies in the league,” Glover said. “Very solid in the net and shows up for every game.”

Offensively, senior Turner Anselm, the team captain, and freshman Ryan Saginaw are both averaging two points per game.

“Turner gives 110% every time that he is on the ice. He is a strong leader who leads by example and knows that what he does on the ice will translate to the younger players,” Glover said. “Ryan has a great shot and is a natural goal scorer. He and his linemates communicate well and work as a unit.”

Bishop Canevin’s two leading scorers are on two separate lines, giving the offense much more balance.

Anselm skates with juniors Ian Lecker and P.J. Forester while Saginaw is on a line with sophomore Ty Serakowski and fellow freshman Ben Ondrejko.

On the blue line, the Crusaders have experienced defensemen with junior Braehm Brown, sophomore Justin Lashley and junior Tony Cicchino to go along with youth in sophomore Michael Parzynski and freshmen Mason Glover and Max Warhold.

After a quick start to the season with seven games played before the mandatory state wide shutdown Dec. 11, game time has been hard to come by for Bishop Canevin. The Crusaders only played two games in the month of January.

Glover was asked how his Crusaders have tried to stay sharp.

“We have really focused on finer points at practice,” he said. “We review film and prepare for each opponent. This has helped with staying on top of our game. Off-ice conditioning and reviewing film have benefited the players during the down times.”

With eight games schedule for February and March before a possible berth in the PIHL Class B playoffs, what does Bishop Canevin need to do to make this unique season successful?

“With having only one senior and nine freshmen, continuing to grow as a team and showing progress from game to game will ensure a strong foundation for the remainder of this year and future years to come,” Glover said. “Also, being competitive for the remainder of the season and making the playoffs.”

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