New coach has Norwin hockey team focusing on defense

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Saturday, November 14, 2020 | 11:01 AM


Vinnie Scalamogna has been coaching hockey at various levels in Western Pennsylvania since 1980, most recently serving as the head coach at Greensburg Central Catholic.

But he will embark on a new challenge this season as he takes over the varsity program at Norwin.

His longterm insight could go a long way for a program that is looking to remain a playoff contender in the PIHL.

Look for defense to be the vehicle that gets the Knights there.

“I bring over 50 years of hockey experience as a player, coach, on-ice official and administrator,” he said. “My style of play is best characterized by the old adage, ‘Offense wins games; defense wins championships.’”

Scalamogna replaces longtime coach Dennis Tokarski, who retired after two stints with the program.

Norwin went 15-5 last season and finished fourth in Class A.

Scalamogna, 56, who helps care for fellow veterans at Pittsburgh VA hospitals, also coached men’s and women’s ACHA teams at Penn State.

He played hockey at Penn Hills and for the Pittsburgh Junior Penguins.

As far as what he has coming back, Norwin returns a number of starters.

“We have a strong core of returning players, supplemented by an equally strong group of new and upcoming players,” Scalamogna said.

Returnees include senior defensemen Jake Giatroudakis and Cadin Anlauf, senior goaltenders Sam Coll and Alex Csukas, senior forward Dylan Altfather, junior forwards Logan Fear, Dom Barca, Anthony Cavallaro, Hunter Hardy, and Ty Shigo, junior defenders William Dillner, Ashton Yemc and Jacob Meier and sophomore forward Sean Hanley.

Scalamogna said he never doubted there would be a season because of the still-lingering effects of covid-19.

“We have great leaders in the Norwin School District, Norwin Hockey Club, PIHL and USA Hockey,” he said. “These folks all worked incredibly hard to figure out how we could return to play in a safe manner. The fact that we are hitting the ice is truly a testament to the hard work and dedication of these many people.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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