Norwin hockey program moving in right direction

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Saturday, October 23, 2021 | 11:01 AM


Norwin second-year hockey coach Mike Robinson lists his team’s strengths in this order:

• Goaltending

• Offensive ability

• Leadership

Put them together and the Knights have three stars that can potentially lead them to the PIHL Class A postseason.

“Our goaltending already this year has come up big and gives us an opportunity to win each night,” Robinson said. “We have a lot of depth in the scoring department. I expect this team, with the talent we have, to be in the top three in scoring in single-A this year, after being fourth last season.”

Key returnees for a team that started 2-0 include senior forward Logan Fear, who had 29 goals and 14 assists, Alex Thomas, a sophomore forward who added 16 goals and 14 assists, senior forward Ty Shigo (12 goals, 19 assists) and senior defender Jake Meier (9 goals, 8 assists).

Top newcomers who already made an impact in a season-opening, 5-4 win over Kiski Area include sophomore forward Mario Cavallaro, freshman forward Dom Cerilli and sophomore goaltender Owen Burmeister.

Cavallaro had a hat trick, while Cerilli added a goal and an assist, Thomas pitched in two helpers, and sophomore Dom Costantino scored a goal. Buemeister made 25 saves.

In a 10-7 win over Greensburg Salem, Thomas went for three goals and an assist, senior Hunter Hardy had two goals and an assist, Shigo a goal and two assists and Meier two goals.

Norwin won two of three preseason games with its loss coming against a strong Thomas Jefferson team.

Robinson took over the Knights last season when Vinnie Scalamogna resigned. Robinson became interim head coach two games into a 2020 schedule that had its stops and starts because of the covid pandemic. He was the junior varsity coach and an assistant to Scalamogna.

He coached at Hempfield as an assistant for a season before coming to Norwin and also spent three years with the Westmoreland Eagles youth organization.

To his point on leadership, Robinson is looking for nine seniors to help pave the way for the next wave of Knights.

“All (nine) have taken over the responsibility of leading this team together,” the coach said.

Norwin wants to get settled into Robinson’s system and improve on an 8-11 record from a season ago.

“We held a meeting this summer and we went over our goals for the season,” Robinson said. “The players and the coaches all had the same goals knowing the potential of this team and that was a Penguins Cup final and a trip to states. We feel that if the team continues to come together, work hard and compete like they are capable of, we can accomplish those goals.”

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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