Penn-Trafford hockey creating early-season buzz

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Sunday, October 9, 2022 | 11:01 AM


There is a buzz swarming around the Penn-Trafford hockey team as it begins the season.

That’s because the Warriors return numerous starters who helped the team finish the 2021-22 season with a 15-4 record and a spot in the PIHL semifinals before falling to eventual champion Thomas Jefferson.

The Warriors made the playoffs in 2020-21, but fell in the first round to Baldwin. The team is looking to go further this season.

Penn-Trafford lost three key starters from that squad — forward Ryan Crombie (15 goals and 10 assists), forward Bennett Dupilka (eight goals, eight assists) and defenseman Carter Scholze (two goals, 14 assists) — but fourth-year coach Chris Cerutti is excited about the 2022-23 season, which got underway last week.

That’s because he’s putting talented freshman Sean Goodman on a line with high-scoring forwards Nate Loughner and Xavier Solomon. Loughner had 12 goals and 17 assists and Solomon nine goals and 13 assists last winter.

They’ll be counted on to lead the offense.

The top defensive pairs will be sophomore Cam Kiste and junior Chase Bonson. Cerutti expects them to help on the power play. Senior Jackson Kerrigan returns as the goaltender.

Other players returning include senior forward Alex Sciullo (eight goals), senior forward Ben Chen, junior forward Bryce Kropczynski (11 goals, six assists), senior forward Josh Goldberg (eight goals, seven assists), senior defenseman Damian Dynys and senior forward Colin Patterson (five goals, nine assists). Others expected to contribute are senior forward Aiden Alberts and sophomore Robert Thatcher.

“We have a lot of leadership on this team, and it showed when we voted for captain,” Cerutti said. “A lot of players received votes.

“We have a lot of players who have played in the system, and the key to the season is how fast we jell.”

Cerutti said he’s also excited what Kerrigan brings to the team. He was 14-4 in 2021-22 and allowed 2.52 goals per game.

“With the amount of talent in the league this year, Jackson is going to be busy in every game,” Cerutti said. “Every game is going to be tough.”

Penn-Trafford went 5-0 in the preseason and Cerutti said Kerrigan was sharp.

The team was scheduled to open the season Oct. 6 at Bishop McCort.

“The league is going to be strong,” Cerutti said. “We have to grow together as a team. If we do that, maybe we’ll get to the Pens Cup championship.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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