Pine-Richland hockey building early momentum

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Friday, October 12, 2018 | 7:06 PM


The 2018-19 PIHL hockey season is young, but that hasn’t stopped Pine-Richland from gathering some early confidence. And for good reason.

The Rams (1-0) have snowballed a first-place finish in the preseason St. Margaret’s Tournament into an authoritative opening victory in the PIHL regular season, defeating Penn-Trafford, 11-1.

In its six contests, the team has outscored opponents 46-12.

While it’s still early, first-year coach Jordan Yoklic has his team of experienced veteran skaters carving up opponents. The Rams coach said he has noticed an uptick in the program’s overall energy but credited his players for the boost of enthusiasm.

“I want to bring new life to the organization and especially the varsity team. I think that’s what high school hockey is all about: coming to the rink every day, having fun, putting in the effort and getting the results,” Yoklic said.

“I think if we’re doing those things, it’ll be a positive energy all year. From a coaching standpoint, I just want to add to the positive energy and keep things moving in the right direction.”

The Rams also have benefited from solid play from their offense, led by Will Studt, who led the team in points last season. In his first game of the PIHL season, Studt scored four goals and notched an assist against Penn-Trafford.

The senior captain, however, does not have to shoulder the offensive burden on his own. With returning experienced players like Brian Phipps, Nicholas Lindauer, Brandon Kashur, Jack Carnovale, Richard Wild and Jared Eggert, Studt said he feels comfortable distributing the puck, as well.

“I’m just trying to make the best play possible when I’m out there, and I want to be a leader. I want to lead the guys by doing whatever’s right in any situation on the ice,” Studt said.

“I don’t want to make mistakes or be selfish. I just want to create as much as possible.”

Studt and the Rams’ other offensive players may feel they have a little more leeway to take liberties with the puck, given Danny Stauffer is minding net. Stauffer finished fifth in Class AA last year in goals against average at 3.19.

In front of Stauffer, defensemen Jack Tyndall and Nick Monaco return to help lead the team’s goal-prevention unit.

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.

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