Pine-Richland hockey off to unbeaten start behind solid defense
By: Ray Fisher
Friday, November 16, 2018 | 9:27 PM
Pine-Richland’s hockey team is well on its way to achieving its goals this season.
The Rams raced past Quaker Valley, 8-0, on Monday to improve to 7-0 overall and maintain first place in the PIHL Class AA North/West Conference.
“Our team goal is to earn a PIHL and state championship,” first-year coach Jordan Yoklic said. “As a team, we want to work hard each day, continue to get better and develop good habits on and off the ice.
“I am very encouraged with the start of our season. We had high expectations as a team going into the season, and I feel we have done what we needed to do up to this point individually and as a team. The players are working hard and earning positive results. We have been challenged all year, and I’m happy with the foundation we have built as a team. We want to work toward our team goal.”
The Rams’ top forward lines consist of seniors Will Studt, Brandon Kashur and Jared Eggert; senior Ian Voit, and juniors Richard Wild and Jack Carnovale.
Studt (9 goals, 5 assists), Kashur (6 goals, 5 assists) and Eggert (4 goals, 11 assists) have 19 goals and 21 assists between them. Studt led the team in points in 2017-18.
Voit (3 goals, 6 assists), Wild (6 goals, 8 assists) and Carnovale (3 goals, 2 assists) have 12 goals and 16 assists.
Seniors Jordan Rosenbaum (5 goals, 7 assists) and Nick Monaco, along with juniors Joe Folmer and Jack Tyndall, anchor the team’s defensive corps in front of junior goaltender Danny Stauffer, who has posted a 1.16 goals-against average and .929 save percentage with two shutouts.
Studt serves as team captain. Kashur and Monaco are alternate captains.
Pine-Richland has outscored the opposition 42-8 in PIHL action this season.
“We have strong goaltending, a defensive corps that is the backbone of our team and a highly skilled offensive group,” Yoklic said. “And having so many seniors on our team helps everything come together.
“The senior leadership in the locker room is tremendous, and our captains do a great job with getting our team ready to play.”
Along with the aforementioned players, the senior class is represented on the team by defenseman Brandon Will, and forwards Brian Phillips, Alex Rihn and Nick Lindauer; as well as varsity callups Patrick Saber, Ben McCleister and Dawson Luzier on defense, plus forward Youri Prokesch.
Saber and McCleister have been consistent callups from the Rams’ junior varsity squad.
Prior to the start of its PIHL schedule, Pine-Richland won the preseason St. Margaret’s Tournament at Alpha Ice Complex in Harmarville for the second year in a row.
“I’d like to recognize (assistant) coaches John Hess and George Saad,” Yoklic said. “They are great hockey minds and bring a high energy level every time they are at the rink. I think the players feed off the energy, which leads to positive team results.”
Ray Fisher is a freelance writer.