Playoff losses make high-scoring Fox Chapel hockey ‘hungrier to win’

Saturday, October 28, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Fox Chapel hockey coach Cam Raidna knows the pain from the last two seasons has been part of the building process for the team.

Two seasons ago, Fox Chapel bowed out of the PIHL Penguins Cup playoffs in the semifinals. Last season, the Foxes coasted through the regular season in Class A, outscoring its opponents by a combined 104 goals before losing to Kiski in the Penguins Cup final.

Before making the run last season, the Foxes hadn’t made the Penguins Cup final since 2007. Fox Chapel hopes to make a similar splash as the Foxes move to up Class 2A.

“It’s made these guys hungrier to win,” Raidna said. “They have a lot of experience over the past two years with being in the playoffs and they’ve played in many big games. They will be hungrier as a unit.”

So far, Fox Chapel has shown that going up a class hasn’t fazed the Foxes. Fox Chapel (3-1) has scored at least three goals in every game this season. Even in the Foxes’ lone defeat, a 7-4 loss to Norwin on Oct. 9 on the road, Fox Chapel could find the back of the net.

“We have a lot of depth,” Raidna said. “All four lines can score. We may actually have more depth among our forwards this year than last year.”

Fox Chapel is in second place in the standings in Class 2A. The Foxes will join Thomas Jefferson, Latrobe, Norwin, South Fayette, Franklin Regional, Hempfield, Bishop McCort, Penn-Trafford, Armstrong and North Hills.

The PIHL uses a system of promotion and relegation based on a team’s success. The Foxes’ success over the past two seasons moved them up a division.

Grady Cullen, Dom Casile and Liam Wiseman lead the team with four goals. Killian Kissane has also contributed three goals.

Cullen is tied with Kissane for a team lead with five assists.

“Cullen is a senior who leads by example for us,” Raidna said.

Fox Chapel’s scoring prowess is backed up by solid goaltending on the other end. Senior Joe Rattner returns in net.

Rattner is 2-1 this season with a 4.00 goals-against average and .850 save percentage.

“Joe has done a great job in net,” Raidna said. “He’s someone who had to sit a year behind another player before he became a starter.”

Isaac Jacobs is Fox Chapel’s captain.

Raidna said the Foxes have nine seniors and he expects that group to help carry Fox Chapel to a successful year.

“We have a lot of returning starters,” Raidna said. “This senior class will provide a lot of leadership and they are a hungry group.”


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