This year the SHL welcomes back the saint Viator Lions to the league. Here's a peak at their upcoming season via head coach Tim Benz
Last year's record: 39-12-6, CCHL Kennedy Cup Champions, Final 4 finish in state
How many kids did you graduate?
We graduated nine. Graduating that much will always impact any team but we had some really good underclassmen who will become upper class-men this year, plus a couple guys that will be playing in their 4th year as Varsity players. We are looking to those guys to lead our group as well as our goaltenders who are both returning from last year. We had a JV team that won a state championship last year so we are looking to add some depth from players off of that teams roster.
Who are your key returning players?
Mike Petrecca Sr. G
Nick Chiappetta, Sr. D
John Jarosz Sr D
Nick Yustin Sr. D
Sean Wagner, Sr. F
RJ Hart Sr. F
Kevin Uhlir Sr. F
Who are some new up and coming players you are counting on?
Alec Gern Sr. Forward, played with the club as a freshman, and now came back to us as a senior is a big body that is an offensive threat.
Reiden Mueller So. F and Benny Wozniak Jr. F were some of the top scorers from last years JV team that will help us on offense this year.
What will the style of the team be? What identity will the team have?
We have some good team speed that we will want to use to our advantage. We have good size too, so we will want to combine those two and have a fast and physical style of play that will hopefully wear opponents down.
What's a storyline or a trend to watch this season?
For us we have a Jr. group of players that were primarily role players last season as sophomores. Michael Nobregas, Harout Torosian, James Gorman and Nick Conenna (all forwards) will all enter their second season as varsity players and we are looking for them to contribute up front.
In general this is an exciting year for the SHL as three new teams are entering the league. Every year, top to bottom, the SHL is very strong. With the addition of these three new teams I believe the league is even deeper providing tougher schedules for each team in the SHL.
Who in the SHL or around the city is a team or player to watch?
Theo Papalas of GBS is always dangerous when he is on the ice. He is very good at protecting the puck when its on his stick and finishes well.