Boys Hockey: Tartan facing hockey season with many questions

Young team lacks varsity experience

When you attend a Tartan High School boys hockey game this season, make sure you pick up a roster as you enter the arena.

The old saying, “You can’t tell the players without a program” may well hold true. Last season the Titans had no less than 14 seniors. Those players have since graduated and moved on to other pursuits, and their co-head coach Jim McElmury has retired.

When talking about his expectations for the 2013-2014 hockey season, Tartan co-head coach Steve Romanchuk succinctly stated, “We lack experience.”

He ventured on, “We have an experienced first line and a solid returning goalie (Gabe Splichal). We have high hopes, as the year progresses, that we will grow as a team.”

The Titans are coming off a stellar season a year ago in which they posted a mark of 11-3-1 in Classic Suburban Conference (CSC) action. The Titans posted an overall record of 21-5-1.

Leading the Titans into action this season will be senior captains Brady O’Sullivan and Eric Geskermann.

O’Sullivan is a forward, while Geskermann is a returning blue liner.

Also back are senior forwards Zach Ledman and Rusty Axtman along with aforementioned netkeeper Splichal.

Replacing McElmury as co-head coach is former assistant coach Ray Sierakowski. Also helping out with the coaching duties will be goalie coach Bob Tallarico, Cole Leitch, along with head JV coach Tom Johnsen and assistant JV coach Brian Goski.

Romanchuk glanced no further than perennial powers St. Thomas Academy and Hill-Murray as the ones most likely to be vying for the CSC championship again this season.

The Titans have already posted a first-game win, 7-2, over Rochester Century on Nov. 23.

Wally Wakefield can be reached at wwakefield@lillienews.com.

The Tartan boys hockey 2013-2014 schedule:

Nov. 23, Rochester Century
Nov 30, 2 p.m., at Rochester Lourdes
Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m., Park of Cottage Grove at Park Arena
Dec. 6 7:30 p.m., Thief River Falls at Tartan Arena
Dec. 7, 2 p.m., Crookston at Tartan Arena
Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m., Red Wing at Tartan Arena
Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m., North High at Tartan Arena
Dec. 14, 3 p.m., Henry Sibley at West St. Paul Arena
Dec. 19, 7 p.m., at Albertville-St. Michael
Dec. 21, 3 p.m., St. Thomas Academy at Tartan Arena
Jan. 4, 3 p.m., Simley at Tartan Arena
Jan. 7. 7:30 p.m. Mounds View at Tartan Arena
Jan. 9, 7:30 p.m., Mahtomedi at St. Croix Arena
Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m., Hill-Murray at Aldrich Arena
Jan. 16, 7 p.m., South St. Paul at Wakota Arena
Jan. 23, 7:30 p.m., North at Polar Arena
Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m., Henry Sibley at Tartan Arena
Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m., Irondale at Tartan Arena
Jan. 30, 7 p.m., Richfield at Richfield Arena
Feb. 1, 3 p.m., St. Thomas Academy at St. Thomas Arena
Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m., Simley at Veterans Memorial Arena
Feb. 8, 3 p.m., Mahtomedi at Tartan Arena
Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m., South St. Paul at Tartan Arena
Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m., Hill-Murray at Tartan Arena
Feb. 15, 3 p.m., Duluth East at Tartan Arena

 

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