Page 1

#4 Graham Mercurio (Jr)

Clay Troy Thomas Worthington St. Charles Central Catholic Cathedral Chatord-B Marion Hudson Beavercreek (l} Dublin-Coffman Troy (l} Beavercreek Sycamore Tolowondo Centerville (L) St. Joe's Olentangy Portage Dublin-Scioto Cincy A Bluehowks A Cincy AA Sycamore Cincy AA Thomas Worthington Whitmer W. Reserve Academy North view Upper Arlin~ton (l} Elyria Cotho ic St. John 's St. Charles (l) Thomas Worthington (ll Tolowondo (l} W-Kilbourne (l) Sycamore (l} Hom-SE Indy St. Charles Upper Arlington Centerville

Moe Opp Record l-0-0 6 l 2-0-0 5 l 4 0 3-0-0 4 l 4-0-0 5 3 5-0-0 10 0 6-0-0 7 3 7-0-0 8-0-0 2 l l l 8-0-l 9-0-1 9 0 6 0 10-0-l 5 0 11-0-l 4 1 12-0-1 3 1 13-0-l 0 3 13-l -1 0 2 13-2-1 3 2 14-2-l 12 l 15-2-1 2 16-2-1 11 6 1 17-2-1 5 0 18-2-1 4 2 19-2-1 9 0 20-2-1 7 0 21 -2-1 3 0 22-2-1 3 2 23-2-1 2 0 24-2-1 1 3 24-3-l 4 3 25-3-1 2 4 25-4-1 3 4 25-5-1 4 0 26-5-1 3 3 26-5-2 3 2 27-5-2 5 0 28-5-2 11 2 29-5-2 6 1 30-5-2 7 l 31 -5-2 3 0 32-5-2 l 3 32-6-2

F F F F F F F

D D F F

11 11 9 12 ll

9 9 11 12 10

D 10 D 12 F 12 Bernier, Don F 12 Overbey, Pot D 11 25 Sherzinger, Eric F 11 29 Beol, Ben G 9 36 Hardin, Mitchell

5 37 10 29 9 36 3 16 12 5 1 40 9 40 13 40 6 12 1 40 22 8 38 40 ll 5 40 4 5 40 29 39 14 40 30 3 22

10 16 8 5 8

15 26 17 8 20

28 4 18 38

13 21 19

22 34 25

12 4 12

30 15

52 25 26

40 10 10

10 1 23 21 19

14 1 52 35 49

34 2 54 26 85

l7

51 30 27 ll

2

22 l 30 50 61 9 49 35 52 25 4 70 41 61


#45 Nicholas Doud (D)

I

"74John McCormack (G) Moe Opp Record

St. Charles HS Dublin Fr. Kettering Alter Troy HS St. Johns HS Eylria Catholic HS St. Ignatius HS Upper Arlington HS Upper Arlington HS Kettering Alter Upper Arlington HS Sycamore HS Thomas Worthington HS Troy HS Ci ncy Midget B NKY HS All Stars Centerville JV Upper Arlington HS Dublin St. Charles HS Thomas Worthington HS Cincy Midget A Batavia Brighton WLC Cincy Midgef1A Sycamore HS Brebeuf Cincy Midget B Centerville JV Upper Arlington HS

5

1 1 3 2 7 7 2 1 1 2 0 2 2 0

3

5

3

6

3 9 6 10 9 4 2 4

5

5 12 4 1 0 3 3

11 2 9 9 4 3

1 1 4 8 4 0 9

2 0 0 3

5 2 3 6

5 2 0

3 2 0

1-0-0 2-0-0 3-0-0 3-1-0 3-2-0 3-3-0 4-3-0 5-3-0 6-3-0 7-3-0 8-3-0 9-3-0 10-3-0 11 -3-0 11-4-0 11 -5-0 11 -6-0 12-6-0 13-6-0 14-6-0 15-6-0 15-7-0 15-7-1 16-7-1 16-8-1 16-9-1 17-9-1 18-9-1 19-9-1 19-10-1 20-10-1

F F

D F

D D

F

D D F F

D F

G G

Graham Mercurio John Succo Blake Miller Steve Beecroft AndrewChaney Mike Borchers TJ Catino EricScherzinger Matt Miller Vinny Vicario BenMoertle Ben Beal Jeff Nieman Peter Weisgerbe1 Scott Lerman Nick Manibusan Bill Stein Matt Loker Nicholas Doud Will Korst Ryan Bick John McCormack Team Totals

G John McCormack

5

0

0

0

0

0

4

7

0

0

0

4

0

22

44

8

10

18

10

18.2

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

4

0

0

23

28

4

7

11

4

14

14.3

23

62

6

13

19

16

18

9.7

21

27

2

5

7

18

20

7.4

8

13

3

3

6

2

4

23.1

23

44

9

5

14

10

28

20.5

25

72

17

7

24

12

16

23.6

25

68

12

12

24

14

30

17.6

15

16

5

2

7

9

8

31.2

23

29

3

10

13

10

4

10.3

25

23

2

5

7

16

24

8.7

24

23

2

2

4

18

8

8.7

25

23

4

5

9

10

20

17.4

24

34

15

26

24

18

32.4

25

17

2

4

6

6

20

11.8

25

16

3

3

6

-4

2

18.7

14

24

5

3

8

-4

30

20.8

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

25 578

12

11

21

98 111 209 188 278 17.0


'

Beerman, Dick From: Sent: To: Subject:

Pokupec, Andy Tuesday, November 27, 2001 1:07PM Moeller Faculty and Staff Hacks12Sports Ice Hockey Challenge Article

Ice Hockey

Hacks 12Sports Cincinnati Ice Hocke Challe

Three-Day Event To Showcase Four High School Teams By Ed Letsinger Greater Cincinnati winter sports fans will get a three-day dose of high school ice hockey on Dec. 7-9 at the Hacks 12Sports Cincinnati Ice Hockey Challenge. The round-robin tournament will feature Moeller, Sycamore, Talawanda and Beavercreek competing against each other on separate days at two different venues - Sports Plus and the Cincinnati Gardens. "Everyone is very excited to be a part of it," said Moeller head coach Andy Pokupec. "We think it's going to be a great event." Moeller and Sycamore typically get together every year for the "City Block Challenge" at the Gardens, a popular event that draws upwards to 1,000 fans. This year the City Block Challenge will be played as a part of the Cincinnati Ice Hockey Challenge. Pokupec said he would like to see the Cincinnati Ice Hockey


Challenge draw in the range of 5,000 to 6,000 fans. "We want to get more people out to watch high school ice hockey," he says. All four teams will have a chance to play each other and a point system will be implemented to determine a champion. One point will be given for each period won during a game, and a 1/2 point will be awarded for ties. Teams will earn two points by winning a game and one point if they play to a tie. In the event that teams tie in total points at the end of the three-day event, numerous tiebreakers will be used to crown a champion. Sports Plus will host the games on Friday night at 7:30p.m. and 9:30p.m. Action shifts to the Gardens on the weekend. Saturday and Sunday games are scheduled for 12:15 p.m. and 2:30p.m. Weekend passes will cost $10; individual games will cost $5. The Hacks 12Sports Cincinnati Ice Hockey Challenge is an effort to try to promote and grow the sport of ice hockey among the high school ranks in our area. Currently, only three teams from the Greater Cincinnati area compete in ice hockey: Moeller, Sycamore and Talawanda. They compete in the Southwestern Ohio High School Hockey League along with Beavercreek, Troy, Centerville, St. Charles (Columbus), Thomas Worthington (Worthington), Worthington Kilbourne and Upper Arlington (Columbus).

Andy "Poke" Pokupec P.E. Teacher and Varsity Ice Hockey Coach Archbishop Moeller High School 9001 Montgomery Rd. Cincinnati, OH, 45242 (513) 791-1680 X 235 Voice Mail, 792-3343 (Fax)


/2 . .

'i--ol

THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER

Hockey

Moeller continues fast season start Beats Sycamore 4-1, improves to 10-0-1 By Dave Schutte The Cincinnati Enquirer

In its 18 seasons, the Moeller ice hockey program has faced an uphill battle to achieve parity with teams from northern Ohio. But Saturday, the Crusaders took another step toward that goal. A 4-1 victory over Sycamore at the Cincinnati Gardens, before a crowd of 500, gave the Crusaders their best-ever start, 10-0-1. Fifth-year Moeller coach Andy Pokupec was reluctant to predict that his talent-rich team will reach the state final four, a goal the Crusaders have set every season but never have accomplished. Still, he was optimistic. "We'd like to think this is the breakthrough season," Pokupec said. "This is a better team than last year's because we have players who have participated at a higher level." Among the most experienced Crusaders are six freshmen, including goalie Mitchell Hardin who allowed only a power-play goal to Sycamore Saturday, by Brian Purdy with 4:44 remaining in the first period. "The freshmen are the reason we're so deep this season," Pokupec said. "They played for (Class) AA- and AAA-level teams in the Cincinnati Amateur Hockey Association, and we have a good relationship with them." The other freshmen are John Lewis, Victor Courtemanche, George Oliver, Greg Allen and Kevin McMullen. Like Moeller, the eighth-year Sycamore team also has made great strides, but it lacked the depth needed to compete with the Crusaders during the final period. "Our strategy was to wear them down," Pokupec said. "They only· used two lines and we used three. Their goalie (Nick Brunker) was aggressive and made some outstanding saves." Sycamore coach John Neeb agreed that a lack of depth has been the major problem for the Aviators, who dressed only 15 players - three of whom were goalies. "We play spectacular for two

periods and then gas," Neeb said. "What we do is get the sopho.mores and freshmen who have been on roller blades and invite them to play for the school." The future appears much brighter for Sycamore because of next year's freshman class. "We'll have 13 freshmen who have played ice hockey," Neeb said. "Two or three years down the road, we should be dynamite." Brunker's goaltending enabled Sycamore to hold a 1-0 lead Saturday until Moeller's leading scorer, senior Joe Obermeier, scored with 4:18 remaining in the second period to tie the score 1-1. "We weren't putting the shots on the net early in· the game," said Obermeier, who has 13 goals and 11 assists this season. "Their goalie did an outstanding job." A native of Stillwater, Minn., Obermeier grew up playing hockey there before his family relocated to Cinciimati eight years ago. "I continued playing after I got here," Obermeier said. "College scholarships are tough for players from this area. The colleges want you to play in the (junior leagues) a year before making an offer." Another senior who has college potential is Pat Overbey, a right wing who scored one goal to bring his season totals to 12 this season. He also has four assists. ' Playing without injured defenseman and captain Mark Dizard, Sycamore relied on senior Chris Calo, right wing Edgars Brands and left wing Purdy. "The crowd was decent today, but I'd like to see more people come to the games," Neeb said "I'd like to see Elder start a team. They pack 4,500 in for a chess game." The victory earned Moeller the City Block Challenge Trophy aijd puts the Crusaders a half-point behind Talawanda in the race for the Hacks 12 Sports Cincinnati Challenge trophy. The winner of the Moeller-Talawanda game, at noon today at the Gardens, will claim the trophy. 11Maer4,1yc...,.l Goals: M-Overbey, Obermeier 2, Couttemanche. SPwdy. Assists: M-Mercwto 2, - . Oliver. S-Splcer, Hutson. RecO<ds: M 11.0.1, S 9·2.


Smith, Hurley Win

"That's My Boy Award" Senior Standouts Honored At 35th Annual Scholar-Athlete Banquet By Ed Letsinger

R

Rob Smith

Mike Hurley

ob Smith of Highlands High School

other awards I've won; says Smith. The

see my name along with names like the

and Mike Hurley of St. Xavier High

6'3", 310-pound senior, who is headed to

Sollmann brothers (Scott and Steve from

School are the 2002 recipients of

the University ofTennessee in the fall on a

St. Xavier, winners in 1993 and 2000) is

the "That's My Boy Award." The pair was

football scholarship, earned numerous

almost mind-boggling," says Hurley. "It's

honored at the 35th Annual Scholar-

hon~rs

really exciting."

throughout the football season.

Athlete Awards Banquet at the Omni

He was named first-team All-State by sev-

Hurley earned All-State honors for the

Netherland Plaza.

eral organizations, and was voted first-

Division I state runner-up Bombers as a

The prestigious award, presented annu-

team All-American by USA Today, Reebok,

ally by the Greater Cincinnati chapter of

ESPN and Super Prep, Prep Star, Parade and

cornerback in 2001 and set a school record with 11 interceptions. He will graduate as St. Xavier's career leader in total

the National Football Foundation and

Prep All-Star magazines. Smith is also a

given to the top football scholar athletes in

standout in the classroom; he ranks near

interceptions.

Southwestern Ohio and Northern Kentucky,

the top of his class and is the owner of a

offense as a wide receiver and on special

is based on three categories: performance

4.0 GPA all four years at the Fort Thomas,

teams as a punt returner. He ranks close to

on the football field and in the classroom

Ky., school. Last year, he traveled to Jamaica with his church youth group to

ics and has a 94.5 average for his high

and contributions within the community Smith was awarded the "Brian Williams

Hurley also excelled on

the top of his class at St. Xavier in academ-

help build a orphanage and lend a help-

school career. Hurley is headed to Yale

That's My Boy Award" and was selected

ing hand in the community

University in the fall. In the community, he

from a group of five finalists in Northern Kentucky. "I feel really lucky. It's a great

Hurley won the "Joe Quinn That's My Boy Award" and was selected from a group

is involved with Big Brothers and Hands Across Campus and helped organize the

award, and it ranks right up there with

of 10 finalists from Southwestern Ohio. "To

annual canned food drive for St. Xavier.

~

Sycamore, Moeller Have Big Years In Ice Hockey By Ed Letsinger state tournament against St. Charles and

Sycamore had its first winning season

Upper Arlington before falling 3-1 to

since 1995-96 by going 17-14-2. The Aves'

perennial powerhouse Centerville in the

season was highlighted by wins over

third round.

Centerville and Talawanda for the first

"It started with the preseason," explains

time in four years. Edgars Brancis, a for-

head coach Andy Pokupec on his team's

eign exchange student, set a Sycamore

success. "I knew we were good, but the

school scoring record with 67 goals and

kids were committed," he adds. Depth also

39 assists for a total of 106 points. Plus, the

umbers don't lie, and the numbers

played a big a role, says Pokupec. "We were

Aves posted a 6-2 mark at home (Sports

that came out of the Moeller and

deep all the way from our goalies to our

Plus) playing before large crowds, says

Sycamore ice hockey programs

forwards;' he says. Seniors Brandon Kiley,

head coach John Neeb. "We had packed houses and great student support," he said.

N

this season were impressive. The Crusaders set a school record for wins in a season by finishing with a record of 32-6-2. The 32 wins broke the mark of 30 set by the 1996-97 team that went 30-5-1. Moeller finished unbeaten against local

Pat Overbey and Joe Obermeier all had standout seasons. Obermeier and Kiley both scored a team-leading 52 points, and Overbey was right behind with 49 points. Freshman Mitch Hardin and junior Ben

Although the Aves lost 6-3 in the first round of the state tournament to Centerville after building a 3.{) lead midway through the second period, Neeb is high on the season and the direction the pro-

competition (7-0) and won three of the six

Connelly were strong in the goal for Moeller. Hardin had 1.1 goals against aver-

tournaments it entered, finishing with a

age with nine shutouts, while Connelly's

great year. We're really maturing as a pro-

tournament record of 18-3-1 against teams

average was I .6 with four shutouts. "It was

gram.The numbers are getting stronger, and

from Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. The

a great, great year," says Pokupec.

Crusaders won their first two games of the

already looking forward to next year."

56

HAcKs 95PORTS

I

ApRIL

2002

"I'm

gram is going in its eighth year. "We had a

we have 13 incoming freshman who will be playing next year," he says. ~


St. Henry Played With The Best And Then Some

By Ed Letsinger

I there's one team in the Northern Kentucky area who didn't shy away from playing a tough schedule this year, it was the St. Henry Crusaders. Clearly; the smallschool Crusaders played a big-time schedule. Not only did they play a tough schedule, but they managed to win a lot of their games, finishing the regular season with a record of 21-7 and ranked in the top five in the area. You want examples of tough? Here's a quick sample of teams the Crusaders faced during the regular season: Elder, Highlands, Covingtoo Catholic,. Dixie, Simon Kenton, Scott, Holmes, Ryle and Lexington Catholic. Those are not only big-school teams, folks, they were top-10 caliber teams. Against their smaii'School brethren, St. Henry proved to be hard to handle. Witness their romp through the Ninth Region Touchstone Energy All ''Pi' Classic, where the Crusaders thumped host Lloyd Memorial in the title game, 79-51. That win landed St. Henry in the state All ''Pi' tournament, where they beat Paducah St. Mary 79-52 before losing 61-56 in the quarterfinals to Glasgow and Mr. Kentucky Basket-

II

ball candidate, Brandon Stockton. St. Henry also experienced tournament success back in December, winning a tournament at Bardstown Bethel em over the holidays. The Crusaders weren't quite as successful in the Ninth Region tournament, whe.re they ultimately lost to regional semifinal qualifier Highlands. Despite the loss, it was still a successful year. Coach Dave Faust laughs when asked about keys to his team's success this season, primarily because it came from an area that has given the Crusaders problems in the past: scoring and shooting the basketball. "We shot it well;' he says, adding that shot selection was much improved. Case in point is the fact that St. Henry finished first in Northern Kentucky in scoring average during the regular season at 69.2 ppg. Faust also points to the team's unselfish style of play as a s\rong attribute. "They're a close-knit team and they get along well with each other," he says. St. Henry had only one player score in double figures, and he's a good one. Senior forward Jeff Eisenmenger, a threeyear starter, averaged 17.3 points a game to go with his team-leading 6.6 rebounds a game. "Jeff had a very good year. He can play inside but also has a good touch from the outside," Faust said. The 6'5" Eisenmenger won MVP honors at the Ninth Region All ''Pi' Classic and at the Bardstown Bethlehem tournament, and was a big part of St. Henry's success. Senior point guard Matt Fabiani finished second in Northern Kentucky in assists at 4.9 a game. "He's very unselfish and distributes it (ball) well. Sometimes

we have to remind him to shoot it;' says Faust. Michael Schmidt and Todd Vieth both contributed around nine points a game. Junior Matt Otte proved to be invaluable coming off the bench for St. Henry Otte scored 9.9 points a game and led St. Henry in scoring several games. He could have started for the Crusaders, says Faust, but chose to stay in the sixth-man role. "I talked to him after Christmas and asked him whether he wanted to start or not because he had earned it," Faust explains. "But he said he was happy where he was." Seniors Pete Voelker, Patrick Tierney; Michael Terrell and Shawn Bradley all stepped up and contributed to the Crusaders' success this season. ~

Photos by Dan Beineke

APRIL

2002 I

HACKS95PORTS

55


Powell too much for M~eller '

Scores 2 goals for CAHA team. in title game of Holiday Tourney By Dave Schutte 11.-.,1 1路{}1. Enquirer contributor 路 Michael Powell scored two goals Saturday to lead the Cincinnati Amateur Hockey Association's Midget AA Cyclones to a 3-1 victory. over Moeller in the championship game of the Moeller HolidayTournament at Cincinnati Gardens. The CAllA-sponsored team is made up of players from Cincinnatiarea schools that do not have ice hockey programs. Powell attends Lakota East High School. "It's great beating Moeller," Powell said. "We beat them (~2) earlier in the tournament and they came out hard today. But we knew what we had to do to today." Moeller took a 1-0 lead in the first period on the strength of a power play goal by Kevin McMullen with 13:51remaining. Steve Beecraftand John Lewis assisted.

-

.

6.2 seconds remaining in the game, into an open net after Moeller pulled Hardin in favor of having an extra skater. ' The victory was the Cyclones' seventh straight and was an encouraging sign to Powell. "We started the season slowly but it's now coming together," Powell said. Moeller coach Andy ,Pokupec was pleased with the Crusaders' performance, and had praise for both goaltenders. 'Their goalie (Nick Spencer) made some great saves, as did ours (Hardin)," Pokupec said. "I thought we would tie it, but we had one goal called off due to double penalties and we hit the post twice." 路 The championship was the first in the Holiday Tournament for the The Cincinnati Enquirer/BRAND! STAFFORD Cyclones, who were runners-up to Lenny Antkowiak of CAHA plays defense against Moeller's Jeff Niethe Crusaders last year, and their second in three tournaments this man Saturday in the Moeller Holiday Tournament championship. season. CAHA tied the game with 1:39 re- maining, taking a centering pass CAHA coach Kevin Gruenemaining in the second period when from Princeton's Robert Bruene- meier hopes the sport expands loRoger Bacon junior Kyle Pitcher man and easily beating Moeller cally. scored off assists by Indian Hill'sAl- goaltender Mitchell Hardin. "I love hockey and expanding exander Teeter and Fairfield's 路 Zachary Han, a Cincinnati Hills wouldn't hurt but would help our Scott Sides. Christian Academy senior, assisted program," Gruenemeier said. Powell scored what proved to be on the winning goal. . "More kids would get involved and the winning gpal with ll minutes rePowell's second goal came with we would also benefit from it"

The Cincinnati Enqulrer/BRANDI STAFFORC

CAHA's Michael Powell trips up Moeller's Ross Thraikill as they battle for the puck Saturday at Cincinnati Gardens. CAHA won 3-1.


Hockey

.s J_-;LO-tJL hit ..

record for wins The Moeller ij:igh School hockey team sets a school record . for wins with its 7-1 victory over Columbus St. Charles in the first round of the state playoffs Feb. 8., The Crusaders record improved to 31-5-2, topping the 30-5-1 record, of the 1996-97 .team. Moeller is undefeated in. se~en games against local competitors like Sycamore (3-0), Talawanda (1-0), Cincinnati CAHA ·midget A (1-0) and Cincinnati CAHA midget AA (2-0). In addition, Moeller won three of the six tournaments it played and finished second in another.· The Crusaders are led· by senior captain ·Joe Obermeier and assistant captains Pat Overbey and Brandon Kiley. Left wing. Dan Bernier .. and defenseman Ryan Doran n;mnd out the remaining seniors. The offense includes· juniors Doug Ruef, Graham Mercurio and John Succo, sophomor~s Andrew Chaney and fres~men Victor Courtamanche, · George Oliver and John Lewis. Defensively, junior Steven' Beecraft is joined by sophomore Duane Crutchfield and freshmen Greg Allen and Kevin McMullen. Goalies are junior Ben Connelly · and freshman Mitch Hardin. Moeller ·had a second-round playoff game against Upper Arlington Feb. 15 at Hobart Arena in Troy, winning 3-0 and improving to 32-5-2. Moeller got on the bard in the second period with a score by Ryan Doran. ·Pat Overbey and Joe Obermeier added goals in the third period . and Mitch Hardin .got the wi-n , nnd shutout, ·.Moeller's 13th this season.

Moeller lost its Feb. 17 thirdround game against Centerville, 3~. . Moeller scored first in the first period on a tip in Pat Ov~r­ bey. Centerville answered_ w1th · less than two minutes left m the period. . . . Centerville took the lead on ~ controversial play in th:e second p.eriod. Moeller's goalie was ~t . in the head and laying on the Ice as the Elks scqred for a 2-1 lead. · Centerville added ii ihird goal on a 2-on-1 break.

-------·----·----------------~----=----

Icy reception

). -ro - o 2.

MARK D. MorZ/STAFF Sycamore and Moeller high schools met on-the Ice for the third time this season at the Cincinnati Gardens Feb. 2. The state Ice hockey tournament begins Feb. 9 at Hobart Arena In Troy. Sycamore meets Cente!"llle at 1 p.m. and Moeller plays Columbus St. Charles at.S p.m.


"I feel as

to

a

have~

of ex-~ The of the· really·· what's me· feel,

GoalieS irrlproved

Freshgoalsbe:rely over Connelly goals

usade:rs' IJ(.:ltl:lnding.

is per game. Pokupec said he may 'have overworked his players during previous seasons, an issue to which he been more sensitive to this season. Basketball teams play 20 regular-season games, football teams play 10. But Moeller has played 38 games already this

season, and a win against Upper Arlington would set up the Crusaders' 40th game. "We practice more than other teams," Pokupec said. "I've been very careful trying to give the kids more rest. In the past I think that's one of the areas that may have hurt us.''

Whatever the reason; Moeller's t~ound this season is nothing short of astounding. The Crusaders have won three of the six tourn·aments they participated in, and were 4-0

HIGH SCHOOL !lOCKEY .

Moeller High School won itS firstatch in the state tournament at roun d m t' g the ColumHobart Arena in Troy,_ bea m bus St. Charles card1nals, 7-1. . of Highlights included a hat tnck three goals by Victor Courtemanche, two more trom Graham Mercurio and scores by George Oliver and oougRuef. d two play m roun d The Crusaders · Art' gton an against the winner of Upper In \ Beavercreek. )._ -]_3 -? ~

tf

against Talawanda and Sycamore - Moeller's foes in the Southern Division of the Southwest Ohio High School Hockey League. The Crusaders were a combined 6-1-2 against the other eight teams in the league, · Upper Arlington beat Moeller, 4-3, earlier this season. If the Crusaders escape with a win today, it will likely set up a rematch with Centerville. Centerville shut out Moeller, 3-0, in the teams' only meeting this year.


Hockey

J.t- 9--o;

Moeller continues fast season start Beats Sycamore 4-1, improves to 10-0-1 By Dave SchuHe The Oincinnati EmJuirer

In its .18 seasons, the Moeller ice hockey program has faced an uphill battle to achieve parity with teams from northern Ohio. But Saturday, the Crusaders took another step toward that goal. A 4-1 victory over Sycamore at the Cincinnati Gardens, before a crowd of 500, gave the Cr:usaders their best-ever start, 10-0-1. Fifth-year Moeller coach Andy Pokupec was reluctant to predict that his talent-rich team will reach the state final four, a goal the Crusaders have set every season but never have accomplished. Still, he was optimistic. "We'd like to think this is the breakthrough season," Pokupec· said. "This is a better team than last year's because we have players who have participated at a higher level." Among the most experienced Crusaders are six freshmen, in·cluding goalie Mitchell Hardin who allowed only a power-play goal to Sycamore Saturday, by Brian· Purdy with 4:44 remaining in the first period. "The freshmen are the reason we're so deep this season," Pokupec said. "They played for (Class) AA- and AAA-level teams in the Cincinnati Amateur Hockey Association, and we have a good relationship with them." The other freshmen are John Lewis, Victor Courtemanche, George' Oliver, Greg Allen and Kevin McMullen. · Like Moeller, the eighth-year~. Sycamore team also has made great strides, but it lacked the depth needed to compete with the Crusaders during the final period. "Our strategy was to wear them down," Pokupec said. "They only used two lines and we used three. Their goalie (Nick Brunker) was aggressive and made . some outstanding saves." Sycamore coach John Neeb agreed that a lack of depth has been the major problem for the Aviators, who dressed only,15 players- three of whom were goalies. "We play spectacular for two

periods and then gas," Neeb said. "What we do is get the sophomores and freshmen who have been on roller blades and invite them to play for the school." The future appears much brighter for Sycamore because of next year's freshman class. "We'll have 13 freshmen who have played ice hockey," Neeb said. "Two or three years down the road, we should be dynamite." Brunker's goaltending enabled Sycamore to hold a 1-0 lead Saturday until Moeller's leading scorer, senior Joe Obermeier, scored with 4:18 remaining in the second period to tie the score 1-1. "We weren't putting the sh6ts on the net early in the game," said Obermeier, who has 13 goals and 11 assists this season. "Their goalie did an outstanding job." A native of Stillwater, Minn., Obermeier grew up playing hockey there before his family relocated to Cincinnati eight years ago. "I continued playing after I got here," Obermeier said. "College scholarships are tough for players from this area. The colleges want you to play in the Gunior leagues) a year before making an offer." Another senior who has college potential is Pat Overbey, a right wing who scored one goal to bring his season totals to 12 this season. He also has four assists. Playing without injured defenseman and captain Mark Dizard, Sycamore relied on senior Chris Calo, right wing Edgars Brands and left wing Purdy. "The crowd was decent today, but I'd like to see more people come to the games," Neeb said. '.'I'd like to see Elder start a team. They pack 4,500 in for a chess game.'; The victory earned Moeller the City Block Challenge Trophy and puts the Crusaders a half-point behind Tala wanda in the race for the Hacks 12 Sports Cincinnati Challenge trophy. The winner of the Moeller-Talawanda game, at noon today at the Gardens, will claim the trophy. Moeller 4, Sycamore l Goals: M-Overbey.. Obenneler 2, Courtemanche. 5Purdy. Assists: M-Mercurto 2, Miller, Oliver. 5-5plcer, Hutson. Records: M 11·0·1, 5 9·2.

Moeller High School 2001-02 Hockey Articles  
Moeller High School 2001-02 Hockey Articles