Following up a state championship season is not an easy task for any high school athletic program. There are a number of different struggles that come with a repeat, including replacing departing players and building a similar team bond. The Cathedral Prep hockey team is faced with this task this season, trying to repeat as state champions despite having lost seven seniors and moving up a division.
The team got off to a slow start this year with lackluster offense being a huge issue. The team’s record was three games below .500 only 6 games into the year and it looked as though even returning to the playoffs would be a hefty task. It seemed the AAA competition might just be too much for the Ramblers early on.
Fast forward to today, and the Ramblers are looking primed for a deep playoff run. They currently sit in a tie for 6th place with a record of 6-5-3. Although that may seem like a dropoff, they only sit one point out of a tie for fourth place and only two points out of a tie for second. They have a mere six games remaining on the schedule before playoffs finally begin, but they have plenty of time to make up the points needed to get a higher seed.
Joe Sala currently leads the Ramblers in points with 22, followed by Jack Becker with 21, and Joe Kelly, Pat Kelly, and Nick Trageser with 20 each. Trent Faulkner leads goalies with 9 wins.
Also, the Ramblers took place in the Meadville Invitational over the weekend. The team cruised through the opening round, grabbing the first seed and a semifinal matchup with tournament host Meadville. The Ramblers grabbed a 5-2 win and were on to the championship against a tough St. Edward’s team. Despite out-shooting St. Ed’s, the Ramblers were unable to overcome the early 3-0 deficit and fell to the Eagles 5-3. It was a tough loss for the team, but it gave the team some needed confidence heading into their playoff push.
The Ramblers seem to be catching their stride at the right time. The team continues play starting next week with their senior night coming on Thursday, Jan. 28. Finally, congrats to senior Jack Becker and Joe Kelly for being selected to the all-star game.