By Ryan Kaczmarski
The North Olmsted Hockey Club (NOHC) has had a “banner” year in the 2011-12 youth hockey season.
Three new banners, to be exact. Both the Pee Wee A1 and the Bantam A3 teams captured Cleveland Suburban Hockey League (CSHL) division championships. All five of the NOHC travel teams qualified for the playoffs, with the Bantam A3 team taking the CSHL playoff championship.
“Our club has had an excellent season, with all five of our travel teams qualifying for the playoffs,” NOHC Chairman Brad Scotten said. “This is a special accomplishment for any youth hockey program in the Greater Cleveland area.”
On March 3, the Bantam A3 team defeated Geauga 3-1 to capture the sweep of the division and playoff championships.
The Bantam team finished the CSHL season with a 10-1-1 record.
The members of the Bantan A3 championship team are Hunter Bradford, Colton Anderson, Stefan Knaack, Tyler Merth, Jason LaVelle, Dominic Bowlin, Adam Sartschev, Mike Ceepo, Robby Tomer, Mike Gallo, Eric Golla, Anthony Lang and Alex Bonsky.
The Pee Wee A1 team finished with an overall record of 32-7-6.
“The kids on the team worked hard and bought into a philosophy of out-hustling their opponents,” said head coach Richard Tomer. “Every time they encountered a bump in the road, they responded by coming back and winning decisively the next time out.
“They displayed great character and sportsmanship throughout the season, and I could not be more proud of each and every one of them,” he added. “They represented the North Olmsted Hockey Club very well all season long.”
The Pee Wee A1 team is comprised of 13 members, including Anthony Dezort, Zak Shalala, Andy Perkins, Andrew Tomer, Anna Cvitkovich, Zachary Servidio, Jake Hirz, Kyle Scotten, Owen McDougald, Riley Vertosnik, Travis Vitaz, Patrick Kerr and Charlie Cvitkovich.
Coach Tomer wanted to give special recognition to goalkeeper Anna Cvitkovich and defenseman Perkins.
“Anna was the top goalie in all the major CSHL Pee Wee divisions, only giving up 24 goals over 14 games,” he said. “Andy (Perkins) led our team and division in scoring this season, netting 24 goals and 16 assists in our league games.
“They are both special players, and coaching them this season was a privilege.”
The NOHC Squirt 1 team finished with an overall record of 23-15-5. The team finished fourth in its division, but in the playoffs, it took the No.1 seeded team into double overtime, ending with a heart-breaking 4-3 loss.
The team consists of Cole Emerine, Cameron Sukenik, Zach Henley, Max Kirth-Gruszcznyski, Jacob Kerkay, Mikey Kirth-Gruszcznyski, Matt Heine, Andrew Rosenshtraukh, Vincent Lin, Cameron Wandrie, Nick Harris, Tyler Zajankala, Zach Mengel and Ethan Ilko.
The NOHC Mite 1AA team, with its motto “Eagles fly at 150 mph,” finished with an overall record of 22-12-5 (12-6-1 in tournament play).
The team finished semifinalists at the Gene Harrington Tourney in Niagra Falls, N.Y., finalists at the Silver Sticks Regional Tourney in Trenton, Mich., third place at the Silver Sticks AE International Tourney in Pelham, Canada and champions of the Melt the Ice Tournament in Garfield Heights.
This season, Mites coach Jason Danner saw his returning players mature into fundamentally sound hockey players. He also saw his less experienced players blossom with confidence in their skills. Most importantly, he saw a group of 11 boys and one young lady become one team with one goal in mind: playing the game with everything they had, and then some.
The Mites team is Xander Danner, Justin Davis, Lance Mengel, Garrett Pazey, Kallen Zarembski, Carter Zakel, Connor Zajankala, Michael Midea, Justin Christ, Alex Kerkay, Garrett Francz and Sophie Bellina.
“It was a great year for our club,” Scotten said. “We expect great things from our teams next season.”
Bantam 1998’s & 1999’s – Rich Tomer firstname.lastname@example.org