The Bombers crowned Red South Division Champions.
The Kenston High School hockey team, recently crowned Red South Division Champions, finished a terrific season having achieved an overall record of 21–5–2. The team also amassed a 9–1 record in league play under head coach Thomas Beard and his trusted assistant, John Pustai.
The top five-point leaders are Alex Petre, Sam Johnson, Jack Javorsky, Jason Kantra and Ryan Herpy. The leading goal-scorer is Sam Johnson with 22 goals. Leading the team in assists is Jason Kantra with 28.
Alex Petre, who leads the team with 45 points, and Dan Isakoff are two of the three seniors, co-captains and leaders of the team. Alex and Danny have been playing hockey together since their days in the Geauga Youth Hockey Association. The other senior on the team, Ryan Jeffers brings intensity and a physical presence to the team and led the team with 95 penalty minutes.
The defense has been solid all year with Isakoff, junior Jack Javorsky, junior Nate Johnson, sophomore Ryan Herpy and freshman Von Houk lugging most of the minutes in front of goaltenders Kent Mack and Brandon Wenger. Although the defense was solid, Mack was spectacular at times; he kept Kenston in a number of games in which the team was outshot and achieved a superb “goals against average” of 2.36.
The Kenston team is relatively young, with seven freshman and five sophomores on the roster. Coach Beard has given the youngsters a lot of ice time, which will pay dividends not only during the upcoming Baron Cup I Tournament, but also next season.
Speaking of the Baron Cup I Tournament, Beard had this to say when asked about Kenston’s sixth seed: “The five teams seeded ahead of us are all Red North teams. We’ll go out and play our game and see who wins.”
Truth be told, Kenston lost 3-2 to the second seeded team, defending State Champion Shaker Heights, on a fluke goal in the last few minutes; played the third seeded team, Hudson, to a 2-2 tie; and beat the fifth seeded Brecksville team handily 4–2 earlier this season.
Kenston’s players feel slighted with respect to their seeding in the tournament. They have a healthy chip of their respective shoulders and have a lot to prove. Coach Beard’s message to the team is simple: “Skate hard, move the puck, play your game and good things will happen.”
Having spoken to a number of the players after a recent practice leading up to the first Baron Cup I Tournament game on Feb. 6, this writer can tell you they are amped up to play in the tournament. “We’re a good team that can play with anyone,” said Herpy, who led the team in blocked shots.
Regardless of the outcome, the 2013-14 Kenston High School hockey team had a memorable year and has a bright future with Coach Beard’s message: work hard, play smart and have fun.