County teams in a league of their own River Hill, Howard strong in realigned conference

High school club hockey

December 14, 1997|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Howard County high school club ice hockey teams have their own conference this season, one of a number of changes in the Maryland Scholastic Hockey League.

There are five conferences this season, up from three last year, and 45 varsity teams, an increase of seven from a year ago.

The Howard Conference includes teams from Atholton, Centennial, Glenelg, Howard, Mount Hebron, Oakland Mills, River Hill and Wilde Lake.

Hammond had a team last year, but there wasn't enough interest this season. Players from Hammond have combined with Atholton, which also had a low turnout.

The top four county teams will compete at the end of the season for the Howard County Cup, won last year by Howard. There also will be a county all-star game.

All county teams are in the Tier II level this year. Howard and Atholton were in the higher-skilled Tier I last year and suffered some one-sided losses.

The Howard Conference and Independent Conference make up

the Central Region of the MSHL. The playoff structure, which still is tentative, would have the first two teams in the Howard and Independent conferences play each other. The winner and runner-up would advance along with the Southern and Northern region winners to play for the Tier II Chesapeake Cup.

Atholton is not eligible to compete for the Chesapeake Cup because its team is a combination of two schools.

River Hill (3-0) and Howard (3-0) appear to be the county favorites this season. They are the only teams still unbeaten.

"They are definitely the two top teams," said Mount Hebron coach Dan Kravitz, whose squad has lost to both teams this season. "I think River Hill is a little bit better than Howard."

Said Howard coach Michael Rand: "We're not quite as strong as last year, but if we can put it together we should have a successful season."

Here is a look at the teams:

Atholton (1-2) is coached by Dennis Gottesman, who coached Hammond last season. Leading the attack for the Raiders are juniors Greg Hendrix and Bobby Steen. Defensive leaders include juniors David Potsiadlo and Chris Hinsvark. and freshman Adam Arnold. Sophomore Jason Milke is the goalie.

Centennial (0-2) doesn't have the numbers or the talent it has had in the past, according to coach Steve Berman. The Eagles have only three seniors on the team, and one of them is goalie Matt Sniscak. Junior center Chris Rohrback is team captain. Sophomore Pat Schaeffer is a key on defense, and sophomore Victor DeCesare and freshman Adam Kessler lead the offense.

Glenelg (1-2), coached by Dave Lawson, is led offensively by juniors Ryan Cullison and Drew Zinchiak. Senior Brian Musgrove and junior Travis Keys head the defense. Senior Clyde Gibson is the goalie. Cullison had three goals and two assists in the team's 8-3 win Dec. 8 against St. Paul's. In that game, senior Lauren Bender and her brother, Ryan, a junior, started together on defense.

Howard is led offensively by junior Rob Ross and seniors Kalle Koski, an exchange student from Finland, Luke Shagogue and Kevin Lyons. Shagogue had a hat trick in the Lions' 7-4 win over Atholton last season for the Howard County Cup. The defense is led by seniors Eric Yingling, Jon Falk and T.J. Clay and junior Brian Moscoe. Freshman Ron Spano is in goal.

Mount Hebron (1-2) is led defensively by senior Louis Grimmel and sophomores Brian Pearson and Brad Preisinger. Offense leaders include juniors Brent Roberts, Young Kim and seniors Brock Dailey, Ryan Schneider and Kevin Hubley. Senior Keith Hubley and freshman Brandon Connolly are the goalies.

River Hill, coached by Mike Hendrix, is led defensively by juniors Duncan Brooks and Mitch Dolinka. The Hawks' top forwards are senior Bradley Klukas, junior Paul Hughes, sophomores B.J. Radhe, Brookes Brumsted and Scott Laird, and freshman Will Melton. The goalies are senior Steve Otte and freshman Joel Ord. The Hawks have won their first three games by a margin of 22-3.

Oakland Mills (2-1), coached by Al Burgoon, is led offensively by zTC seniors Harrison Budd, J. C. Daughday and Josh Greene. Leading the defense are sophomores Jeff Dinoto and Mike Burgoon, freshman Dennis Ferstler and junior David Mason. Freshman T.J. Gleason is in goal.

Coach Peter Lester said his Wilde Lake team (1-2) is "pretty decent." Top forwards include seniors Danny Vick, Lindsey Brewington, Mark Davis and Mark Gardner. Heading the defense is senior Josh Lester, juniors Cedric Cato and Brandon Cohen and sophomore Max Diaz. Senior Brian Strahl is the goalie.

Pub Date: 12/14/97

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