The Dublin Jerome High School hockey team lost 11 players to graduation, including four four-year letterwinners, its top two scorers and all three of its goalkeepers.

The Dublin Jerome High School hockey team lost 11 players to graduation, including four four-year letterwinners, its top two scorers and all three of its goalkeepers.

Forwards Michael Lamping and Scott Wilkie, defenseman Tanner Woodings and goalkeeper Michael Sadler were four-year letterwinners. Wilkie (33 goals, 21 assists) and Lamping (20 goals, 26 assists) were the leading scorers. Wilkie was second-team all-Capital Hockey Conference and Lamping and Sadler were honorable mention.

The Celtics, who finished 22-10-3, will open in the Midwest Thanksgiving Classic held Friday through Sunday at Chiller North. Jerome will play Friday against Upper Arlington, Saturday against Louisville (Ky.) Nelson and Cincinnati Sycamore and Sunday against an opponent to be determined.

Despite having to replace nearly half his roster, coach Pat Murphy thinks his team has the potential to equal or better what it accomplished a year ago. The Celtics replaced 10 players at the start of last season but still went on to win a program-record 22 games, finish third at 10-3 in the CHC and win a third consecutive Blue Jackets Cup.

"We replaced almost as many players last year and we were able to follow up with our best season, so I'm optimistic that we can do it again," Murphy said. "We need to replace a big chunk of our offense and all of our goaltending, but we've got most of our defense back and we're comfortable with all three of our new goalkeepers. Whether we can replace the offense that we graduated is something we'll find out, but I'm confident in the guys we have."

Returning to play defense are seniors Trent Iffland and Devon Shapiro, juniors Adam DePerro, Anthony Lelli and Logan Taylor. Junior Jeff Olson and sophomore Rohan Dudaney also are expected to contribute on the blue line. Iffland was second-team all-CHC and DePerro was honorable mention all-CHC last season.

Vying to start in goal are junior Patrick Weiler, sophomore Josh Howell and freshman Wes Faulkenberry.

"We've got five letterwinners back on defense, so our strength will be our experience on defense," Murphy said. "All three of our goalkeepers are very good, too."

Four of the top seven scorers have returned, including senior forward Justin Young (14 goals, 16 assists) and junior forward Kurt von Zychlin (15 goals, 13 assists), DePerro (10 goals, 12 assists) and junior forward Joey Nahay (10 goals, 9 assists).

Rounding out the forward positions are senior Tyler Stauch, juniors Matt Adolph, Chris Beeler, Brett Carney, Ryan Lester and Kyle Van Krevel, sophomores Blair Comfort, Jake Howell and Casey Worth and freshmen Joe Davison and Matt Walters.

Stauch had one goal and a team-high nine assists playing for Scioto last season.

Shapiro has been named team captain, and Iffland and von Zychlin are the assistant captains.

"We may not be as talented as our opponents, but we take pride in outhustling and outworking the other teams," Iffland said.

Jerome finished third with 20 points in the CHC a year ago behind Coffman (11-2, 22) and St. Charles (10-2-1, 21) and ahead of Olentangy Liberty (8-5, 16), Gahanna (7-5-0-1, 15), Upper Arlington (7-6, 14), Thomas Worthington (6-6-0-1, 13), Worthington Kilbourne (4-9, 8), DeSales (1-10-1-1, 4) and Dublin Scioto (0-13, 0).

Olentangy and Olentangy Orange have joined the CHC.

The third-seeded Celtics went 3-0 in the Blue Jackets Cup, beating Kilbourne 4-1, second-seeded St. Charles 3-0 and top-seeded Coffman 4-1.

The Celtics opened district tournament play with a 3-2 overtime win over Centerville, but lost to St. Charles 3-2 in double overtime in the second round.

"I'm optimistic that we can win a fourth straight Blue Jackets Cup and go far in the state tournament," Murphy said. "We're not the most talented team, but we play extremely well as a team, and good teamwork beats talent as we've proven in the past. We know our defense and goalkeeping will be solid, and if we can find a way to score, we should do really well."

At a glance

•Coach: Pat Murphy, fifth season

•Opener: Friday vs. Upper Arlington at Chiller North

•Key players: Adam DePerro, Trent Iffland, Joey Nahay, Devon Shapiro, Kurt von Zychlin and Justin Young