With last season's 22-11-2 mark in the rearview mirror, the Gahanna Lincoln High School hockey team easily could look at its current record and shudder.

With last season's 22-11-2 mark in the rearview mirror, the Gahanna Lincoln High School hockey team easily could look at its current record and shudder.

With CHC play just beginning, the Lions are 4-6 overall, but coach Dante Scuderi and his players are looking beyond the wins and losses.

"We're not upset about these losses because it's early in the season and we're playing very, very well," Scuderi said. "We're able to deal with those losses a little bit easier. Once that puck starts bouncing our way, things are going to turn around. So we're not discouraged."

The Lions were 3-2 heading into the Adam Allgeyer Tournament on Dec. 11, but they suffered three consecutive losses in that event. In two of those losses, the Lions outshot their opponent but wound up losing by one goal -- to Dublin Jerome 2-1 on Dec. 11 and loss to Cincinnati Sycamore 2-1 on Dec. 13.

"It's not like we're playing bad or anything, we're just having trouble putting the puck in the net," senior Drew Laurent said. "We're outshooting our opponents, I feel like we're outplaying them most of the game."

"They were back-and-forth games," junior Connor Smallwood said. "I felt like we were outplaying all of the teams there, we just couldn't put the puck in the net."

Not only are the Lions reminding themselves that they are still playing good hockey, but they're fully aware that the season is still young. The Lions have could play as many as 22 more games before the Blue Jackets Cup begins Feb. 13.

The Lions also are just starting their CHC schedule, which began last Friday with a 9-1 win over Dublin Scioto and continued last Saturday with a 5-2 loss to Dublin Coffman.

Gahanna was 8-4-1-1 in the Jackets Division of the CHC last season and finished third in the Blue Jackets Cup. Players said that improving on that third-place finish is one of the biggest goals this season, but they acknowledge it won't be easy.

Coffman, Jerome and Olentangy Liberty are expected to be competing near the top of the league, along with Upper Arlington. Gahanna picked up its first victory over Jerome last season, winning 3-1 in the regular season, but the Lions still never have beaten Coffman or UA.

This season, Gahanna is in the Jackets Division of the CHC along with Coffman, Worthington Kilbourne, DeSales, St. Charles and Olentangy Orange. The Blue Division is comprised of UA, Thomas Worthington, Liberty, Jerome, Scioto and Olentangy.

Coffman went 23-10 overall last season and had the best regular-season mark in the CHC at 11-2. The Shamrocks finished second in the Blue Jackets Cup, losing to Jerome 4-1 in the final. They graduated their top scorer from last season, Anthony Rogers, but coach Perry Pooley said he expects this year's team to be more balanced offensively without a drop in production. The Shamrocks opened 8-0-1.

UA finished 12-25-2 overall last year and took sixth in the CHC, but had won the league title the previous two seasons. Last year was the first losing season for UA since 2002-03. The Bears have struggled early this season with a particularly young roster, losing their first 10 games.

Jerome again should be a contender after going 22-10-3 last year and winning the Blue Jackets Cup. The Celtics graduated 11 players from that team, though, including its top two scorers and its starting goalie, and they opened 5-4.

Liberty, led by former Gahanna coach Jack Hoogeveen, went 16-13 overall in its inaugural season a year ago and appears to be poised to take the next step. The Patriots graduated just one player and opened 5-6 against a challenging schedule.

St. Charles finished 22-12-2 overall last season and beat Gahanna three times, though Gahanna prevailed 2-1 in overtime in the third-place game of the Blue Jackets Cup. The Cardinals now are under first-year coach Troy Appleby, and they opened 3-3-1.

The rest of the league might be a year or two away from competing at the top of the league. Thomas Worthington was 9-20-2 last season, Kilbourne was 9-21-1, DeSales was 8-28-1 and Scioto went 0-26-2.

Olentangy and Orange are first-year programs, although each has several players from the Olentangy club team, which has dissolved.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Gahanna Lincoln hockey team:

Dec. 11 -- Lost to Dublin Jerome 2-1 in Adam Allgeyer Tournament. John Mercurio scored.

Dec. 12 -- Lost to Centerville 5-2 in Allgeyer

Dec. 13 -- Lost to Cincinnati Sycamore 2-1 in Allgeyer

*Last Friday -- Defeated Dublin Scioto 9-1

*Last Saturday -- Lost to Dublin Coffman 5-2

Sunday -- At Cincinnati Moeller

*Jan. 2 -- Home vs. UA

Of note: The Lions are 4-6 overall and 1-1 in the CHC.

*CHC game