Trailing 1-0 after one period against DeSales last Saturday, senior captain Matthew Pennington had a talk in the locker room with his Olentangy Orange High School hockey teammates.

Trailing 1-0 after one period against DeSales last Saturday, senior captain Matthew Pennington had a talk in the locker room with his Olentangy Orange High School hockey teammates.

The Pioneers responded by scoring five goals for a 5-1 win over the Stallions at Chiller North, the team's fourth victory in five games.

"I told the guys that just because we started Christmas break (last) Friday, we had to remember we still had a game to play. We had done this before and we knew what to do," said Pennington, whose team is 5-4-1 overall and 5-1-1 in the Capital Hockey Conference. "Last year against DeSales, we were down 1-0 after one period and came back to win 6-1. This year, it was the same and we came back to win 5-1.

"We need to stay focused all three periods. Sometimes we start slow and then have two good periods."

The Pioneers' success has been understanding roles on the team, according to coach Tim Pennington.

"I think it has been getting the guys together, playing lines on a consistent basis," coach Pennington said. "We used the preseason to learn where everyone is playing on which line and they are starting to play well together."

Jake Shepherd had two goals for Orange against DeSales, with Scott Bowers, Dar Faroughi and Taylor Hardy adding a goal apiece. Goaltenders Chase Green and Clayton Horvath combined for 18 saves.

Last Friday, the Pioneers got a pair of goals from Faroughi in an 11-1 win over Watterson in a CHC contest at Chiller North. Bowers, Hardy, Mitch Knapp, Robbie Lindeman, Jimmy Lomeo, Nick Murley, Jack Potts, Shepherd and Alex Titus also scored. Matthew Pennington had nine saves in a rare game in goal.

"We have been working a lot harder and we are more determined," said Lomeo, a senior left wing who also is a team captain. "It's a new season and we're playing well together and that's always good. I think that just another year of experience has helped us. We're growing together as a team."

Despite scoring 16 goals in their last two games, coach Pennington said the Pioneers have struggled to find the net early in the season.

"We have to get more shots on net. Our shots we've been getting have been wide and hitting the glass," he said. "We just have to get more shots on goal and that comes with more practice. That's what we're trying to work on.

"We need to get a push deep into the zone and forecheck hard. We have to get the puck in the net and execute."

Lomeo said the players respect each other on and off the ice.

"What I like best about this group is that we don't get down on each other," he said. "We were down 1-0 (last Saturday to DeSales) and we kept our heads up and kept playing. We know we're never out of the game."

Matthew Pennington said the aggressive nature of the Pioneers has helped the strong start.

"Our team is not necessarily the most talented, but we win with hard work and effort. We hope that continues," he said. "Also, we tried to keep things constant over last year. We all know and respect each other, so we haven't changed that much."

Coach Pennington likes the way his defense has played early in the season.

"On defense, Mitch Knapp and Jacob Green been really impressive," he said. "We're not necessarily going to have the talent some of the other upper-echelon schools have. We have to work hard on every shift and work as a team."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Liberty, Olentangy and Orange hockey teams:

LIBERTY

Dec. 10 - Lost to Dublin Jerome 4-2 in Dublin Adam Allgeyer Mem-orial. Gus Olmstead and Nick Ramsey scored. Bryan Finneran had 26 saves.

Dec. 11 - Lost to St. Charles 4-3 in Allgeyer Memorial. Ethan Hollings-worth, Robert Koehler and Jimmy Ruska scored and Finneran had 20 saves.

Dec. 12 - Defeated Solon 4-1 in Allgeyer Memorial

*Dec. 13 - Def. Gahanna 4-1. Grant Woods scored two goals and Ramsey and Kyle Horner both had one goal. Finneran had 16 saves and Drew Russell added six.

Sunday - Pemberville Eastwood at Chiller North

*Wednesday - Watterson at Chiller North

*Dec. 30 - Thomas Worthington at Chiller Ice Works

*Dec. 31 - Olentangy at Chiller North

*Jan. 1 - Orange at Chiller North

Jan. 7-9 - Gates Mills Gilmour Tournament

Of note: The Patriots are 8-3 overall and 3-0 in the CHC.

OLENTANGY

Dec. 10 - Lost to Dublin Coffman 11-1 in Allgeyer Memorial

Dec. 11 - Lost to Gates Mills Gilmour Academy 9-3 and Cincinnati Sycamore 9-5 in Allgeyer Memorial

*Last Friday - Def. Gahanna 6-4 in CHC opener

*Last Saturday - Def. Watterson 10-1

Sunday-Tuesday - Findlay Tournament

*Dec. 30 - Liberty at Chiller North

*Jan. 2 - Orange at Chiller North

*Jan. 7 - Dublin Jerome at Chiller North

Of note: The Braves are 10-3 overall and 2-0 in the CHC.

ORANGE

*Dec. 10 - Lost to Cincinnati Moeller 1-0. Alex Victor had 25 saves.

*Dec. 12 - Def. Worthington Kilbourne 5-1. Nick Murley scored twice and Dar Faroughi, Matthew Pennington and Kevin Peters all scored. Clayton Horvath had 18 saves.

*Last Friday - Def. Watterson 11-1

*Last Saturday - Def. DeSales 5-1

*Jan. 1 - Liberty at Chiller North

*Jan. 2 - Olentangy at Chiller North

Jan. 7 - Troy at Troy Tournament

Of note: The Pioneers are 5-4-1 overall and 5-1-1 in CHC.

*Capital Hockey Conference game