Coach Mazin Habash said the Olentangy High School hockey team is at its best when active offensively.

Coach Mazin Habash said the Olentangy High School hockey team is at its best when active offensively.

"When things are right, we're moving the puck and not holding on to it very long," said Habash, who is co-coach of the Braves with Rob Sangster. "They are getting in position and executing their responsibilities on the ice. Simply put, when guys do their job in our system, the system will work. When they don't do that, that's when you have chaos on the ice."

The Braves' system worked Jan. 22 in a 5-1 win over the Bloomington (Ind.) Blades. Senior center Tyler Sangster had three goals while senior defenseman Connor Laughlin and sophomore forward Casey Stanley each scored one.

The Braves were playing without three starters. Junior defensemen Woody Wallace and Justin Marcum both sat out with shoulder injuries and junior forward Kyle Hickman was held out by the coaches because of nagging injuries.

"It was a good win for us because we had three regulars out," said Habash, who coaches defense while Sangster handles the offense. "It gave the younger guys an opportunity to stretch their legs and it's good to get those guys in and get some ice time."

Backup goaltender Jake Fox, a freshman, had 21 saves. Senior Trever Sangster had eight saves.

"Trever started and Jake Fox played half of the game," Habash said. "It's good to get Jake in goal and see him have some success because there are a lot of mental aspects to being a goalie."

Junior forward Josh Stein said non-league games like the one with Bloomington give the Braves a chance to worry more about themselves than the opponent.

"You never know what to expect in non-league games," he said. "You don't know much about the team you're playing. It was a mystery as to their technique and skill, but we went out and worked on our game."

Habash said the atmosphere in non-league games can be conducive to success.

"It's good competition against schools we wouldn't otherwise play," he said. "We try to play teams from outside our geographical area and the kids like it. They are somewhat exhibition games and it's good experience to play against other players.

"You have a whole different feeling than in a (Capital Hockey Conference) game. You don't have the pressure of league games and the kids can relax and just play hard."

Stein said the team was starting to mesh on the ice, which should lead to success as the CHC season winds down.

"Our penalty-kill has been doing pretty well for us and we're also starting to know where to expect each other on the ice," he said. "We've been getting good play in goal and that's keeping us in games."

But Stein believes the Braves still have room for improvement.

"We need to make smart passes to get out of our zone," he said. "We also need to stay calm and not push everything."

•SKATE FOR THE CURE - For the second consecutive season, Olentangy Orange will play Upper Arlington in a contest that will support the fight against breast cancer.

The Pioneers and Bears will play a CHC game at 8:20 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Dispatch Ice Haus, with all proceeds going to the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research. As was the case last year in the "Skate for the Cure" event, the teams will wear black-and-pink jerseys and socks.

Tickets are $5. Fans also can contribute by purchasing 50/50 raffle tickets and commemorative T-shirts as well as by participating in a silent auction and playing a chuck-a-puck game.

Last year's event raised more than $10,000, according to Upper Arlington Hockey Association president Tracy Beebe.

An Upper Arlington resident, Spielman, 42, died in November 2009 after a decade-long battle with breast cancer. She and her husband, former Ohio State and NFL linebacker Chris Spielman, became advocates for breast cancer detection and research, raising millions of dollars.

At a glance

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


Jan. 15 - Lost to Upper Arlington 2-0 in Ehrnfelt Tournament at Strongsville

Jan. 16 - Defeated Beavercreek 8-1 and tied Eastside (Mich.) at 3 in Ehrnfelt Tournament

Jan. 17 - Def. UA 4-0 in Ehrnfelt Tournament

*Jan. 21 - Def. UA 3-1

*Jan. 23 - Def. Worthington Kilbourne 6-0

*Jan. 29 - Cincinnati Moeller at Chiller North

*Feb. 4 - Dublin Jerome at Chiller North

Of note: The Patriots are 18-7-1 overall and 9-0 in the CHC. They were third in last week's district coaches poll behind Jerome and Dublin Coffman.


Jan. 14 - Lost to Bethel Park (Pa.) 5-1 in Bethel Park MLK Tournament

Jan. 15 - Def. Bowling Green 6-5 and lost to Gibsonia (Pa.) Pine-Richland 10-2 in Bethel Park MLK Tournament

*Jan. 21 - Lost to Coffman 7-4

*Jan. 22 - Def. Bloomington (Ind.) Blades 5-1

*Jan. 23 - Def. Thomas Worthington 3-1

*Jan. 28 - St. Charles at Dispatch Ice Haus

*Jan. 29 - DeSales at Chiller North

*Feb. 4 - UA at Chiller Dublin

Of note: The Braves are 16-10 overall and 5-3 in the CHC.


Jan. 14 - Lost to Thomas 3-2 (OT) in Thomas MLK Tournament

Jan. 15 - Lost to Springboro 5-2 in Thomas MLK Tournament

Jan. 16 - Def. Sylvania Southview 5-2 in Thomas MLK Tournament

Jan. 17 - Def. Kilbourne 7-1 in Red Division fifth-place game in Thomas MLK Tournament

*Jan. 22 - Tied St. Charles at 2

*Jan. 23 - Def. Gahanna 5-3

*Jan. 28 - Jerome at Chiller Dublin

*Jan. 29 - UA at Dispatch Ice Haus

*Feb. 4 - Thomas at Chiller North

Of note: The Pioneers are 11-9-2 overall and 6-3-2 in CHC. They were ninth in last week's district poll.

*Capital Hockey Conference game