Tom Erlenbusch realized his Worthington Kilbourne High School hockey team faced a major obstacle in third-seeded Dublin Coffman during the second round of the district tournament.

Tom Erlenbusch realized his Worthington Kilbourne High School hockey team faced a major obstacle in third-seeded Dublin Coffman during the second round of the district tournament.

But the fourth-year coach believed his team played well in a 7-1 loss to the Shamrocks on Feb. 20 at The Dispatch Ice Haus, finishing the season 6-21-1 overall.

"The last time we played them (Jan. 29), they run-ruled us 10-0 in the second period," Erlenbusch said. "Our (junior) goalie Joe Fischer had the game of his life (with 51 saves) and our team came out and played well to trail only 1-0 after one (period). One of our seniors, Joey Jacob, got the goal, so that also was great."

The Wolves beat Kettering Alter 9-1 in their opening-round district game on Feb. 19 at Chiller Dublin. Jacob scored three goals and sophomore center Austin Taylor had two. Senior defenseman Matt Agner, sophomore left wing/center Patrick Roman, sophomore right wing Davis Wolff and freshman defenseman/right wing Noah Veccia all scored once.

"It was really good to end the season on a positive note," Erlenbusch said. "Our two seniors meant everything to us and next year we'll have some big shoes to fill."

Roman finished with 22 goals and 11 assists and Jacob had 17 goals and 17 assists. Agner had 10 goals with one assist and Taylor had eight goals with seven assists.

Other juniors expected to return are defenseman Perry Dilley and goaltender Jim Day. The sophomores include right wing Andrew Dowler, right wing Garren Erlenbusch (3 goals, 7 assists), defenseman Nick Marinelli, right wing Reid Sampson and defenseman Nathan Walters.

Freshmen included defenseman Tucker Haas, right wing Scott Humes (4 goals), right wing Cody Mathess and left wing Ben Piecenski (4 goals).

"We should have everyone back except for the two seniors," Erlenbusch said. "We only have five freshmen coming in, so it would be better to have more of them, but that's all that I know of."

The Wolves went 2-11 (4 points) in the CHC to finish 12th of 14 teams. Dublin Jerome and Olentangy Liberty tied for the title at 12-1 (24 points) with Cincinnati Moeller in third at 11-2 (22) and Coffman in fourth at 10-2-1 (21). St. Charles (7-4-2) and Upper Arlington (7-4-1-1) tied for fifth with 16 points followed by Olentangy Orange (6-4-3, 15), Olentangy (7-6, 14), Thomas Worthington (5-7-1, 11), Gahanna (4-9, 8), DeSales (3-9-0-1, 7), Kilbourne, Dublin Scioto (1-12, 2) and Watterson (0-13, 0).

• Thomas finished 14-13-2 overall with a 5-2 loss to Orange in the opening round of the district tournament on Feb. 19 at Chiller Dublin. Junior defenseman Kyle Gratz and freshman forward Tommy Pischel scored.

"Losing the way we did to Orange with bad breaks and some defensive mistakes, the kids might not realize just how well they played this season," first-year coach Don Harper said. "We broke .500 for the season and with the young team we had. I don't know if anyone thought we would do that well."

The Cardinals had three seniors in forward Jimmy Danko (12 goals, 2 assists), goaltender Hilton Dellinger (3.11 goals-against average in nine games) and senior forward Shane Hartlaub (15 goals, 31 assists).

"I think the seniors meant a lot this year," Harper said. "They gave us solid leadership and Shane, who was our captain, led by example and gave everything he had."

The Cardinals expect to return their leading scorer in sophomore forward Will Byars (21 goals, 24 assists). Other scoring threats expected back are junior defenseman Kyle Gratz (17, 13), junior forward Harrison Cohan (10, 19), sophomore defenseman Brett McCarthy (8, 12), freshman forward Tommy Pischel (8, 10), junior forward Graham Nadler (8, 3), sophomore defenseman Nick Highley (6, 9) and freshman forward Riley Mahoney (6, 7).

Sophomore goalkeeper Jonathan Highley had a 2.52 goals-against average in 21 games, and freshman goalie Sean Lima had a 1.62 average in eight games.

Also expected back are junior forward Jacob Brumfield (1, 1) and junior forward Andrew Wallace (2 assists), as well as sophomore forward Sam Bachmann and sophomore defenseman Quintin Schomaker. Other freshmen included forward Kevin Hill, defenseman Liam Martin and defenseman Kevin Sholes.

"Everyone added something to the team and we had a number of young fellas contributing," said Harper, whose team won the Blue Jackets Cup consolation tournament for a second consecutive season.

"We were pretty much a freshman-sophomore team. I think we have a solid foundation for next year and that comes from their hard work."

AT A GLANCE

KILBOURNE

•Record: 6-21-1 overall, 2-11 (12th, 4 points) in CHC

•Seniors lost: Matt Agner and Joey Jacob

•Key returnees: Perry Dilley, Garren Erlenbusch, Joe Fischer, Patrick Roman, Austin Taylor and Nathan Walters

THOMAS

•Record: 14-13-2 overall, 5-7-1 (9th, 11 points) in CHC

•Seniors lost: Jimmy Danko, Hilton Dellinger and Shane Hartlaub

•Key returnees: Will Byars, Harrison Cohan, Kyle Gratz, Jonathan Highley, Nicholas Highley, Brett McCarthy and Tommy Pischel