Having lost two goaltenders from a year ago to graduation, Upper Arlington High School hockey coach Jay Graham didn't count on having a surplus of goalies this season.

Having lost two goaltenders from a year ago to graduation, Upper Arlington High School hockey coach Jay Graham didn't count on having a surplus of goalies this season.

That's proven to be the case, however, as seniors Geoff Chidester and Greg Doub and junior Richard Griffin all have played regularly with mostly positive results. The Golden Bears are 18-11 overall and 12-1 in the Capital Hockey Conference, good for first place in the CHC-White Division with 24 points, 10 points ahead of second-place Olentangy Orange.

"They all have played very, very well, so I can't justify not keeping that rotation going," Graham said. "We just thought we'd see who would stand out, who'd take on that role and say, 'I'd be the guy.' But all of them have played really well. It's not that they haven't stepped up to the plate. It's that all of them have stepped up to the plate. It's been a great thing to have."

Doub leads the trio with a .923 save percentage, having stopped 156 of 169 shots in nine appearances.

Chidester has an .883 save percentage (190 of 215) in 10 appearances, slightly better than Griffin's .853 save percentage (168 of 197) in 11 appearances.

"I think we're all at about the same skill level," Chidester said. "Occasionally, one of us is going to have an off night in terms of consistency. But we're all talented enough that I had a feeling (Graham) would use a three-guy rotation."

Each of the three brings different styles, however. Graham said Chidester and Griffin are more orthodox - an assessment with which they agreed - and that Doub relies more on his flexibility.

"Greg is the most unorthodox of the bunch," Graham said. "It's unreal how flexible he is. It's an unorthodox style, but it has served him well these past few games. He's been very, very good. It's fun to see all three of them in their own way develop and have the same results."

Griffin, who transferred from St. Charles before this season, believes he might be benefiting the most from the arrangement.

"I'm a junior and they're both seniors, so I wasn't sure I'd get much playing time at all. It's sort of a bonus for me," said Griffin, who disputes the notion that he is fresher because of limited playing time.

"It depends. I don't know that it matters. As long as I'm focused, I feel like I'm going to play well. I think I'd feel fresh no matter what."

Chidester thinks his stamina is higher because of the rotation.

"I absolutely feel fresher now than I have in the past," he said. "I played 38 games last year (with the Cincinnati-based AAA Queen City Steam) and I know I feel better this year."

UA has four regular-season games remaining before the Blue Jackets Cup, which runs Feb. 10-12 at OhioHealth Ice Haus. Three of those games are this weekend, starting Friday, Jan. 27, against Olentangy Orange at the Ice Haus.

The Bears defeated the Pioneers 3-1 on Jan. 21.

"We've peaked during our league games," Graham said. "We're extremely pleased with that. We've had a relatively tough schedule outside of the league, which we knew we would. But we got to the championship game of the (Midwest Thanksgiving Classic, losing to Carmel, Ind., 5-2 on Nov. 27).

"I thought we performed three of the four games extremely well at (Lakewood) St. Edward's tournament (in which UA went 1-3 from Dec. 27-29). But I think that we're finding that we still need to finish.

"We still need to be a better scoring team to give our goalies more support."