Upper Arlington High School hockey coach Jay Graham isn't shy about his expectations for this season.

Upper Arlington High School hockey coach Jay Graham isn't shy about his expectations for this season.

A speedy front line and veteran defense have the 15th-year coach thinking this could be the Golden Bears' best season since 2006-07, when they reached a state semifinal. Last season, the Bears finished 18-11-1-1 overall, placed fifth in the five-team Capital Hockey Conference-Red Division and reached the third round of the district tournament.

UA is in the CHC-White this season with DeSales, Gahanna and St. Charles.

"We're definitely a little bit bigger and we have a lot of team speed," said Graham, whose team opened Nov. 22 with a 4-1 league loss to St. Charles and a 6-2 loss to Bowling Green on Nov. 24. "We're really excited about our prospects. We went up to Toledo and we played Whitmer (on Nov. 8) and they caught the wrong end of us. We beat them 14-1 or 15-1 and then we played the (last year's) state runner-up, (Sylvania) Northview, and lost 3-2 (on Nov. 9). We played very well. We're excited about what we look like this year. We think this will be one of our better teams in quite a while."

Sophomore forward Danny Logan, who had a team-high 25 goals and 13 assists last season, returns to lead the offense and is expected to play on the top forward line with juniors Jason Schumacher and Cam Walker.

Logan and 2013 graduate Jack Whitman tied for the team lead in points last season with 38.

According to Graham, the second forward line will consist of seniors Will Marable, Owen McClellan and Zac Richards. Senior Carter Braet, sophomore Cole Kaparos and junior Nate Langworthy will start the season on the third line, ahead of seniors Evan Lewis and Chris Wagner and freshman Jack Dolan.

McClellan said Richards, a son of Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards, is UA's fastest player.

"When he gets going, well, he's one of the fastest guys I've ever played with," McClellan said. "We all worked hard and got a lot faster so we can outskate anyone we play."

The defensive corps consists of seniors Nick Mastruserio, Reid Neri and Alex Wu, junior John Scott, sophomore Carl Jacobson and freshman Nick Tevonian.

"We have a couple nice freshmen in Jack Dolan and Nick Tevonian, both of whom came to varsity ready to play," Graham said. "We have Will Marable, who we've been wanting for all three of his years here. We're glad to have him."

Coming off an offseason in which he said he worked on his mental approach to the game, junior Cole Abbott takes over as starting goaltender. Last season, he stopped 194 of 215 shots (.902 save percentage) as the backup to 2013 graduate Richard Griffin.

"I don't try to overcomplicate things, because when I do I get nervous about my game and make little mistakes," Abbott said. "Last year, if there was a rush, like a 2-on-1, I'd try to think whether (an opposing player) would shoot or hold the puck and I'd get myself out of position. In goaltending, it's usually all about positioning."