The Westerville Warcats have one of the most productive forward lines in the Greater Columbus High School Club Hockey League in Brandon Boll, James Bradshaw and Jacob English.

The Westerville Warcats have one of the most productive forward lines in the Greater Columbus High School Club Hockey League in Brandon Boll, James Bradshaw and Jacob English.

English had 20 goals and 20 assists, Boll had 22 goals and 12 assists and Bradshaw had 16 goals and 24 assists through 31 games.

"We've played on the same line together all year and we have a good connection," Boll said. "We can anticipate where the other guys on our line are going and we pass the puck well between us."

However, assistant coach Brad Bloomberg said improved scoring depth was one of the main reasons the Warcats already had matched last season's win total, when they finished 19-19-6.

Several other players contributed to Westerville's scoring through 31 games, including forwards Christopher Spies (11 goals, 12 assists), Brendan Brosnahan (10 goals, 11 assists), Austin Siemer (9 goals, 9 assists) and Tyler Ahearn (5 goals, 10 assists) and defenseman Kyle Arens (2 goals, 12 assists).

"We're deeper this year, and our second and third lines are contributing more to our scoring, which has helped our first line be even more productive," Bloomberg said. "We're getting scoring from a lot of different people and that helps, because other teams can't focus on shutting down just one line."

Through 31 games, goaltender Matt Knapp was 17-6-2 with a 2.68 goals-against average, 450 saves and a .874 save percentage.

Leading Westerville on defense through 30 games were Arens (plus-16), Jacob Ganger (team-high 113 hits), Sean McNally (plus-12), Vincent Murdock (71 hits) and Wyatt Pagel (2 goals, 5 assists).

"Matt Knapp is part of our backbone and he's been real sharp," Bloomberg said. "Kyle Arens and Jacob Ganger are giving us good leadership on defense."

The Warcats enjoyed their experience of competing in a four-team tournament in Detroit on Jan. 14 and 15 even though they went 1-1-1 and placed third in the event.

After opening the tournament by tying Birmingham (Mich.) at 4, the Warcats lost to Hamilton (Ontario) 4-2 and bounced back to beat Newark 5-3.

"Any time you travel and stay with your team in a hotel, it's a good team-building experience," Bloomberg said. "We saw some good competition that will only make us better. The Canadian team was good. They knew how to get into the right position and they could really pass the puck."

Westerville beat Newark 4-1 in a GCHSCHL game Jan. 20, as Boll and Bradshaw each scored two goals, before losing to Hilliard 6-1 in a league contest Jan. 21.

The Warcats will play Northeast in a league game Friday, Jan. 27, at Chiller Ice Works.

Westerville lost to Northeast 4-3 on Oct. 29 and beat the Storm 3-2 on Nov. 25 and 8-4 on Dec. 4.

"Northeast has struggled a little bit this year, but they still have some very good players and they've beaten some good teams, so we know it won't be an easy game," Boll said. "Our goals for the rest of the season are to beat Hilliard (on Feb. 4 at Chiller Dublin) and to finish in the top four of our league standings to qualify for the state playoffs. To beat a team like Hilliard and keep winning, every aspect of our game will need to be at its finest. We can't have any more breakdowns the way we did the last time we played Hilliard."

The Warcats (9-6, 18 points) are third in the GCHSCHL behind Hilliard (12-1-1, 25) and Newark (9-3-2, 20) and ahead of Northeast (6-6-2, 14), PRPC (5-7-1, 11) and Athens (0-18-0, 0).