With 20 players on its roster, the Worthington Kilbourne High School hockey team will be able to do something this season that it wasn't able to do during the first four seasons of coach Tom Erlenbusch's tenure.

With 20 players on its roster, the Worthington Kilbourne High School hockey team will be able to do something this season that it wasn't able to do during the first four seasons of coach Tom Erlenbusch's tenure.

"We can actually roll three (forward) lines out there, and we've never had that luxury," said Erlenbusch, whose team opens against Cincinnati St. Xavier on Friday, Nov. 25, in the Midwest Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller Dublin. "Typically, we've gotten tired in the past after a period and a half, and this will certainly help."

Along with some depth, Kilbourne returns plenty of experience from last season, when it finished 6-21-1 overall, as it lost only two players from a year ago to graduation.

The Wolves went 2-11 (4 points) in the Capital Hockey Conference last season to finish 12th, behind co-champions Dublin Jerome (12-1, 24) and Olentangy Liberty (12-1, 24) as well as Cincinnati Moeller (11-2, 22), Dublin Coffman (10-2-1, 21), St. Charges (7-4-2, 16), Upper Arlington (7-4-1-1, 16), Olentangy Orange (7-6, 14), Thomas Worthington (5-7-1, 11), Gahanna (4-9, 8) and DeSales (3-9-0-1, 7) and ahead of Dublin Scioto (1-12, 2) and Watterson (0-13, 0).

Kilbourne opened the district tournament last season with a 9-1 win over Kettering Alter before losing to third-seeded Coffman 7-1 in the second round.

The Wolves expect to be led by a junior class that includes forward Patrick Roman, who was the team's leading scorer last season with 22 goals and 11 assists.

"We're not playing catch-up this year," Roman said. "We've got a lot of guys who are back for their second and third years and our depth should help. I remember my freshman year we had only 10 skaters and you'd only get off the ice for 30 seconds."

The Wolves return a three-year starter at goaltender in senior Joe Fisher. The only other seniors are defender Perry Dilley and forward Andrew Dowler.

Other juniors are defender Nick Marinelli and forwards Nathan Walters, Austin Taylor (4 goals, 7 assists), Garren Erlenbusch (3 goals, 7 assists), Reid Sampson and Davis Wolf. Rounding out the team are sophomore forwards Tucker Haas, Scott Humes (4 goals) and Ben Piecenski (4 goals) and sophomore defenders D.J. Freer and Noah Veccia.

Coach Erlenbusch is looking for more production this season.

"We weren't scoring nearly as many goals as we should have last season and our defense held us in games," he said. "Our forwards just couldn't keep up and ran out of stamina. Our depth should help with that."

The 14-team CHC has been divided into three divisions this season, with Kilbourne joining DeSales, Scioto and Watterson in the blue division. Each team will play division opponents twice and other league opponents once in a 17-game schedule.

"We're looking to improve our record dramatically," coach Erlenbusch said. "Teams like Coffman, Liberty and Jerome who've finished high in the league have been heavy in numbers with a lot of guys trying out. The one area I'm concerned about is our goaltender. We have one. If we lost him, we're in a pickle."