Since stepping away from the Thanksgiving table, the Worthington Kilbourne High School hockey team has competed in two tournaments and earned two trophies for its play.
The Wolves finished fourth in the USA White Division of the Midwest Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller North after losing the third-place game to Burlington (Ontario) Lester B. Pearson 5-2 on Dec. 1.
They then were runners-up in their weather-shortened Kilbourne Tournament, falling to Olentangy Orange 11-1 in the championship game Dec. 8 at Chiller North.
"We ran out of gas (against Orange), but we never gave up. ... We competed until the end, and that's what we want to be known for," said coach Paul Roman, whose team is 5-3 overall and 0-1 in the Capital Hockey Conference-Blue Division. "It's hard for the guys to play that many games in that short of time this early in the season, but we didn't lose our focus. We didn't pick up bad penalties and we didn't lose our cool. I can't fault our effort because Orange is just a good team."
Ryan Agner scored against Orange and goaltender Jacob Eymann had 25 saves.
The Kilbourne Tournament was scheduled to run Dec. 6-8, but bad weather forced the cancellation of games the first day. The event was cut from three games per team to two before the championship.
The Wolves opened Dec. 7 by defeating Olentangy 5-1. Agner and Mike Roman both scored twice, Scott Humes had one goal and Eymann had 23 saves.
The win avenged a 2-1 loss to Olentangy on Nov. 23 in Kilbourne's only league contest.
"The first time we played Olentangy, we have a half hour in penalty minutes and this time we had three total penalties," coach Roman said. "Going from 30 minutes to six minutes in the penalty box is pretty significant, but that's part of the teaching process and coming together as a team. We know we can't come out and have stupid penalties and we have worked on that."
Also Dec. 8, the Wolves defeated Thomas Worthington 17-4 to advance to the championship game.
In the Midwest Thanksgiving Classic, Kilbourne lost to the PHA Prowlers 5-2 on Nov. 29 before defeating McKees Rocks (Pa.) Montour 3-2 and Watterson 8-1 on Nov. 30 to reach the third-place game in its division.
"It's good to be able to start strong and get two pieces of hardware in two weekends," coach Roman said. "We have to stick to our basic philosophies of staying out of the penalty box and keep working as a team."
Thomas looking to get back on track
Thomas is 3-4 overall and 1-0 in the CHC-Blue entering its matchup against Olentangy on Friday, Dec. 13, at Chiller North.
The Cardinals were 2-2 in the Midwest Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller Dublin, taking fourth in the Ohio-Red Division with a 6-5 shootout loss to Olentangy on Dec. 1 in the third-place game.
"We were up 5-2 early in the third period against Olentangy and things were going well," coach Steve Otto said. "(The Braves) called a timeout and they came out with some fire, they got some momentum and got us on our heels.
"We know we can play with them, and we match up well against them. We look at what we did in that game and we can make some corrections. We need to make sure that when they turn it up a notch, we need to go with them."
In the Kilbourne Tournament, the Cardinals lost to Orange 10-0 on Dec. 7 and Kilbourne 17-4 on Dec. 8.
Tom Pischel scored three times against Kilbourne and Riley Maloney scored once. Chris DiMarco had six saves and Zach Graham had one.
"Things went south (in the Kilbourne Tournament)," Otto said. "Orange is a very good team and they really exposed us and beat us 10-0. That carried over in the Kilbourne game and we just didn't play well all weekend. We have to get back to competing like we did earlier in the season."