A strong group of forwards may help the St. Charles Preparatory School hockey team overcome the loss of 10 graduates from last season.

A strong group of forwards may help the St. Charles Preparatory School hockey team overcome the loss of 10 graduates from last season.

The Cardinals finished 22-9-2 overall after falling to Upper Arlington 4-2 in the second round of the district tournament.

"We lost 10 seniors and five of our six defensemen," second-year coach Art Roehrenbeck said. "We do return a good group of forwards who we will need to lead us. We have a lot of youthful enthusiasm, but we'll have to see how the younger kids come along."

Junior Julian Lacosse was the team's leading scorer last season and returns at forward along with seniors Tyler Brady and Connor Organ and junior Eric Cooke. Senior Jake Wade played forward last year but has switched to defense. Senior Alex Bowman is the only returning defenseman. Sophomores Richard Griffin and Teo Juratovac were backup goaltenders last season.

Also on the team are juniors Evan Cleary (defenseman), Graham Dolvin (forward), Nate Koval (defenseman), Scott Russell (forward), Alex Travis (goaltender), Patrick Travis (forward) and Brennan Weiner (forward), sophomores Kevin Dugan (forward), Landon Gruszewski (forward), Daniel Schmeling (defenseman) and Will Stechschulte (defenseman) and freshmen Ryan Brady (defenseman), Ryan Cleary (forward), Elliot Cooke (defenseman), Daniel Schirtzinger (forward) and Alex Ward (goaltender).

"Our j.v. team was third in the (Capital Hockey Conference) and they made the semifinals of their Blue Jacket Cup, so they had a pretty solid team," Roehrenbeck said. "A few of those kids were good enough to have been playing varsity for a lot of other teams, but we had a lot of seniors last year."

St. Charles finished fourth in the CHC at 9-4 (18 points), behind Olentangy Liberty (11-1, 22), Cincinnati Moeller (10-2-1, 21) and Dublin Coffman (10-2, 20) and ahead of Dublin Jerome (8-2-1, 17), Olentangy Orange (7-5-0-1, 15), Gahanna (7-5, 14), Upper Arlington (6-4-1-1, 14), Thomas Worthington (5-5-1-1, 12), Olentangy (5-7-0-1, 11), Worthington Kilbourne (3-9, 6), DeSales (1-10-1, 3), Dublin Scioto (1-11-1, 3) and Watterson (0-12, 0).

Not all the CHC teams played all 13 league games because of weather-related cancelations.

In the Blue Jackets Cup, St. Charles went 2-1 and beat Orange 2-0 in a consolation game.

"The league is always a question when you are turning over a roster like we have done," Roehrenbeck said. "But we're not the only team in the league to be losing key players."

"Last year, we were in a mix in the top quarter of the league," Roehrenbeck added. "I think we could be there again if we jell at the right time. We need to make sure that we learn a lot in our preseason tournaments so we'll be ready when the league schedule begins."

St. Charles opens with the Midwest Thanksgiving High School Hockey Classic, which runs Friday through Sunday at the three Chiller rinks.

The Cardinals play at 7:45 p.m. Friday against Whitehouse Anthony Wayne at Chiller Easton before playing Saturday against Strongsville at 7:45 a.m. at Chiller Easton and against Orange at 3:45 p.m. at Chiller Easton.

The schedule and sites for Sunday will be determined from the results of the first two days of the tournament.