Chris Ridgway knew he had big skates to fill when he became the Dublin Coffman High School hockey team's first-line center.

Chris Ridgway knew he had big skates to fill when he became the Dublin Coffman High School hockey team's first-line center.

A long line of dominant scorers have manned that position, including 2008 graduate Anthony Rogers, 2007 graduate Michael Strine and 2006 graduate Matt Kirstein.

During their senior seasons, Kirstein scored 57 goals and 31 assists, Strine had 43 goals and 34 assists and Rogers had 64 goals and 38 assists.

Ridgway, a senior, admitted he wasn't sure if he would be able to live up to those standards, considering that he never previously had been the Shamrocks' go-to scorer or even played center at the high school level.

But Ridgway has answered the challenge. Through 28 games, he had 29 goals and 19 assists and a plus-33 rating. Coffman was second in the area coaches poll last week.

"Chris has always been a good player, but this year we needed him to step up and become a more dominant player for us, and I think he's done that," coach Perry Pooley said. "This is the first year where he's been our top offensive player, and he knows guys are going to hit him, but he's been able to keep focused on the task at hand and continuing scoring.

"I don't know that Chris is the pure scorer that Anthony was, but he's stronger and he can be a more physical and dominant player. He's got a little bit of all those guys' qualities. He's physically strong like Matt, which helps him turn corners and keep his balance. He's good with the puck like Strine, and he can get hot and score in bunches like Anthony."

Ridgway said he's worked on becoming more mentally prepared.

"I felt a little bit of pressure to become a more consistent scorer because I felt like I needed to be the guy that filled that role this season," Ridgway said. "Coach Pooley has taught me a lot about how to not only play the game but also how to prepare for it. I used to not take hockey as seriously as I do now, and I'd just show up and play. Now I start to get mentally focused about an hour before I even get to the rink, and that's helped me become a guy my team can depend on."

Ridgway is earning a reputation as a clutch goal-scorer. In the CHC opener against Upper Arlington on Dec. 5, Ridgway scored on a breakaway with 2 minutes, 31 seconds left in overtime to give the Shamrocks a 5-4 victory.

Ridgway scored a goal and had an assist during a 2-all tie against Lakewood St. Edward on Dec. 29. St. Edward entered the game ranked first in the state poll.

During a 4-3 win over Olentangy Liberty on Jan. 9, Ridgway also scored twice, including a goal to put the Shamrocks ahead 3-2. The win over Liberty was key as the Patriots are considered Coffman's top competition to win the CHC regular-season title.

"I usually score more in big games because that's when I become more determined," Ridgway said. "I don't rack up a lot of points in games with big margins because I'm more of a clutch scorer."

With Coffman continuing to utilize four forward lines, Ridgway realizes that he isn't likely to score quite as many points as Kirstein, Strine or Rogers did as seniors. Those players logged more ice time than Ridgway, as the Shamrocks ran only three forward lines last year and only two to three forward lines the previous two seasons.

"But I don't really care about the scoring records," Ridgway said. "The only records I care about are how many games we win and how far our team makes it in the tournament. We've never won a district championship before, but we're not going to settle for that as our goal. We want to win the state championship, and I feel like we can do it because we've got more depth than we've ever had here.

"If I score less points than the guys that came before me but we win district and state championships, I'll be really happy. I won't remember how many goals or points I scored years from now. The only thing I'll remember is how many games and championships we won."

The Shamrocks' Greg Strine (right) is congratulated by Sam O'Brien after scoring a goal last Saturday against DeSales. Coffman won 4-3.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Coffman, Jerome and Scioto hockey teams:


Jan. 17 -- Defeated Worthington Kilbourne 6-2

Jan. 18 -- Tied Toronto (Ontario) Upper Canada College at 0; def. Cleveland Benedictine 7-3

Jan. 19 -- Def. Parma Normandy 5-1

*Last Friday -- Def. Gahanna 5-1. Sam O'Brien scored two goals and Tyler Anderson, Ryan Cohagen and Kevin Putnam scored one. Alex Rogers had 17 saves.

*Last Saturday -- Def. DeSales 4-3. Nick Kreber, O'Brien, Jeff Hoover and Cohagen scored and Colin Eberhart had 12 saves.

*Last Sunday -- Played Worthington Kilbourne

*Today -- At Chiller in Dublin vs. St. Charles

*Friday -- At Chiller North vs. Thomas Worthington

Saturday -- At Dispatch Ice Haus vs. Sylvania Southview

Sunday -- At Chiller in Dublin vs. Sylvania Northview

Of note: The Shamrocks were 21-3-4 overall and 10-0-1 in the CHC before last Sunday.


Jan. 17 -- Def. Cincinnati Sycamore 6-1

Jan. 18 -- Def. Centerville 5-2; lost to Evanston (Ill.) Township 5-4

Jan. 19 -- Lost to Evanston Twp. 4-3

*Last Friday -- Def. Olentangy 6-2. Jake Howell and Kurt von Zychlin scored two goals and Joey Nahay and Matt Adolph scored one. Wes Faulkenberry had 15 saves.

*Last Saturday -- Lost to Olentangy Liberty 6-2. Justin Young scored two goals.

*Last Sunday -- Played Thomas Worthington

*Saturday -- At Ice Haus vs. Upper Arlington

*Sunday -- At Chiller in Dublin vs. DeSales

Of note: The Celtics were 15-9-1 overall and 8-2-1 in the CHC before last Sunday.


Jan. 16 -- Def. Toledo Ottawa Hills 8-2

Jan. 17 -- Def. Cincinnati Elder 5-4; lost to Akron Hoban 6-0

Jan. 18 -- Lost to Hoban 4-2

*Last Friday -- Lost to Upper Arlington 8-1. Liam Patridge scored.

*Last Saturday -- Lost to Olentangy Orange 6-4. Chris Akins, Fran Filice, Logan Rosevear and A.J. Levell scored.

*Last Sunday -- Played St. Charles

*Friday -- At Chiller in Dublin vs. Kilbourne

*Sunday -- At Chiller North vs. Olentangy Liberty

Of note: The Irish were 4-18-2 overall and 0-11 in the CHC before last Sunday.

*CHC game