Tim Chugh saw a changing of the guard in his first season as coach of the Olentangy Orange High School hockey team.

Tim Chugh saw a changing of the guard in his first season as coach of the Olentangy Orange High School hockey team.

Tim Pennington was the only coach for the program until Chugh moved up from being an assistant. The Pioneers also have a new leader in career goals (99) and points (187) in Hunter Shepherd, a senior forward who also set the season record for goals with 42 and had 22 assists.

All three records were previously held by 2015 graduate Luke Buchy (89 career goals, 185 career points, 38 goals in a season).

"It was a great season for many reasons, but mostly because I got to see this group of seniors grow from boys into young men," said Chugh, whose team finished 16-13-3-2 overall, losing to top-seeded St. Charles 8-3 on Feb. 27 in the third round of the district tournament.

"I have coached seven of the 10 since mites or mini-mites, and it was great to see them get better and better."

Seventh-seeded Orange opened the postseason by defeating 15th-seeded Olentangy 3-1 on Feb. 20 in the second round. It also defeated the Braves 3-1 on Feb. 14 in the final of the Blue Jackets Cup consolation bracket.

The Pioneers finished fifth (20 points, 9-5-0-2) in the Capital Hockey Conference-Red Division behind St. Charles (28, 14-2), Dublin Jerome (24, 12-4), Dublin Coffman (23, 11-4-1) and Upper Arlington (22, 10-4-1-1).

Other top scorers were junior forward Mark Murley (24 goals, 36 assists), junior forward Josh Rochon (20 goals, 22 assists), senior forward Matt Gutkoski (19 goals, 8 assists) and senior forward Jason Chugh (7 goals, 12 assists).

Sophomore goaltender Ryan Suro-wiec had an .859 save percentage.

Junior Nick Brandt was a key defenseman.

Patriots fall to Jerome in tourney

Liberty finished 22-9-1-1 overall, losing to third-seeded Jerome 2-1 on Feb. 27 in the third round of district play.

Sixth-seeded Liberty had a first-round bye before defeating ninth-seeded Cincinnati St. Xavier 1-0 on Feb. 21.

The Patriots lost to UA 3-2 in two overtimes Feb. 11 in the first round of the Blue Jackets Cup.

Liberty (21, 10-4-0-1) won the CHC-White ahead of Gahanna (14, 7-8), DeSales (10, 4-9-0-2) and Cincinnati Moeller (9, 4-10-1).

Forwards Joey Bergamesca (15 goals, 12 assists), Colton Brucker (7 goals, 14 assists) and Ethan Flemming (11 goals, 23 assists) and defenseman Eric NeCamp (7 goals, 12 assists) led a 10-player senior class.

The Patriots expect to return their leading scorer in junior forward Jimmy Bursinger (29 goals, 16 assists) as well as junior forward Tyler Buckerfield (14 goals, 12 assists), junior defenseman J.T. Schoettmer (9 goals, 14 assists), junior forward Trenton Klosz (11 goals, 10 assists), junior forward Kent Stadulis (10 goals, 9 assists) and sophomore defenseman Sam Turner (6 goals, 13 assists).

Also expected back is sophomore goalie David Dew, who had a .933 save percentage.

"Overall it was a pretty good season," said coach Jack Hoog-eveen, who completed his ninth year. "We're losing some good kids, but we have some good ones coming back. Also, our j.v. team won their Blue Jackets Cup, so they have a lot to prove coming into next year."

Braves expecting strong nucleus back

With a junior-laden lineup, Olentangy finished 12-18-3 overall with its district tournament loss to Orange.

In the CHC-Blue, the Braves finished second (12, 5-8-2) behind New Albany (15, 7-7-1) and ahead of Thomas Worthington (5, 2-12-0-1) and Watterson (4, 1-12-2).

The senior class featured goalie Landon Diedrich (.855 save percentage), forwards Jonathan Butler and Justin Miner (5 goals, 6 assists in CHC games) and defensemen Nick Leidheiser and Christian Woogerd.

Scoring leaders expected back include junior forwards Mitchel Dietz (7 goals, 6 assists), Nick Sansone (7 goals) and Dan Shultz (6 goals) and junior defensemen Carter Conrad (6 assists), Anderson Hunt (5 goals, 6 assists) and Ryan Loris (5 goals, 8 assists).

Junior goalie Zach Triplett had an .855 save percentage.

"We have a good nucleus of juniors coming back and some more coming back from injuries that will help us," first-year coach Mike Ross said. "Our team played with a lot of confidence and excitement, and hopefully that can carry over into next season."