The Prowler Hockey Association club team already has surpassed last season's win total and has matched its number of victories in Greater Columbus High School Club Hockey League play from a year ago.

The Prowler Hockey Association club team already has surpassed last season's win total and has matched its number of victories in Greater Columbus High School Club Hockey League play from a year ago.

"This team is coming along great," said second-year coach Bob McElheney, whose team finished 6-34-2 overall last season, including 2-22 in the GCHSCHL. "We struggled last year, but the year of experience is paying dividends already this season.

"We're growing every week. Even though we went through a little skid recently, we're going to be fine."

The Prowlers were 7-6-2 overall before playing Wooster in the Midwest Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 27 at Chiller North. Also in the event, PHA beat Cleveland Heights 4-3 on Nov. 25 and lost to Westerville 2-0 and beat DeSales 7-1 on Nov. 26.

The Prowlers are 2-5-1 in the GCHSCHL entering a game against Newark on Thursday, Dec. 1, at Lou & Gib Reese Ice Arena.

Connor Liden, a Hartley senior, has been one of many standouts for PHA thus far this season, according to McElheney.

"(Liden) has played with the Junior Lumberjacks in Cleveland, but decided to join us this year," McElheney said. "He's a left wing who has been driving our first line. He's our leading scorer and is naturally gifted. He's been a great fit with Dalton McElwain at right wing and Ryan O'Calla-ghan at center."

McElwain is a senior from Pickerington Central and O'Callaghan is a junior from Pickerington North.

Others returnees from Central are senior Devin North (forward) and juniors Joseph Ackley (goaltender) and Devin Hux (defenseman). Also representing North are juniors Jordan Crawford (defenseman), William Jones (defenseman) and Caleb Marsh (defenseman).

Returnees from Reynoldsburg are seniors Ben Dunlap (goalie), Paul King (forward) and Kyle Wojciechowski (forward). Also representing Reynoldsburg is freshman Garrett Bowers (defenseman).

Canal Winchester is represented by junior Brody Beckwith (forward), sophomore Caden Albert (forward) and freshman Logan Beckwith (defenseman), while senior Jacob Kuehn (forward) attends Teays Valley and senior Mark Maldovan (forward) goes to Liberty Union.

Hux and King are team captains and Maldovan and Dunlap are assistant captains for the Prowlers, who lost only five players from a year ago to graduation.

PHA opened GCHSCHL play with a 4-all tie against Dayton on Oct. 23 before beating Hilliard 3-1 on Oct. 28 and Northeast 6-3 on Nov. 5. However, the Prowlers have lost five consecutive league games and are fifth (5 points) in the standings behind Dayton (18, 8-0-2), Westerville (12, 6-3), Northeast (9, 4-4-1) and Newark (6, 2-1-2) and ahead of Hilliard (4, 2-6) and Athens (0, 0-5).

"We went through some rough patches last year, so I know this group won't be shaken by this bit of a spell," McElheney said. "We've got great chemistry. I think the best thing about this team is the unbelievable locker room. These guys are focused and have their heads screwed on straight."

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

Schedule

*Oct. 23 -- Dayton at Kettering Ice Arena

*Oct. 28 -- Hilliard at Chiller Dublin

Oct. 30 -- Wooster at Alice Noble Ice Arena

*Nov. 5 -- Northeast at OhioHealth Ice Haus

*Nov. 6 -- Westerville at Chiller Ice Works

*Nov. 12 -- Newark at Chiller Ice Works

*Nov. 13 -- Dayton at South Metro Ice Haus

*Nov. 18 -- Northeast at Chiller North

*Nov. 19 -- Westerville at Chiller Easton

Nov. 25 -- Cleveland Heights in Midwest Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller North

Nov. 26 -- Westerville and DeSales in Midwest Thanksgiving Classic

Nov. 27 -- Wooster in Midwest Thanksgiving Classic

*Dec. 1 -- Newark at Lou & Gib Reese Ice Arena

*Dec. 2 -- Westerville at Chiller North

*Dec. 9 -- Athens at OhioHealth Ice Haus

*Dec. 11 -- Athens at Bird Arena

*Dec. 16 -- Dayton at Chiller Dublin

*Dec. 17 -- Northeast at Chiller North

*Dec. 18 -- Hilliard at Chiller Easton

*Jan. 6 -- Dayton at OhioHealth Ice Haus

*Jan. 8 -- Athens at Chiller Ice Works

*Jan. 19 -- Newark at Lou & Gib Reese Ice Arena

*Jan. 20 -- Northeast at Chiller Easton

*Jan. 28 -- Westerville at Chiller North

*Jan. 29 -- Hilliard at Chiller Ice Works

*Feb. 3 -- Newark at Chiller Easton

*Feb. 5 -- Athens at Bird Arena

*Feb. 10 -- Hilliard at Chiller North

*League contest