The Westerville club hockey team is looking for consistency as it gets closer to the postseason.

The Warcats are 13-14 overall and 7-8 in the Ohio Scholastic Hockey League entering a game Saturday, Jan. 12, against Hilliard at Chiller North. They defeated the Wildcats 8-4 on Nov. 9.

Westerville then caps the weekend with a league game against PHA on Sunday, Jan. 13, at Chiller Easton.

After losing six of their previous eight games, the Warcats defeated PHA 3-1 on Jan. 5 at Chiller North and Northeast 1-0 on Jan. 6 at Chiller Easton.

"We're starting to figure out what it takes to win hockey games," coach Jordan DiGiando said. "We're doing some of the little things right. I'm happy for the guys. I'm proud of them. It's been a little bit of growing pains and trying to figure out what we need to compete every night and (last) weekend was a good show of that."

Nicholas Frissora, Benjamin Mannino and Santo Scillia each scored and goaltender Sean Coonfare had 38 saves against PHA. Coonfare stopped 35 shots and Cullen Haskell scored against Northeast.

"Sean was really good the whole weekend," DiGiando said. "Props to Sean and props to the way the team is playing. We kept a lot of shots perimeter and allowed him to see the pucks, so that helped as well."

Westerville and Northeast (6-8-2) are tied for fourth in league with 14 points, trailing first-place Dayton (33, 15-0-3). Newark is second (23, 9-1-5) and Hilliard is third (16, 7-7-2).

The Warcats have played without freshman forward Sedric Cowans, who has been out with a collarbone injury. DiGiando is hoping Cowans will return to action later this month.

"He's a freshman, but he's definitely been missed as an offensive player," DiGiando said.

DiGiando is in his first season at the varsity level after replacing Brian Thompson, who now is an assistant with Hilliard.

"Coming in as a first-year head coach, there's a lot that I needed to learn as well," said DiGiando, who coached the junior varsity last season. "Normally by the time you get to the midway of the (season) or January, the players know what's expected, they know the system and it's getting them to buy into it."

Last season, Westerville finished 11-33-7 overall and 3-18-3 (9) in the league.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

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