In three years with the New Albany hockey team, Brandon Barash has yet to finish a season with more goals than assists.
Barring a dramatic turnaround, that will happen again, and that's exactly how Barash wants to finish a career.
Not only does Barash have 12 goals and 34 assists, but he recently became the program's all-time single-season leader in assists and is closing in on the career points record.
Barash has 40 total goals, 72 assists and 112 points for the Eagles, who are 17-13-2 overall entering the Blue Jackets Cup on Thursday, Feb. 13, at OhioHealth Ice Haus and finished 10-5-1 with 21 points in the CHC-Red Division. Seeded fourth in the eight-team championship bracket, New Albany will take on fifth-seeded Dublin Jerome in the first round.
"I am sure there are times I could have taken a shot, maybe a low-quality shot, but I have a lot of trust in my linemates, Jackson (Buss) and Matthew (Moellering), to create space for themselves. It's easy to find them when they're open," Barash said. "One of my goals this year was to be less selfish with the puck and be more of a contributor team-wise. I guess it's reflected so far and I am proud of myself for doing that, but it's a reflection of my teammates as well because without them being in the right place, I wouldn't be anywhere close to where I am now.
"Just the fact that I am even holding one record right now and maybe two (eventually), yes, that's probably always in the back of your mind in any sport."
Tyler Riddle amassed 119 points from 2015-18.
Barash recorded his 30th assist this season, breaking Alex Arenschield's single-season mark from two years ago, during a 2-0 win over St. Charles on Jan. 24. Barash long ago passed previous career assists leader Ryan Sellars, who had 47 from 2015-17.
The Eagles' program is in its seventh season.
Moellering's 53 career goals are second to Riddle's 75, yet another achievement that does not surprise Barash and some of his eight classmates.
This nine-member senior class is 68-54-5-8 overall and 34-22-2-5 in league play, including having helped New Albany to its first district semifinal last season.
"We've definitely exceeded our own expectations," defenseman Aidan Doyle said. "The program has come a long way. We have the numbers now and a deeper bench. Our team is strong. This group of seniors, we're leading and setting an example for the years to follow."
Barash, Buss and Moellering have comprised the Eagles' top line for the last two seasons.
"We played together last year and we played together before high school. We've developed a friendship off the rink, too, and I think that helps us on the ice. You don't have to look. You just know where they are on the ice," said Moellering, who after graduation will become the sixth member of his family to attend West Point, following his great-grandfather, grandfather, father, uncle and cousin. "When we come down on a two-on-one, Brandon will look for a pass more than a shot and if they crash on one of us and he's open, he's a solid double threat (with scoring and assisting)."
New Albany finished league play with two wins last weekend, 3-0 over Olentangy Berlin on Feb. 7 and 7-2 against Springboro the next day.
"We've had something special this year," Barash said. "I know we can carry that into the tournament."
Swimming teams head to district meet
Three swimmers won two events apiece during a Division I sectional meet Feb. 8 at Thomas Worthington, leading to a sweep of the boys and girls team championships as 15 girls and eight boys advanced to district Thursday, Feb. 13, at Ohio State.
For the boys, Patrick Daly won the 100-yard breaststroke (58.98 seconds) and 200 individual medley (1:55.44) and Tommy Morris was first in the 50 freestyle (21.45) and 100 free (47.99), leading New Albany to 257 points and first place ahead of runner-up Hilliard Darby (197) as 13 teams scored.
On the girls side, Ava Lachey won the 50 free (23.47) and 100 free (50.72) as the Eagles amassed 400 points to almost double runner-up Gahanna (215) as 13 teams scored.
The winner of each event automatically qualified for district. In addition, 27 at-large district berths were awarded in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites.
Other boys winners at sectional were Jimmy Lapsley in the 100 backstroke (51.58), the 200 free relay (1:28.7) and the 200 medley relay (1:36.48). For the girls, Sydney Boals won the 100 breast (1:07.11), Olivia Hovorka was first in the 100 butterfly (56.46), Mia Lachey won the 200 free (1:52.43), Carly Meeting won the 100 back (56.58) and the 200 free relay (1:38.52), 200 medley relay (1:48.8) and 400 free relay (3:35.48) all finished first.
Ava Lachey (100 free), Lapsley (100 back) and Meeting (100 back) earned the top seeds for district, from which the top two placers in each swimming event automatically advance to the state meet Feb. 21 and 22 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded for each swimming event based on times district statewide.
The boys diving district meet was Feb. 12 at Ohio State, followed by the girls meet the next day. The top six boys advanced to state Feb. 22, and the top four girls will advance to state Feb. 20.
Girls basketball team preps for tourney
The girls basketball team will get a rematch of its closest win of the season when it plays host to 31st-seeded Olentangy Berlin in the first round of the Division I district tournament Saturday, Feb. 15.
New Albany, which is seeded 22nd of 48 teams, is 10-12 overall and finished 5-5 in the OCC-Capital with a 47-38 loss at Canal Winchester on Feb. 7. Brooklyn Gammon had 11 points to lead the Eagles.
New Albany defeated Berlin 47-46 on Jan. 11, part of a stretch in which the Eagles won three games in a row and six of eight.
The winner will visit eighth-seeded Watkins Memorial for a second-round game Feb. 21.
Wrestlers fall in team dual tourney
The wrestling team fell to seventh-seeded Big Walnut 60-21 in the Division I, Region 5 team dual tournament Feb. 8 at Marysville, but the Eagles will get another try at defeating the Golden Eagles when they meet in the final OCC-Capital dual of the season for both teams Thursday, Feb. 13.
New Albany, which was seeded 10th of 14 teams, won four matches Feb. 8.
Jimmy Ovalle edged Christian Jodrey 15-11 at 126 pounds, Owen Perry pinned Micah Evans in 2:15 at 132, Colin Swincicki pinned Nick Delgreco in 44 seconds at 120 and Michael Zusman needed only 10 seconds to pin Collin Gamble at 145.
Football players announce decisions
Four football players announced their college destinations Feb. 5.
Patrick Gurd will play at Ohio State -- where he will be a preferred walk-on -- Brody Kidwell will play at Cornell, Tim Marshall will play at Ohio Northern and Dom Zappitelli will play at Case Western Reserve.
Below is the coming schedule for the New Albany boys basketball and wrestling teams:
*Feb. 14 -- At Franklin Heights. The Eagles defeated the Falcons 67-44 on Jan. 10.
Feb. 28 -- Home vs. 17th-seeded Reynoldsburg or 27th-seeded Dublin Scioto in second round of Division I district tournament. The Eagles are seeded 15th.
*Feb. 13 -- At Big Walnut
Feb. 15 -- Nye Cardinal Classic at St. Charles
Feb. 18 -- At Granville
Feb. 19 -- At Columbus Academy