Although the hockey team was seeded 15th and Cincinnati Moeller was seeded fourth for the district tournament, the Crusaders needed overtime to beat the Shamrocks 3-2 on Dec. 22 and edged Coffman 3-1 on Jan. 20.
The teams’ third matchup on Feb. 18 also was close, but the Crusaders took the lead with 2:02 remaining and held on for a 3-2 victory in a second-round game at OhioHealth Ice Haus.
“They did what we expected and I thought we looked great,” first-year coach Justin Taber said.
“Moeller’s tough and all of the games with them have basically been like that. We were telling (the players) to walk out with their heads high. We played hard.”
Coffman, which beat 13th-seeded Oxford Talawanda 9-0 on Feb. 17 in a first-round game at the Ice Haus, finished 6-18-2-3 overall and placed fifth in the Capital Hockey Conference-White Division at 3-11-0-2, behind Moeller (12-3-0-1), Olentangy (10-6), Springboro (7-7-1-1) and Olentangy Orange (6-9-1).
The Shamrocks had won three of their previous five games before the tournament loss, with one of the losses coming 5-4 in overtime to 10th-seeded Orange in the first round of the Blue Jackets Cup consolation tournament Feb. 9 at the Ice Haus. Coffman was the 11th seed for the Cup tournament.
Coffman is losing six seniors, including forward Adam Hoover, who had two goals in the win over Talawanda.
Junior forward Alek Willis and senior forward/defenseman Connor Keirsey scored in the tournament loss to Moeller.
Others eligible to return include juniors Tali Berzins (forward), Josh Curtin (defenseman) and Will Tate (defenseman), sophomores Keegan Hoover (forward), Bo Sung Kim (forward), Evan Mitchell (forward), Tomohiro Sakon (defenseman) and Cade Spiker (forward) and freshmen Thiago Jeronimo (forward), Ben Schepflin (forward) and Gavin Schiefferle (defenseman).
“They all pretty much stepped up this year,” Taber said. “I don’t think too much is going to change (heading into next season) other than adding a couple new bodies. We had a pretty young crew.”
November 28, 2017
The hockey team is intent on moving forward under first-year coach Justin Taber.
A 2008 Olentangy Liberty graduate who played and coached at the travel level and also played collegiately, Taber took over in the offseason after Darcy Cahill left to become DeSales’ coach.
Cahill had headed the program for four seasons, including leading the Shamrocks to a state semifinal in 2016, but the Shamrocks struggled to a 10-20-2-1 overall finish a year ago.
“We show up and expect to win every game,” Taber said. “Teams turn over so much from year to year that I don’t think it pays off to give teams too much respect based on what they did last year. We expect the guys to have the attitude that they’re going to win every single game.”
Coffman is 1-4-1 overall as it prepares to play four games in the Adam Allgeyer Memorial Showcase being held Thursday, Nov. 30, through Sunday, Dec. 3, at Chiller Dublin.
After opening with a 5-all tie against Toledo St. John’s on Nov. 18 and losing to Springboro 3-1 on Nov. 19, the Shamrocks went 1-3 in the Chiller Thanksgiving Classic held Nov. 24-26 at Chiller Dublin.
Coffman lost to St. Charles 6-2 on Nov. 24, beat Mentor Lake Catholic 6-2 and lost to Upper Arlington 4-2 on Nov. 25 and then lost to Cleveland St. Ignatius 3-1 on Nov. 26.
“We’ve got kind of a younger team and we’re trying to come together and work the new system,” junior forward Cam Andrews said. “It’s a little different than it was last year. We’ve got some younger guys and we want to keep it simple, do all the little things right.”
Coffman returns one of its leading scorers from a year ago in senior forward Adam Hoover (14 goals, 15 assists).
The other seniors are Wesley Beuck (goaltender), Joey DiCesare (defenseman), Ian Feit (defenseman/forward), Connor Keirsey (forward/defenseman), Mac Kenner-Aspery (defenseman) and Bear Spiker (forward).
Also on the team are juniors Tali Berzins (forward), Josh Curtin (defenseman), Will Tate (defenseman) and Alek Willis (forward), sophomores Keegan Hoover (forward), Bo Sung Kim (forward), Evan Mitchell (forward), Tomohiro Sakon (defenseman) and Cade Spiker (forward) and freshmen Thiago Jeronimo (forward), Ben Schepflin (forward) and Gavin Schiefferle (defenseman).
Taber, who played for Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, in 2010-11, was an assistant at Olentangy in 2014-15, coached at the U16 and U18 levels for the C-Bus travel program from 2014-16 and was the head coach of the Columbus Vikings bantam U14 travel team last winter.
“It seems like they’re getting along really well and jelling,” Taber said.
*Coach: Justin Taber, first season
*Top players: Cam Andrews, Wesley Beuck, Joey DiCesare, Ian Feit, Adam Hoover, Keegan Hoover, Mac Kenner-Aspery, Will Tate and Alek Willis
*Key losses: Chris Aman, Luke Babner, Matthew Foote, Brian Hoover and Spencer Thompson
*Last season: 10-20-2-1 overall
*2016-17 CHC-Red standings: St. Charles (28, 14-2), Olentangy Liberty (28, 14-2), Upper Arlington (26, 13-3), Dublin Jerome (22, 10-4-0-2), Coffman (7, 3-12-1)
*Note: The Shamrocks are now competing in the CHC-White with Cincinnati Moeller, Olentangy, Olentangy Orange and Springboro.
*2017 postseason: Def. Mason 11-1; lost to UA 5-1 in second round of district tournament
Nov. 18 -- Toledo St. John’s at Chiller Dublin
*Nov. 19 -- Springboro at Chiller Dublin
Nov. 24 -- St. Charles in Chiller Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller Dublin
Nov. 25 -- Mentor Lake Catholic and Upper Arlington in Chiller Thanksgiving Classic
Nov. 26 -- Cleveland St. Ignatius in Chiller Thanksgiving Classic
Nov. 30 -- Olentangy Orange in Adam Allgeyer Memorial Showcase at Chiller Dublin
Dec. 1 -- Jerome in Adam Allgeyer Memorial Showcase
Dec. 2 -- Parma Padua Franciscan in Adam Allgeyer Memorial Showcase
Dec. 3 -- TBA in Adam Allgeyer Memorial Showcase
*Dec. 8 -- Upper Arlington at OhioHealth Ice Haus
*Dec. 9 -- Olentangy at Chiller Dublin
*Dec. 10 -- Olentangy Orange at Chiller North
*Dec. 16 -- Olentangy Orange at Chiller Dublin
*Dec. 17 -- New Albany at Chiller Dublin
*Dec. 22 -- Cincinnati Moeller at Chiller Dublin
*Jan. 5 -- Jerome at Chiller Dublin
*Jan. 6 -- DeSales at Chiller Dublin
*Jan. 7 -- Watterson at Chiller Dublin
Jan. 12 -- Toledo St. John’s in Martin Luther King Tournament at Tam-O-Shanter in Sylvania
Jan. 13 -- Upper Arlington and Cincinnati St. Xavier in Martin Luther King Tournament
Jan. 14 -- TBA in Martin Luther King Tournament
*Jan. 19 -- St. Charles at Chiller Dublin
*Jan. 20 -- Cincinnati Moeller at Northland Ice Center in Cincinnati
*Jan. 27 -- Springboro at South Metro Ice
*Jan. 28 -- Thomas Worthington at Chiller North
*Feb. 3 -- Olentangy at Chiller North
*Feb. 4 -- Gahanna at Chiller Easton
Feb. 8-11 -- Blue Jackets Cup at TBA
Justin Taber was introduced as the new coach of the Dublin Coffman High School hockey team May 15.
A 2008 Olentangy Liberty graduate who has played and coached at the travel level and also played collegiately, Taber replaces Darcy Cahill, who left after last season to become the coach at DeSales.
Cahill led the Shamrocks to a 68-54-8-1 record in four seasons and guided them to the 2016 state tournament.
Taber has been coaching at the high school and travel levels since 2014.
″(Coffman has) got such a solid program,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity.”
The Shamrocks went 10-20-2-1 last season.
Taber played for the Olentangy club team as a freshman in 2004 and was a member of the inaugural Ohio AAA Blue Jackets U16 team in 2005. He then competed for that program’s U18 team from 2006-08 before playing for the Brockville Braves Junior A team in Brockville, Ontario, from 2008-10.
Taber played at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, in 2010-11.
He was an assistant at Olentangy in 2014-15, coached at the U16 and U18 levels for the C-Bus travel program from 2014-16 and was the head coach in 2016-17 for the Columbus Vikings, a U14 bantam travel team.
“His passion for the game of hockey shines through immediately,” athletics director Duane Sheldon said. “His philosophy of developing our student-athletes off the ice as well is consistent with ‘the Rock mentality.’ His energy, along with holding the boys accountable, we think is a great fit.”