Unionville boys hockey struggling to replace grads

After making the Flyers’ cup final last season, young team is challenged

By Dave Conard, Sports Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com

Unionville's Andrew Knight takes a shot. Knight is part of a young core for the Indians' looking to rebound after a slow start.

ASTON — Unionville coach Bill Hammond, who led the Indians to the Flyers Cup final last year, where they finished as runner up to Springfield, knew heading into the 2011/2012 season that filling the void left by and outstanding senior class would present challenges, but thus far 2011 has given the Unionville squad more than they bargained for.

It is to be expected that when you lose players like captains Matt Brady (8 goals, 5 assists, 13 points) and sniper Jon Murrison and his 14 goals and 9 assists, there has to be a drop off from the 10-4-2 regular season record that propelled last season squad into the Ches-Mont league championship game and class A Flyers Cup.

Unionville (0-4-0) has gotten out of the gate slowly but, like the legendary thoroughbred Secretariat, it may be all part of the master plan, as they have shown strides in the last two games toward last season form.

With the heart of the Ches-Mont schedule staring Monday with a tilt against West Chester Henderson, senior Connor Wilm and junior Andrew Knight (0 goals, 4 assists) will have their work cut out for them as they look to snag the first win of the season and get the momentum back on their side.

Defenseman Connor Wilm has helped to stablize the blue line for the young Indians.

As with any hockey team, success starts with defense, replacing defensemen Joe Corcoran along with net minder Chris Sutera and his .900 save percentage and 2.47 GAA would be a daunting task for any squad, but Wilm (0 goals, 1 assist) and company have adapted dwell with sophomore Josh Seder has played every minute in staking his claim to the pipes with a .781 save percentage.

“We knew it would be hard to play at the same level as last season when we had such a senior heavy team,” said Hammond. “It’s a long season and we have guys that are really buying into what we are trying to do, we just play in a very tough division of the Ches-Mont against some very good teams.”

The Indians offensive attack has been fueled thus far by young guns sophomore Nick Ward, who leads the team in scoring with 5 goals and 2 assists along with junior Drew Clark (2 goals, 3 assists).

Next on the schedule: West Chester Henderson at Ice Line quad rinks in the main arena at 7:40 on Monday December 5.

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