Tartan in search of scoring punch

It’s only one game but the season opener for the Tartan High School boys hockey team might have the team thinking of big things this winter. The Titans put up six goals against Roseville on Saturday.

That kind of offensive explosion is what the coaches are hoping for this season. 

“We need to improve on our scoring output,” said Tartan co-head coach Steve Romanchuk. “Balanced scoring would compliment out goal of keeping our goals-against average at two or lower.”

Romanchuk and fellow co-head coach Ray Sierkowski have a team whose strength starts in the crease with a pair of solid netminders in seniors Julius Huset and Michael Hughes. Providing support in front of the goal is the senior defensive trio of Jerred Vejtruba, Jordan Thompson and Sam Poganski. Tartan’s returning forwards include seniors Nick Steinberg, Andy Henderson, Ben Engwer, Nate Reddy and Dan Betz and juniors Joey Schommer, Sam Lindahl and CJ Acker.

“We will be anchored by two outstanding goalkeepers, experienced defensemen and a nice core of experienced forwards,” said Romanchuk.

Plenty of offseason work and a positive outlook are two more things that Tartan has going for it this year.

“We have players who were willing to work and make improvements over the summer,” Romanchuk said. “Good attitudes and desire will hopefully be a good recipe to experience a successful season.”

Tartan finished 12-13-1 last year despite starting the campaign 0-3-1 and going 0-3 to close out the regular season. In between, the Titans put together an 18-game stretch where they were 12-6.

A strong first period propelled Tartan to a 6-3 victory over Roseville in the season opener for both teams on Saturday afternoon. The Titans scored three times in the opening 17 minutes and kept the Raiders at least two goals behind the rest of the game.

Tartan got the first-period barrage started about midway through when Reddy found the back of the net off an assist from Acker. Acker got the first of two goals less than 30 seconds apart when he converted at 14:34 of the first off assists from Wyatt Toll and Reddy. 

Reddy made it 3-0 at 15:01 of the first with an unassisted goal.

Roseville cut into the lead five minutes into the second but Schommer restored the three-goal cushion at 9:34 with assists from Steinberg and Poganski. 

The Raiders answered three minutes later but Tartan went to the locker room after the second period up by three thanks to Toll’s goal that came via assists from Schommer and Henderson.

Roseville’s last gasp came midway through the third but Schommer closed out the scoring with five minutes left. Steinberg assisted.

Tartan held the Raiders to 18 shots on goal and Titans’ netminder Hughes made 15 saves to pick up the victory.

Tartan is in action twice this week, starting Tuesday with a home game against another Suburban East Conference team in Forest Lake. On Saturday, it’s road trip time as the Titans head south on Highway 52 to take on the Eagles of Rochester Lourdes.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.


2015-16 Tartan High School boys hockey schedule
Nov. 21    vs. Roseville        3 p.m.
Nov. 24    vs. Forest Lake        7 p.m.
Nov. 28    at Rochester Lourdes    2 p.m.
Dec. 4    vs. Thief River Falls    7 p.m.
Dec. 5    vs. Crookston        2 p.m.
Dec. 10    vs. South St. Paul    7:30 p.m.
Dec. 12    at Mahtomedi        7:30 p.m.
Dec. 17    vs. Hastings        7:30 p.m.
Dec. 19    at St. Thomas Academy    3 p.m.
Dec. 22    vs. Hill-Murray        7:30 p.m.
Jan. 2    vs. Irondale        3 p.m.
Jan. 7    at Simley            7:30 p.m.
Jan. 9    vs. Mahtomedi        3 p.m.
Jan. 12    at Rochester JM        7:30 p.m.
Jan. 14    at Hill-Murray        7:30 p.m.
Jan. 19    at Park-Cottage Grove    7:30 p.m.
Jan. 21    vs. Spring Lake Park    7:30 p.m.
Jan. 23    at Holy Angels        2:30 p.m.
Jan. 28    at North St. Paul        7:30 p.m.
Jan. 30    vs. St. Thomas Academy    3 p.m.
Feb. 2    at East Ridge        7:30 p.m.
Feb. 4    at South St. Paul        7 p.m.
Feb. 6    at Henry Sibley        3 p.m.
Feb. 11    vs. North St. Paul    7:30 p.m.
Feb. 13    vs. Mounds View        3 p.m.

 

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