Puck drops for Elder hockey

Elder varsity hockey starts season with games against Sycamore, St. Xavier, and Toledo Springfield.

On November 9th, Elder Varsity hockey beat Alter 3-1 in the first scrimmage of the year. The scrimmage was followed by defeats in the Troy and Beavercreek scrimmages.

On November 22nd, less than two weeks after the victory over Alter, Elder hockey started its regular season with a game against Sycamore at the Cincinnati Gardens. Just after 9:30 p.m., the puck dropped in the first faceoff of the season.

Within the first few minutes of the first period, the Sycamore Aves scored the first goal on Elder. The Aves would score two more goals by the period’s end. Their scores did not go unanswered as Elder sophomore Josh Antone scored a goal for the Panthers with assists by juniors Evan Erpenbeck and Charlie Sehlhorst. This brought the score at the end of the first period to 3-1 with Sycamore winning.

Sophomore Josh Antone scored Elder's first goal of the season.
Sophomore Josh Antone scored Elder’s first goal of the season.

In the second period, Elder junior assistant captain Jason Martini scored a goal on the Aves. However, it was not enough and Sycamore would score three more on Elder by the end of the period, bringing the score to 6-2 at the end of the second.

Junior Jason Martini scored the second goal on Sycamore
Junior Jason Martini scored the second goal on Sycamore

After a short rest before the third and final period, the Panthers and Aves hit the ice once more. The Elder Panthers fought hard to stop them, but the Sycamore Aves scored their last four goals in the final period alone. The final score was a 10-2 loss.


The next day, Elder returned to the Cincinnati Gardens for a 1:00 p.m. game against GCL South rival St. Xavier. Hardened by the loss to Sycamore, the Panthers came onto the ice more coordinated than before. The Panthers were more determined and psyched up than ever, but St. Xavier scored two points in the first period.

No matter how hard the Elder Panthers worked to stop them, the Bombers kept on scoring. The Panthers’ defense kept St. X to just four points in the second period, a mere two more points than the first.

In the third period, a large fight broke out. Junior Eric Mazza took a swing at a Bomber before the refs entered the fray and broke up the fight. Eric Mazza and freshman Ronnie Larkin were put in the penalty box, giving Xavier a power play.

A fight broke out between Panthers and Bombers in the 3rd period.
A fight broke out between Panthers and Bombers in the 3rd period.
Junior Eric Mazza skating his way towards the penalty box
Junior Eric Mazza skating his way towards the penalty box

“I think it was worth it in the end,” said Mazza about getting a penalty. “He was giving our goalie some trouble and you have to protect the team.”


Before the end of the third, St. Xavier scored a total of five unanswered goals on Elder. At the game’s end, the score was 9-0, a win for the St. Xavier Bombers.


Even though the game was a shutout for Elder, the team played noticeably better than the night before. They showed more coherence and worked more as a team. It was this coordination that made for an exciting game against St. Xavier.

Wrapping up the weekend, the varsity hockey team traveled north to Toledo for a 12:45 p.m. game against Toledo Springfield on Sunday. The result was a loss, but with a 5-3 score, the Panthers were closer to a win than in the first two regular season games. Two of Elder’s goals were scored by head captain Sam Coffaro, and Eric Mazza respectively. Freshman Ronnie Larkin also scored for Elder. Assists were made by juniors Coffaro and Jake Tiernan.

It has been a rough season for Elder varsity hockey so far. However, they are only three games into the regular season. Mazza has faith in the team and said, “I know we’re off to a bad start but I can’t wait to put some wins in that record book. I think we have a young, solid team. I’m excited to say the least.”

He elaborated, believing, “We can only go up from here. We just take it game by game, we like being the underdogs.”

With more than 24 games left, the Panthers certainly still a lot have time to pull together and win against their opponents.