Titans welcome veterans back for boys' hockey success

The Tartan Titans boys' hockey program is looking forward to a successful season this year with some key players returning to the ice to compete, according to co-head coach Steve Romanchuk.

"We have a nice blend of seniors, juniors and sophomores on our team this year," Romanchuk said.

"Other than that, we are somewhat short on experience. Of the six returning, only two saw extensive on-ice duties a year ago. We hope to become seasoned veterans in a hurry this year," he said.

Romanchuk coaches the team with Jim McElmury.

Senior captains Jay Friberg, Jeff Jackson and Nate Straka will lead the Titans this season.

Friberg will anchor the defensive corps while Jackson and Straka will lead the way up front as forwards.

Last season, the Titans finished the Classic Suburban Conference (CSC) with a mark of 9-7 and overall record of 14-9-1.

Three goalies total are on the Titans' varsity roster, juniors Evan Hauser, Brian Loibl and Justin Holmberg, and they may also help out the JV team.

Phil Spock and Tyler Merth, both senior forwards, and defense junior Austin Espelien will back up the Tartan captains.

On the coaching side of the rink, Ray Sierakowski will return as the back up varsity coach with McElmury and Romanchuk.

Coach Bob Tallarico will assist the Tartan goalies and Tom Johnson, Nick Hauly and Nick Fuerst will lead the JV athletes.

The coaches said Hill-Murray and St. Thomas will be competitors for the championship as well as North and Mahtomedi.

The Titans opened the season with an invitational hockey showcase last weekend with Mounds View, Park and Rogers.

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