Monday, April 8, 2013

A few notebook extras

Tuesday's notebook focuses on the Canon-McMillan hockey team and its recent hiring of Terry Virtue, a career minor leaguer and someone who played 888 games in the American Hockey League.

Because our space for Tuesday is kind of tight, I thought I would throw a few extras on here.

>>I asked Virtue, who as 12th all-time in penalty minutes, which of his traits as a player he hopes to see trickle down to his players.

"We're going to be a high-pressure team; we're going to pressure the puck," Virtue said. "We want to use a lot of speed and be physical."

>>Virtue is not taking over a team that's in serious need of a makeover. Yes, forward Blair Oldaker, forward/defenseman Anthony Tonkovich, forward Carmen Dalesandro and goalie Ryan Christian are gone, three of the top four scorers and the starter between the pipes.

But forwards Austin Tonkovich (No. 3 in scoring with 34 points during the regular season), Luc Tilley, James Oddi, Zach Mansmann, Colman Slain and defenseman Garrett Woznichak are all back.

Canon-McMillan finished 12-7-4 this season and reached the PIHL Penguins Cup Class AAA playoffs before falling to eventual champion North Allegheny, 2-1, in overtime in the quarterfinals.

The Big Macs scored 111 goals during the regular season, third-most in the classification, and gave up 55 to rank fourth in total goals against.

"From what I have been told, this team has quite a bit of talent," Virtue said. "I think that is a huge thing for me. We should win a lot of games."

>>Virtue will be working with all teams in the association and their coaches to bring a shared vision to the overall program, Canon-McMillan Hockey Associated president Bruce Ferguson said. Over the summer, he will coach the varsity team in the Mt. Lebanon Summer League and run a camp at the Southpointe Iceoplex.

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