Mentor Ice Arena West Rink and Zamboni
Mentor Ice Arena West Rink and Zamboni
Kira Florek

Hockey Season Highlights

The highlights of this year’s boys varsity hockey season.

Regular Season Highlights

Mentor’s High School Hockey team had an exciting season with a 17-13-0 record. From nail-bitting games to full out wins, this team has seen it all.

They began their season with a big win in the tournament at Kent State.

Face off, Mentor against Armhurst (Kira Florek)

The Cardinals then played in the Pioneer Classic in Columbus, Ohio over the MLK weekend. They suffered three losses with one win in the final game of the tournament. The only goals of the tournament came in the final two games from Mathew Friel, Austin Andrews, A.J. Trobenter, Rowan Jakupa (2), and Anthony Burger (2). Though they had some struggles in the regular season against Rocky River, they ended up showing them up in their final confrontation, 3-0, in their own barn. Dominic Trem, Bobby Ivancic, and A.J. Trobenter scored in the shut-out win. The Cards were in a close game versus Benedictine which ended in a 3-2 overtime win with the game-winning goal coming from A.J Trobenter.

Goal Celebration against Armhurst (Kira Florek)

Senior night was another highlight win against Amherst as one of the last regular season games. The celebration of the seniors was only complimented with the 4-0 win at home. Goals came from Joe Mackey (2), Bobby Ivancic, and Anthony Burger. The win gave Ryan Wilkinson his 6th shutout of the season. This gave them the #1 seed in the end of season tournament, the Barons Cup.

Unfortunately, the team did end up losing in the championship of the GCHSHL Baron’s Cup in a tight game. The Cards loss was to Benedictine, 3-2, despite the 31 saves by Ryan Wilkinson. The goals were tallied by Austin Andrews and Joey Burger. However, all their hard work in the season payed off since they won the Red Division Regular Season Title. With this, they played towards a spot in the state playoffs.

A.J. Trobenter and Anthony Burger against Kiski Prep (Kira Florek)

Playoff Highlights

They started off strong with a 11-1 win against Macedonia Nordonia. Assistant Captain Anthony Burger lit up the score board with 3 of the 11 while Captain Rowan Jakupa had 2 assists. Dominic Trem, another Assistant Captain, tallied a goal and an assist, Bobby Ivancic scored 2 goa

Ryan Wilkinson against Kiski Prep (Kira Florek)

ls with 2 assists, and Nick Biondolilo also took home 2 goals. Alex Horton factored in with a goal and an assist while Austin Andrews and A.J. Trobenter finished off the scoring for the Cards. Beckett Swinehart also assisted on one of Anthony Burger’s goals.

Unfortunately, they suffered a devastating 4-1 loss versus Shaker Heights in the second round of playoffs. Mentor’s only goal belonged to Bobby Ivancic with an assist from James Mellas. Though, five of the Cardinals were selected for the all-league team: Ryan Wilkinson, Austin Andrews, A.J. Trobenter, Rowan Jakupa, and Mathew Friel. Who knows what next year will hold, but the Cardinals did have quite a season.

Cardinal Nation was given the opportunity to talk with the four captains; Rowan Jakupa, Anthony Burger, Joey Burger, and Dominic Trem of the varsity hockey team about their experiences this season.

Anthony Burger against Amherst (Kira Florek)

Cardinal Nation: How do you think your season went this year?

Anthony Burger: I think we had a solid season, a little shaky to start, but we got it together and started winning.

Dominic Trem: We’ve had some ups and downs, but for the most part it’s pretty good.

Rowan Jakupa: I think its taken some unexpected turns.

Cardinal Nation: What was your favorite memory from this season?

Dominic Trem: Favorite part of the season was probably the one we won at Benedictine in overtime.

Joey Burger: I gotta say doing Secret Santa at Columbus.

Rowan Jakupa: Probably beating Rocky River 3-0 in their own barn. It was great to have that comeback after losing to them twice in a row.

Rowan Jakupa against Amherst (Kira Florek)

Cardinal Nation: What was the biggest challenge the team faced this year?

Anthony Burger: I think just kinda getting our lines together and stuff; we had some struggles with that at the start. It was just hard to find chemistry between guys, but we ended up getting that figured out.

Joey Burger: I mean we lost our, I think, best defenseman last year so obviously it was hard to have to step up, but I think I did pretty well though.

Rowan Jakupa: Early in the season we weren’t clicking very well, we weren’t talking very much out there, so lines weren’t really flowing very well, so we changed those up. We had a little bit of a fall, and now it’s back to the grid, everybody’s working hard. Struggling with people being healthy and not, but keep pushing through that.

Cardinal Nation: What was the team’s biggest accomplishment this year?

Anthony Burger: We won a tournament in Kent this year, so that’s probably, so far, our biggest accomplishment.

Dominic Trem: I feel like our best accomplishment was that we only lost one game in the division the whole season.

Joey Burger: Being first in our division.

Joey Burger against Team Ohio (Kira Florek)

Cardinal Nation: How would you compare this season to the past seasons you have played for Mentor?

Anthony Burger: It’s different; it’s weird being a senior; it’s a different team, different guys. We had a lot of guys graduate, so it’s a just very different team, different season, and I guess that’s all I got.

Dominic Trem: It’s different because I’m used to being the young guy on the team and now I’m a junior and you have to take the role as a leader and it’s a little bit different without all the big guys from last year and stuff.

Joey Burger: I mean honestly it’s first year I was a captain and first year I had to step up. Last year I was injured so I didn’t really play that year, but it’s been nice. It’s been different playing, though, but it’s been fun.

Rowan Jakupa: Past seasons have been really different. I’ve been kinda coached through how to be and leader all that. My freshman year, being the only one on varsity, its kind of a new experience, and then just carry and put it down to the younger people. Its just such a nice feeling since I get to feel like the people above me next year, and its just a really nice feeling all in all.

Cardinal Nation: What was your favorite part about being a leader on the team?

Anthony Burger: I don’t know. I just kinda liked being the older guy; its just kinda fun. You are just the top of the team; I don’t know how to explain it.

Dominic Trem: You know just like helping out the young guys a lot, seeing all the freshmen and just taking them under your wing.

Joey Burger: Bossing people around!

Rowan Jakupa: Definitely to see all the new people and old people, bring them all together into one cohesive group. It feels really nice to see all them come together.

Dominic Trem against Team Ohio (Kira Florek)

Cardinal Nation: What do you think the team will look like next year after losing the seniors?

Dominic Trem: You know we’re gonna have to definitely make some adjustments, but you know we did the same thing last yea. We’ve lost a lot of crucial players, but we’re gonna find a way to work it out and a lot of your best are going to step up.

Cardinal Nation: What will you miss most about playing for the Mentor High School team?

Anthony Burger: Just the team and coaches, parents. There is always a lot of support here; it’s just a good group of guys and a good community.

Joey Burger: All those guys, obviously. I’m not playing hockey in college, so yeah I’ll missing seeing all of them.

Rowan Jakupa: The camaraderie, it’s like a family being with these boys. We come here almost every single day and put in our best effort and are back at it the next day.

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