PRESEASON CONFERENCE RANKINGS
LOCATION: Tiffin, OH
COACH: Rudy Brownell is in his eighth season as the head coach. He has won 87 games in his career at the school.
2014 RECORD: 12-5-1 overall; 11-3 GLIAC
2014 POSTSEASON: Lost 1-0 to Drury in opening round of NCAA tournament.
THE CORNERSTONE: Jr. M/F Andre Carvalho-Landell (14 goals, 7 assists — named offensive player of the year in the conference).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Sr. F Michael McPeek (9 goals, 6 assists); Sr. F Cedric Bruce-Kotey (5 goals, 2 assists); So. M Daniel Fallon (2 goals, 3 assists); Sr. D Samuel Oki (named defender of the year in the league).
OUTLOOK: Offensively, the Dragons will be as potent as they were last year, especially with Landell back. Filling the void at goalie will be key as Jeremy Ashley was the best keeper in the conference last year. Tiffin, an experienced team, is no doubt the favorite in the conference and is expected to play in the NCAA tournament one more time.
LOCATION: Midland, Mich.
COACH: Doug Carter has been the head coach at Northwood since the program began 14 years ago. He has won 107 games during his time at the school.
2014 RECORD: 14-4-1 overall; 10-3-1 GLIAC
2014 POSTSEASON: Lost 5-2 to Saginaw Valley in second round of NCAA tournament.
THE CORNERSTONE: Johannes Sterobo (50 saves — was named an all-region selection last season).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Keaton Levock (9 goals, 3 assists); Adam Thomas (5 goals, 3 assists); Gino Pasquali (6 goals, 3 assists).
OUTLOOK: Defense will play a huge role in the success of Northwood. Sterobo allowed just 18 goals in 19 games and he will make it difficult for teams to score against him. The offense is in great shape as well with Levock back in the fold. He led the team in goals and points last year. The Timberwolves are poised to make another run at the conference championship. They should also be a contender in the national tournament.
Saginaw Valley Cardinals
LOCATION: University Center, Mich.
COACH: Andy Wagstaff is in his first season. He takes over a team that reached the Sweet 16 for the second time in seven years.
2014 RECORD: 14-5-2 overall; 9-3-2 GLIAC
2014 POSTSEASON: Lost 3-0 to Quincy in Sweet 16.
THE CORNERSTONE: Sr. F Tyler Channell (6 goals, 6 assists — earned all-region honors last season).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Jr. F Jordan Kalk (7 goals, 2 assists); So. M Alexsander Isaevski (4 goals and 9 assists); So. GK Alex Bouillennec (82 saves).
OUTLOOK: Channell is primed to build off what he accomplished last season and the talent around him is top notch as well. The Cardinals will feature one of the best attacks in the league and be in great shape defensively with Bouillennec in goal. He gave up only 25 goals last season. The Cardinals made a deep NCAA tournament run last season and could should be in a position to do it again this year.
Lake Erie Storm
LOCATION: Painesville, OH
COACH: Davie Carmichael is headed into his fifth season. He was named the coach of the year in the conference in 2014.
2014 RECORD: 11-5-2 overall; 9-3-2 GLIAC
THE CORNERSTONE: So. F Stuart Campbell (5 goals, 2 assists — top returning scorer for the Storm).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Jr. M/F Ryan Gibson (1 goal, 5 assists); Jr. D Joseph Coombs (3 goals); Jr. GK Filip Ljubevski (73 saves).
OUTLOOK: Lake Erie doesn’t have one of the most high-powered offenses in the conference, but it does enough to get the job done and will be effective again this season. Lubevski only allowed 13 goals, allowing less than one per game, and will give the Storm a chance to win every game it plays. The Storm was one of the hottest teams by the end of the year, winning its last eight of the regular season, and that momentum should carry over into this year as Lake Erie takes aim at a conference championship.
LOCATION: Canton, OH
COACH: John Hall is in his fifth season. He has won 134 games in his overall coaching career, including 30 at Walsh.
2014 RECORD: 7-9 overall; 5-9 GLIAC
THE CORNERSTONE: Jr. F Bailey Moody (4 goals — second-leading goal scorer last season).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: So. M Michael Saddler (1 goal, 3 assists); Sr. M Dillon Parsons (2 assists); So. GK Jon-Paul Della Pia (20 saves).
OUTLOOK: Walsh has several players capable of stepping up at any given time. It doesn’t have a lot of experience in the goalie spot but Della Pia has a chance to make a big impact in a more prominent role. Walsh won its last two games of the 2014 season. A strong start to 2015 could set the stage for a winning season.
Ohio Dominican Panthers
LOCATION: Columbus, OH
COACH: Willy Merrick is in his ninth season as the head coach of the Panthers. He has won at least seven games each year.
2014 RECORD: 7-11 overall; 5-9 GLIAC
THE CORNERSTONE: Jr. F Andrew Schwall (5 goals, 1 assist — leading returning goal scorer for the Panthers).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Sr. M Brent Wahle (4 goals, 2 assists); So. M Tanner Ebright (2 goals, 4 assists); Sr. GK Justin Alexander (71 saves).
OUTLOOK: Schwall and Wahle will be the keys to success for the Panthers offensively. Alexander gives Ohio Dominican a veteran presence in goal. This is a team that should get to at least 10 wins. The Panthers have several players who gained valuable experience a year ago. That should translate into improvement and at least a .500 season.
LOCATION: Findlay, OH
COACH: Andy Smyth is in his 27th season at Findlay. He has won 192 games in his career with the men’s program.
2014 RECORD: 4-13 overall; 3-11 GLIAC
THE CORNERSTONE: Sr. F Mark Sleasman (5 goals, 3 assists — earned all-conference honors last year).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Sr. M Jordan Gozelski (5 goals, 2 assists); So. F Ryan Husband (4 goals); Jr. GK Joe McClanahan (76 saves).
OUTLOOK: The Oilers have players with experience, including two who scored five goals last season. Making good on opportunities and getting a great effort in goal from McClanahan should result in Findlay being able to add a few more wins to its record this year. The Oilers are eager to turn things around. If Findlay can start strong in league play, it has an opportunity to put together a winning season.
LOCATION: Canton, OH
COACH: Brian Stock is in his fourth season as the full-time head coach of the men’s team. He was a four-year letterwinner at Akron during his playing career.
2014 RECORD: 2-13-1 overall; 1-12-1 GLIAC
THE CORNERSTONE: Sr. M Sam Tonelli (2 goals, 1 assist)
THE SUPPORTING CAST: R-So. F Nick Astalos (2 goals, 1 assist); Sr. GK Jon Crabbs (122 saves).
OUTLOOK: Only two players return who scored more than a goal last season. Tonelli will not only be counted on for his ability to score and make plays, but also for his leadership. Crabbs is the only goalie back with experience and will play a huge role in helping the Pioneers take a step forward. The Pioneers lack experience. But as the season rolls along, they should show signs of improvement and be playing their best at the end of the year.