Written by Jacob Hyde
STEVENS POINT — The 2023-24 Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) boys hockey season is one of changes for the Pacelli Co-op.
With the hiring of Jeff Parenteau as the new head coach, the loss of most of the scoring from last season and the addition of Rosholt High School to the mix as the fourth team in the co-op, the team has a vision heading into the season.
Paranto, Pacelli’s first-year coach, has experience playing youth hockey and coached his son within the IceHawks program at Stevens Point.
“I have a son who is in the Ice Hawks organization and I have helped him since he was 5 years old, as well as my other children. I have played hockey since I was 4 years old,” Paranto said. “My child is one year away from going to high school and he showed up This opening. I don’t want to finish coaching hockey.
Hiring a new coach means creating a new culture while trying to maintain some of what the previous coaches have already done.
This is something Parantu wants to focus on.
“I’ll keep the two assistant coaches who helped in previous years. I have new ideas I want to implement for our program,” Parenteau explained. “Kind of a fresh start, a clean slate for everyone, and then see what we can do with what we have.”
After going 13-11 last season, all five of their top scorers have graduated in 2022-23.
Mason Zielinski led the team with 28 goals and 49 total points. Eli Robinson, Logan Mendik, Jakob Hasler and Ben Westrick, along with Zielinski, scored 80 goals in the 2022-23 season.
“We have four seniors. You know, I think we gave up 75% of the points we got last year. “It’s going to be something we have to adjust to. We have some talent, and I think we’ll be fine. “I think we will surprise a lot of people.”
Another major departure was goaltender Carter Herheim.
The senior goaltender plays for the Cincinnati Cyclones in the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) in Division I for his senior season.
“Isaac Andrich will be our starter. He has shown me really good things,” said Parenteau. “They are aggressive in net, big and very quick, so I don’t think we will miss any opportunities.”
Pacelli begins his season on Tuesday, November 21, vs. Lakeland at Icehawks Arena in Stevens Point.
Puck drop at 7 p.m
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