Paupack will be looking for a return to championship form this winter at the Ice Box in Pittston. The Bucks already own a pair of NEPSHL titles, but Coach Lance Landolfi's lads haven't been to the title tilt in three years...a drought they're hoping to end this season...

This just may be the year for Paupack to win another championship at The Ice Box in Pittston.

The Buckhorns have already dropped the puck on the 2009-‘10 NEPSHL season and are beginning to show flashes of the form that brought home a title back in ‘07.

“I?think this is going to be an exciting year,” Coach Lance Landolfi told TWI Sports. “The kids are working hard in practice and playing hard during games.”

Paupack boasts an intriguing mix of battle-tested veterans and talented youngsters. The Bucks will bring eight seniors to the ice this winter, but are also expecting serious offensive output from several underclassmen.

Coach Landolfi’s lads forged a split their first two NEPSHL matches. The Bucks opened the regular season with a 6-3 victory over Crestwood, but then suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Scranton.

“Scranton is a good team, but we could have won that game,”?said Coach Landolfi. “We were missing three starters, but the younger kids really stepped it up. I’m proud of them.”

Paupack will be back on the ice this weekend in Pittston. The Bucks are slated to take on Wyoming Area Sunday at 6:10 p.m.

Stay tuned to TWI Sports for continuing coverage of Paupack’s NEPSHL?title quest.

Transition Time
When Scott Van Gorder hung up his skates three years ago, it was time for Paupack’s program to undergo a transformation.

Van Gorder was the founder and driving force of Buckhorn ice hockey. All three of his sons played for Paupack and helped bring a pair of NEPSHL titles back to Wayne County.

Lance Landolfi stepped into the void created by Van Gorder’s retirement and began re-tooling the varsity and JV?teams.

Paupack suffered some serious growing pains in the beginning. The Bucks managed just a 3-11 overall record in 2007-‘08, but things started turning around last winter.

With some much-needed experience under his belt...and an influx of talented new players...Coach Landolfi finally settled in behind the bench. Last year, a revitalized Paupack squad finished fourth in the regular season?standings and made a deep run in the NEPSHL play-offs.

The Bucks eventually fell in the quarterfinals, but closed out the season with an excellent 9-4-3 record.

A quartet of seniors (Andrew Clauss, Steve Savarese, Wyatt Gross and Dillon Cilento) said farewell to the program...but, handed the leadership mantle to an eager new group.

Eyes on the Prize
Joe Jermain is back between the pipes for Paupack.

A senior who was among the league leaders in several major statistical categories last year, Jermain is the prototypical ice hockey goalie. He’s fearless and athletic...a fiery leader, but also calm under pressure.

Offensively, Paupack put on an impressive display in last Sunday’s 6-3 Opening Night victory over Crestwood.

Defensemen Jeff Alderfer & Jared Whitby tallied a pair of goals each, while forwards Nick Landolfi &?Bobby Schick lit the lamp once apiece.

This past weekend, Paupack went into its game with Scranton at a distinct disadvantage. The Bucks were forced to play without Jeff Alderfer, Mike DeCaro and Bobby Schick...a sad fact that led directly to Scranton’s last minute 4-3 win.

Dan Fair, Kevin Smith and Nick Landolfi each found the back of the Knights’ net, but it simply wasn’t enough. Scranton hammered home a power play goal with just 50 seconds left in regulation to claim victory.

“That was a tough loss,”?said Coach Landolfi. “But, I’m very happy with how we played. The effort was excellent. Everyone stepped it up in the absence of Jeff, Mike & Bobby. I’m not worried: we’ll get another shot against Scranton in February.”

The JV?Scene
The future of Paupack hockey appears evidenced by an explosive Week One performance from the Bucks’ junior varsity squad.

Four players scored two goals each as the local lads rolled to an 11-5 rout of Wyoming Area.

Tristan Hefty led the attack with an “Ovechkin-like” seven point outing. Hefty lit the lamp twice and handed out an eye-popping five assists.

Tom Smith, Kevin Smith & Dan Fair also tallied two goals apiece, while Jared Wierbowski, Jonathan Rutledge and Bryan Becker scored one each.

Becker also made an emergency start as goalie and allowed just one first period tally.