Perrysburg’s Pisula plays hockey ‘the right way’


SYLVANIA — If you’re influenced by the 1977 movie “Slap Shot” starring Paul Newman, you might get the idea that penalties in hockey are a good thing.

There may be some truth to that when marketing a professional team, and coaches often don’t mind if a player gets an occasional penalty. It shows that player is giving his all.

Then there is Perrysburg High School hockey player Troy Pisula, who coach Kevin Fisher says plays hard and is aggressive, but he has not gotten a penalty all season.

The other coaches in the Northwest Hockey Conference Red Division have noticed, too, so they voted Pisula the NHC Red Dunn Sportsperson of the Year.

“Troy Pisula played all year without a single penalty, which normally in that situation you’re thinking maybe the kid is maybe a bit of a shrinking violet or just doesn’t know,” Fisher said.

“But he’s one of our leading scorers and one of our biggest hitters. He plays the game the way it is supposed to be played. Having him come back next year, it’s just more pressure that he put on himself and I’m glad he earned some hardware.”

In addition, Perrysburg forward Caden Seiple is a second team All-NHC Red selection.

“Caden flew under the radar a lot his first couple of years,” Fisher said. “You ask (2023 graduate) Cody Schneider, who set all kinds of records for us and was kind of the stick that stirred the drink, and he’ll tell you right away those numbers weren’t even possible for Caden.

“But because all of the limelight was on him, he truly flew under the radar. This year I was really happy to see him get the recognition that he deserved,” Fisher continued.

“He’s a heck of a player, he does so many things well, and he brings it every single shift. I’ve never had to motivate him. He’s a self-motivator and he is a huge part of our team.”

Perrysburg NHC Red honorable mention selections are Cole Christen, Jackson Baltzell, Ryan Butler, Tony Pinski, and Trey Haney.

Perrysburg saw its season come to an end Saturday in a 6-0 loss to eighth-ranked Findlay (21-9-5) in a district quarterfinal at Tam-O-Shanter Saturday. The Yellow Jackets finish 16-18-3.

Findlay goaltender Seth Russell, a first team selection, set a school record for shutouts with the victory, but he only needed 11 saves for the clean sheet.

Still, he’s been a force for the Trojans, often earning shutouts and wins for his team even when they are outshot.

“That is a heck of a team right there,” Fisher said. “They are built from the back-out, the goalie is the best goalie in the league period.

“We put up just one goal in nine periods against him this year. He’s just a solid kid and he’s got four solid defensemen in front of him. When you have that going in your favor, you are tough to play against.”

Fisher liked the way his team played against the Trojans in the early going, trailing by just 1-0 after one period, but Findlay added three second period goals to begin pulling away.

“We played well enough at times to keep it close, but my hats off to (Findlay) coach (Ben) Patey and that team down there,” Fisher said.

“That team deserves this win and we’ll see what they can do next week (against seventh-ranked Bowling Green in district semifinals)”

Draven Wilson had a big five-point scoring night for Findlay, getting a three-goal hat trick plus he had two assists.

A.J. Savage, a first team All-NHC defenseman, had a goal and an assist, and Noah Schramko, an HM All-NHC pick, and Turner Merrill scored one goal apiece.

Colin Somerville provided two assists for the Trojans and Nate Riegle, Simon Tanner, and Kaleb Haubert had one assist each. Riegle is a first team All-NHC selection and Somerville and Haubert earned HM.

After the loss, Fisher said good-bye to his seniors, many of whom are responsible for demonstrating that Perrysburg can be competitive in the NHC’s upper tier Red Division.

“We’re saying good-bye to six seniors who left this program in better shape than when I got here,” Fisher said. “That is all you can ask from a kid for a four-year career.”

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