Preseason hockey is generally to help coaches determine who will rise in the ranks and make a Varsity roster. This season many players from Freshman to Senior are trying to make their statement early. On the weekend of September 18, 19 and 20, 2015, Vianney hosted The Rampage a high school Varsity and Junior Varsity team from Owensboro, KY. The Griffins swept the series with good individual performances from forwards Reid Zimmerman, Grant Griffin and Nick Sorrentino. Freshmen forward Kam Sengheiser quickly showed why his "never back down" style of play will help lead the rest of the new young Griffins. Defensively, Alex Kammien (Senior) and Sean Griffin (Junior) anchored the backline and brought confidence to the total team attitude of the team.
Two weekends later Vianney and Chaminade hosted the Omaha Jr. Lancer's High School Teams. This weekend proved to be a true test and a bit of reality for the Griffins and Chaminade Red Devils. The Omaha teams played like a Top Ten Mid States Club Hockey Association team which truly prepared both local rivals, Vianney and Chaminade for the upcoming Top Hat Tournament and regular season. After a weekend that saw the Red Devils and Griffins go down in close games to the Lancers, Vianney emerged with a tie after a late goal from the Lancers in the last minute of the final Varsity game. All goalies, players and coaches were put to the test this weekend which brought the team together and began the deeper learning that in order to be successful this season Vianney must play for each other.
The opening game of the Top Hat Tournament pitted Vianney against none other then their old cross town Marinist rivals, Chaminade. Vianney lost 0-3 but did receive a solid outing in goal from Ricky Christensen (Senior) but more importantly the Griffins carried the pace of play throughout this contest. Forward Drew Doran, Kam Sengheiser and Josh Bauman showed grit and determination while the defense learned that their core of six players must stand together in the face of the offensive attack. The coaches saw signs of what was to come. The next game against Lutheran South found Ricky Christensen back in the nets showing great confidence stopping 34 or 36 shots in route to a 4-2 Vianney win. Forwards Grant Griffin and Drew Doran both posted 2 point performances, each with a goal and an assist. While Doran's goal proved to be the game winner, Reid Zimmerman capped off the win with a third period tally. Vianney forwards Ethan Steele and Mickey Zahoran began to pick up their level of play while young defensemen Braden Wuesthoff and Zach Drummond showed confidence and control. With the Griffins now standing 1-1-0 in Top Hat play, their final pool play opponents would be the Lindbergh Flyers. Facing a capable Lindbergh team, Vianney would need this win to send them to the Quarter Finals. This game can be summed up quite easily. Total team effort! The Griffins were nearly flawless only posting one minor penalty the entire game. Final of this game was 5-2 Griffins. The game winner was scored by Danny McGlynn (Freshman) with more terrific defensive play from Sean Griffin and Alex Kammien. Goaltender, Billy Bandera was solid in this effort and gave Vianney the "one, two punch" that they will need in goal with Vianney posting two back to back Top Hat wins against Lutheran South and Lindbergh.
Vianney now earns their highest seeding in the past three seasons as the #2 behind CBC in the Black Conference division of the tournament. The Griffins will cross over in the Quarter Finals to play DeSmet Jesuit #3 in the Orange Conference division Thurs. Oct. 22, 2015 @ 6:50 pm at the Webster Groves Ice Arena.