After appearing in the PIHL Class A semifinals last season, the Hampton High School hockey team moved up to Class AA this season.
But that hasn't stopped the Talbots from continuing to roll through their competition.
Hampton is 3-0 on the young season and leads all of Class AA with 8.33 goals per game. The Talbots have outscored their opponents, 25-6.
"I wouldn't say we've dominated, but I am not surprised we have won all three games," Hampton first-year coach Anthony Scolieri said. "The team competes very hard every game."
Scolieri was an assistant coach on the Talbots staff for the past two seasons before taking over for Dan Serakowski. He said he hasn't made too many changes to the successful program.
"I've just tried to re-focus the team commitment to defense and made a couple system changes," Scolieri said.
It helps that Scolieri has plenty of skilled players on his squad. Junior Zach Kosick led Hampton with 34 points last season and is the team leader in points through three games this season with 11 points (seven goals, four assists). He has scored at least two goals in every game so far this season.
Three other forwards -- junior Eric Leya, senior Joe Vita and sophomore Ethan Homitz -- all have at least seven points.
In addition to their offensive output, the four have been solid defensively for the Talbots, too.
"More importantly is that all four of them have been very good in their own zone and they all contribute to the penalty kill," Scolieri said.
That helps Cam Raidna, one of the better goaltenders in the classification.
A junior, Raidna is 3-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and an .875 save percentage this season. Last year, Raidna was 8-4-2 with a 2.45 GAA and .889 save percentage.
"A goaltender like Cam Raidna is invaluable," Scolieri said. "He is a constant competitor and tremendously skilled. I don't know where we would have been last season and so far this season without him. With his talent we'll be able to win those tough 2-1 and 3-2 games that will be essential down the stretch."
The Talbots schedule so far has been light, with North Hills being the only opponent with a winning record. Hampton has a golden opportunity to get to 6-0 as its next three opponents have a combined three wins on the season.
But that's when the Talbots' schedule will pick up, with three consecutive games against Bishop Canevin, Erie Cathedral Prep and Greater Latrobe.
All three are among the favorites to win the Penguins Cup this season, and Scolieri believes his team has what it takes to be in the mix as well.
"Our goal every year is the same: division, playoffs, Penguins Cup and states," Scolieri said. "I think this team has the desire and skill to accomplish all of it if they remain focused."