The turnaround is complete.
Zach Volzer scored with just 1:56 to play, lifting #6 Bethel Park (18-7-1) to their historic 7th PIHL Penguins Cup title, defeating #5 Peters Township (15-6-3) 2-1 Saturday at CONSOL Energy Center.
After starting the season 3-7-1, Bethel Park rattled off 15 straight wins, with many of them coming by only one goal.
After a scoreless first period, Bethel Park would strike first, as Derek Lesnak would knock in his second goal of the postseason at the 4:40 mark of the second period, making it 1-0 Black Hawks.
Peters Township would not wait long to respond, as Trevor Recktenwald would net his 4th goal of the playoffs, evening the score at 1-1.
The score would remain ties until Volzer’s goal, as he would take a pass from Lesnak and riffle a shot by Indians’ goaltender Brian Baker, making it 2-1.
That was all Bethel Park would need, fending off a furious attack in the final two minutes by Peters Township.
The Championship win for Bethel Park is their first since 2005 which, coincidentally enough, was the last time the Peters won a Penguins Cup as well. That year, the Indians won the AA Penguins Cup title, a classification they left before this season in an attempt to get better competition on a nightly basis.
The 2-1 final was the third-straight one-goal win for the Black Hawks, who beat North Allegheny (2-1 in 3 OT) and Penn-Trafford (3-2) in their last two playoff wins. In all, it was Bethel Park’s 16th game this season decided by 2 goals or less.
Bethel Park now has more PIHL Penguins Cup Championships than any active program in the PIHL. The only program to have won more is defunct Meadville, with eight.
Tomorrow at 7PM, the Black Hawks will play LaSalle College High School in the AAA Pennsylvania State Cup Championship game at RMU's Neville Island Sports Center.
Score By Period
Bladerunners Scoring Summary:
Bethel Park – Derek Lesnak (power play) (Jacob Brown, Zachary Volzer) , 4:50
Peters Township – Trevor Recktenwald (power play) (Patrick Hannan, Brad Tyenda) , 6:09
Bethel Park – Zachary Volzer (power play) (Derek Lesnak) , 13:04
First Niagara Three Stars:
1. Alex Blum, Bethel Park (23 Saves)
2. Zach Volzer, Bethel Park (GWG, A)
3. Derek Lesnak, Bethel Park (G, A)
Mt. Lebanon Ice Arena Play of the Game:
Zach Volzer’s goal at 13:04 of the third period, breaking a 1-1 tie and propelling Bethel park to their 7th PIHL Penguins Cup Championship.