All-star Hegedus has Norwin hockey chasing playoffs

Monday, January 29, 2018 | 11:00 PM

Norwin senior Bryce Hegedus had mixed emotions when he learned he was selected to play in the PIHL Class A all-star game.

Hegedus, Norwin's captain, was thrilled to see his name on the list for the first time in his career, but being the leader that earned him the “C” in his jersey, he immediately thought about some of the other players on his team he thought also were deserving of the honor.

Hegedus was Norwin's lone representative in the all-star game, which was played Sunday at RMU Island Sports Center.

“It's pretty important to me to represent our school and our team, but I do think there should have been more players from our team that were picked,” said Hegedus, who had a goal and assist for Team Blue in a 7-6 loss to Team White. “I guess that's just the way it goes. I was kind of upset actually, because I didn't think I was the only one that deserved it. I thought there were others on our team that deserved to go as well.”

Hegedus leads the Knights in scoring with 26 points and was tied for 15th in the league entering Monday's game with Meadville. He had hat tricks in back-to-back games against Greensburg Salem and Wheeling Catholic in November.

A notable Norwin player who was left off the all-star rosters was junior forward Mason Pivarnik, who has 26 points and was tied for tenth in the league in goals with 15 entering Monday.

Hegedus attended last season's all-star game to support friend and former teammate Noah Mazur, who graduated last year. He was excited to be on the ice this year and to get to know some of the players from other teams whom he battles during the season.

“I've seen them in amateurs, playing against them and stuff like that before, but I haven't really met many of them,” Hegedus said. “The few that I have met are on the other team. It will be fun to meet some of those guys.”

Hegedus doesn't have any plans to play hockey in college and said that if he continues to play it will be in adult leagues at Delmont's Center Ice Arena, so being named to the all-star game was a nice cap to his career playing at the scholastic level.

“It's pretty rewarding,” Hegedus said. “It feels like a lot of the things I've done have paid off. It's an honor to be chosen for an event like that.”

Norwin started the season 6-3, but a six game losing streak has it on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff race. The Knights are four points behind Kiski Area for 12th place and the final playoff spot.

“We won the first few games and did well in the preseason tournament that we had,” Hegedus said. “That gave us a lot of momentum going into the season. We've kind of lost that recently. We've played some of the top teams and lost some tough games that we probably should've performed better in.”

Each loss in the six-game skid came against a team ahead of the Knights in the standings. Of the five games remaining entering Monday, Norwin faces three teams ahead of it (Deer Lakes, Meadville and Sewickley Academy) and two teams behind it (Wheeling Park and Greensburg Central Catholic).

One of the more difficult losses was a 5-4 defeat against Indiana. The Knights led 2-1 at the end of the first period but gave up three goals in a five-minute span in the second before falling short in the third.

Norwin hopes to capture the momentum it had earlier this season.

“Indiana is a really good team, and we probably played one of our best games ever against them and we only lost by one,” Hegedus said. “We know we can compete with the best teams in our division, but we need to stop thinking about all the losses we've had and look toward the next game.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer.


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