Baldwin trio headed to PIHL all-star game
By: Ray Fisher
Sunday, January 28, 2018 | 10:12 AM
Three key members of Baldwin's hockey team were chosen to skate in this year's PIHL all-star games.
Senior defenseman Dan Figura, junior forward Ross Zofcin and junior goaltender Cole Shannon were selected to play for Team Blue in the Class AA contest.
The PIHL all-star event will take place Sunday (Jan. 28) with four games at Robert Morris University's Island Center — Division II at 10:45 a.m., Class A at 12:45 p.m., Class AA at 2:45 p.m. and Class AAA at 4:45 p.m.
Figura, Zofcin and Shannon helped spark the Highlanders to a 7-7-1 record in the tight South/East Division in Class AA.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Figura has accounted for 10 assists and three goals this season.
“Dan has been a big part of Baldwin hockey since he's been a freshman. He has a blistering shot and is one of our most physical defensemen,” said Justin Glock, Baldwin's coach. “He also is very good at making breakout passes to open forwards. He's always willing to listen to the coaching staff in an attempt to get better as an individual.”
Figura has a knack for scoring crucial goals for the Highlanders. Last season, he netted the winning goal with 36.4 seconds remaining in overtime to lift his team to a 5-4 win over Thomas Jefferson. It was senior rec night for Baldwin.
This season, he registered his first two goals late in the game in a 5-4 overtime win against Pine-Richland. The big, strapping defenseman tied the score with his first goal at 15:37 of the third period, then won it with his second goal just 37 seconds into overtime.
“It is very rewarding that the hard work I've put in has paid off,” Figura said. “I think it will be a great time to play with the other (all-stars) selected for the game.”
Figura has been a member of the Special Olympics club for four years at Baldwin. After high school, he is planning for a career in either the plumbing or physical therapy fields.
“Our main goal at the moment is to make the playoffs,” he said.
Zofcin leads Baldwin with 21 points and 14 assists. He ranks second in goals with seven.
“Ross is one of our most versatile players,” Glock said. “On top of centering one of our top offensive lines, he's also asked to play defense at times when needed. One of the reasons why he's trusted to play on offense and defense is because Ross has a high hockey IQ and understands what he coaching staff is preaching. He is not afraid to ask questions about certain situations to help himself and his teammates.
“He will play any position to help the team win, which proves his leadership. His selflessness has paid off. He leads he team in scoring and assists.”
Shannon has posted a 6-5 record with a 2.96 goals-against average and .906 save percentage. He also has two shutouts.
“Cole has also been a big part of Baldwin hockey since his freshman year,” Glock said. “The biggest reason Cole has gotten better is due to his dedication to hockey. He's on the ice almost every day, and truly enjoys playing goalie. He's definitely stole some games for our team when we were outplayed by some opponents.
“He has one of the best goals-against averages in the PIHL, which is pretty spectacular considering where we currently sit in the standings. Cole is one the big reasons why our team has very good defensive numbers.”
Team Blue will be coached by Latrobe's Joshua Werner and Hempfield's Denny Zeravica.
Ray Fisher is a freelance writer.