Bishop Canevin Shuts Out Cathedral Prep in AA Final

Monday, March 17, 2014 | 10:20 PM

In a tightly-contested battle between Bishop Canevin and Erie Cathedral Prep for the PIHL Penguins Cup Class AA Championship, Crusaders’ goaltender Nikita Meskin proved to be the difference-maker. Meskin made 22 saves in a shutout performance, as top-seeded Bishop Canevin prevailed 1-0 at the Consol Energy Center.

The victory marks the seventh time the Crusaders have captured the Penguins Cup, and the first time since 2011.

Thomas Krivak netted the lone goal on Bishop Canevin’s third shot of the contest. Less than four minutes in, Krivak, who netted 13 goals in the regular season, took a shot from the right circle. His attempt deflected off the sliding Ramblers’ defenseman, and fluttered past Erie Cathedral Prep’s Grant Kennedy.

In the second, both netminders made several key saves to keep the score intact. Meskin and the Crusaders (23-2) killed off three penalties in the period, including a 14-second two-man advantage for the No. 2 seed Ramblers.

On the other end, Kennedy robbed Garrett Godlewski on a point-blank opportunity after he received a centering pass.

Meskin answered back with just over 1:30 remaining in the stanza, as he stonewalled John Colvin’s powerful blast just outside the slot.

In the third, the goalies again shined, as neither team could cash in on glorious scoring chances.

Bishop Canevin appeared to have extended its lead with 10:30 remaining, when a Ramblers’ defenseman deflected a pass through the goal crease towards his own netminder. Kennedy stopped the puck initially, but it eventually tricked past the goal line. The closest official quickly signaled no goal, however, keeping it a one-goal game.

With just under nine minutes left, ECP (18-5-2) had a golden opportunity to deadlock the contest, as Mitch Slubowski had a gaping net to aim at when he received a cross-ice feed. Meskin dove across the crease to keep the puck out of the net, however, and covered up the subsequent Ramblers’ chance, despite losing his mask in the process.

Kennedy helped keep his squad’s hopes alive with a bevy of late saves, including a stop on the breakaway chance for Randy Unger, who lead the entire PIHL in scoring during the regular season.

ECP could never solve Meskin though, and his save on Colvin’s rebound attempt with just over four seconds left served as the exclamation point on his stellar performance, his fifth shutout of the campaign.

While Erie Cathedral Prep’s defeat signals the end of the Ramblers’ campaign, Bishop Canevin advances to the Pennsylvania High School Hockey Championship at Pegula Ice Arena at Penn State University on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The Crusaders will face the winner of Central Bucks South and Souderton.

Score By Period:
ECP 0 – 0 – 0 = 0
BC 1 – 0 – 0 = 1

Shots By Period:
ECP 5 – 7 – 10 = 22
BC 6 – 5 – 8 = 19

Bladerunners Scoring Summary:
1st Period
3:45 BC Thomas Krivak (Blaine Adams)

2nd Period

3rd Period

Penalty Summary:
1st Period
8:40 ECP Hunter Emerson (hooking)
12:56 BC Gus Peponidis (cross checking)
15:15 ECP Brandon Gotkin (slashing)

2nd Period
5:01 BC Gus Peponidis (interference)
6:47 BC Jason Bilski (tripping)
10:25 ECP Jacob Ordos (cross checking)
13:07 BC Ross Langford (interference)

3rd Period
10:52 ECP Austin Braendel (tripping)
11:51 BC Garrett Godlewski (holding)
12:55 ECP Jack Kelly (cross checking)
13:57 ECP Shane Cross (unsportsmanlike conduct – 10 min misconduct)

Power Plays:
ECP 0 – 5
BC 0 – 5

Management Science Associates Three Stars:
1. Nikita Meskin BC
2. Grant Kennedy ECP
3. Thomas Krivak BC

Mount Lebanon Rec Center Play of the Game:
Nikita Meskin’s sprawling save with 8:50 remaining in the third period.

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