Blackhawk Cougars Hockey Playoff Semifinals recap for 2/25/14
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 | 2:38 PM
At the Morgantown Ice Center, Kienan Battin knocked home a loose puck past Cory Steinle in overtime to push the Mohawks past the Cougars and into the PIHL Open Class Southwest Division championship game on Thursday night. Battin recorded his second hat trick of the playoffs, he leads the Mohawks with 6 goals during the post season and 34 overall for the season.
Blackhawk jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead, Robert Swinderman scored 27 seconds into the game as he got behind the Morgantown defense. The Cougars added to the lead on a 5-3 advantage as Swinderman set up Nathan Lundy for a power play goal. Morgantown had trailed Wheeling Park 2-0 in the opening round of the playoffs and came back, the Mohawks did the same thing last night. Battin got on the board with his first goal, Ben Taylor followed four minutes later and the game was tied at 2 after one period.
The ice surface was not in good condition, the start of the game was delayed for a few minutes, the officials decided to resurface the ice after the first period instead of after the second. That delay helped the Cougars as they came out swarming in the middle period. Swinderman was set up by Owen Schaefer just 2 minutes into the stanza as Blackhawk got the lead back. But that only lasted about 6 minutes as with Stuart Skogsholm in the box for holding, Battin got his second of the game to knot it at 3 thru two periods.
The third period saw many scoring changes for both teams, Blackhawk took the lead early in the period again, Grant Rombold scored on a breakaway, beating Jacob Hough to go up 4-3. The Cougars had 13 plus minutes to kill to advance to the finals, they went to move of a defensive style, icing the puck on several occasions and just trying to clear the offensive zone. Morgantown had multiple opportunities and Cale Wheeler jumped on a puck and deposited it past Steinle to tie the game with 5:30 remaining in regulation.
Neither team could score and the game went to overtime. Both teams had a chance to win it, Steinle and Hough played well all night, Steinle stopped a breakaway in the opening minute of the extra session but Battin was not to be denied.
Morgantown will meet Harbor Creek in Thursday’s title game at the RMU Island Sports Center at 6:40 on the MSA Sports Network. The Cougars see their season come to an end.