Burrell hockey to return to action as playoff race heats up

Monday, January 8, 2018 | 10:51 PM

When the Burrell hockey team returns to PIHL Division II action Jan. 15 against Kennedy Catholic at Pittsburgh Ice, it will end a nearly month long break since its last game Dec. 18.

The Bucs will try to put an end to a two-game losing skid as they were shut out by the two teams with them at the top of the standings — Moon and Ringgold.

The 3-0 setbacks to the Tigers (first place, 11-1, 22 points) and Rams (tie-second, 8-3, 16 points) were surprising because Burrell (tie-second, 8-4, 16 points) had averaged 7.4 goals over its first 10 contests.

And the Bucs offense had its chances in both games, as it averaged 28.5 shots.

But Burrell is in good position for a run to the playoffs as it faces Kennedy Catholic. Eight of the 10 teams qualify for the postseason.

The Bucs have just six games remaining in the regular season that concludes Feb. 20 with another game against Kennedy Catholic.

The top four teams in Division II played a round-robin of sorts right before the winter break and as the new year began.

Ringgold split with fourth-place Connellsville (6-4-2, 14 points), losing to the Falcons before the holidays and avenging the loss last week. The Rams also handed Moon its only loss Dec. 21.

Tyler Stewart continues to set the pace for the Bucs, as he leads the team in goals (34), assists (18), points (52) and power-play tallies (5).

He owns eight games with at least three goals, including two four-point efforts and two games where he scored five goals.

Stewart missed the game against Moon on Dec. 18 after incurring a game misconduct penalty against Ringgold the week before.

Dylan Zelonka also has shown his scoring prowess, with 13 goals and 16 assists (29 points) in 10 games.

Also with 10-plus points so far are Bryce Schueler (5 goals, 14 assists), Logan Schoepf (8 goals, 7 assists) and Cole Vassana (4 goals, 6 assists).

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.


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