Burrell set for USA Hockey nationals

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019 | 10:18 PM


Burrell didn’t get the PIHL championship it sought all season, but the Bucs are now turning their attention from competing against Western Pennsylvania to playing some of the top teams in the country.

The Bucs, coming off a 4-3 loss to Ringgold in the PIHL Division II championship game last week, will open play at the USA Hockey High School National Championships on Thursday in Cleveland, Ohio.

“Obviously the boys wanted to win the PIHL championship, but I told them after the game the season wasn’t over,” Burrell coach Max Rickard said. “We have a bigger opportunity to make a name for ourselves. We’re going to be playing the best teams in the country.

“Obviously they were distraught after the loss, but at practice on Sunday everyone was ready to go. We’re definitely looking forward to it.”

Burrell, led by Division II’s top scorer in junior Tyler Stewart, finished 19-1 during the regular season and won its first two playoff games to advance to the PIHL title game for a second consecutive season, finishing as runner-up for the second straight year.

The Bucs will open nationals at 2 p.m. Thursday against Boulder/Monarch (Colo.). They were placed in a pool with Boulder/Monarch, the Omaha (Neb.) Junior Lancers and Steinbrenner (Fla.). The winner of each pool advances to the playoffs. The tournament concludes Monday.

“Hopefully, we can win four or five more (games) and bring home a national championship,” Rickard said. “That would be unprecedented. But they’re definitely looking to play and hungry for getting at least another win.”

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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