Buzz building for Penn-Trafford hockey team

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Sunday, October 31, 2021 | 11:01 AM


There is a good reason for the buzz surrounding the Penn-Trafford hockey team.

The 2021-22 Warriors are looking to make a run at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League Class 2A title.

Penn-Trafford dropped a 2-0 decision to eventual champion Baldwin in 2021, but the Warriors return seven of their top players and expect to challenge for the title with neighboring rival Franklin Regional.

The Panthers defeated Warriors, 6-4, in the second game of the season, but Warrior coach Chris Cerutti said he’s looking forward to the rematch Nov. 8.

“We beat them in a preseason tournament,” Cerutti said. “We actually split. The loss earlier showed us something.

“They jumped on us early because we were playing too selfish and they were playing as a team. We played well the final two periods and almost came back.”

Franklin Regional coach John Winebrenner said he is impressed with how Penn-Trafford plays. He expects them to challenge for the title along with his Panthers.

Penn-Trafford returns a couple of strong lines that Cerutti feels could be among the best in Class 2A.

Senior Ryan Crombie, voted team captain, centers a line with Xavier Solomon (two goals) and Nate Loughner (two goals, five assists). Crombie (two goals, two assists) is a team leader.

Another quick line includes Alex Sciullo (three goals, one assists), Ben Chen and Colin Patterson (one goal, three assists). Senior forward Ben Dupilka and defenseman Carter Scholze are other team captains.

Cerutti said he also feels that goaltender Jackson Kerrigan, who has recorded two shutouts, is one of the top goalies in the league.

“We beat Thomas Jefferson in the Greensburg Salem finals, and we beat Franklin Regional in another,” Cerutti said. “I feel we’ll be in the running along with South Fayette, Thomas Jefferson and Franklin Regional.

“We graduated five players, and we have five seniors this season. Our core group is juniors. We have a bright future.”

Penn-Trafford was scheduled to face Mars on Nov. 2 before the rematch against Franklin Regional on Nov. 8. Cerutti said the team is looking forward to another great battle with the Panthers.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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