Chartiers Valley stings Greensburg Salem in overtime to win Class A Penguins Cup

Tuesday, March 19, 2024 | 11:42 PM

Sometimes you just need a bounce.

That’s what Chartiers Valley got in overtime to defeat Greensburg Salem, 2-1, in a tremendous PIHL Class A Penguins Cup championship game Tuesday night at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry.

The Colts (23-0) got the game-winner when a shot from the right point by Tyler Held deflected off the arm of a Greensburg Salem defenseman and past goaltender Tristan Gonzales 1:42 into overtime.

Chartiers Valley will play Hershey for the state championship Saturday at Haverford. This was the Colts’ second title. The first came in 1986. Hershey defeated Unionville, 5-1, and won its first Flyers Cup title.

“When it went in, I looked up to the stars,” Chartiers Valley coach Paul Bonetti said. “This is exactly how I thought this game would be: two outstanding goalies and great defense. They smothered us defensively.”

Greensburg Salem (18-6-1-1) grabbed a lead 1-0 early in the second period when Carter Cherok attempted a pass to Jake Fink but the pass got knocked down and Cherok was able to chip the puck past Chartiers Valley goaltender Matthew Colberg with 16:23 left in the second period.

Greensburg Salem, the fifth seed from the Gold Division, ended the regular season on a five-game winning streak and stretched to eight with three playoff wins.

“It was a tough way to lose,” Greensburg Salem coach Corey Mentch said. “We played an outstanding game, and this will sting for a while. These kids worked hard and they deserved better.”

The Colts tied the score 1-1 with 6:11 left when Romeo Isoldi tipped in a shot from the point. Brayden Knight and Austin Efthimiades were credited with the assists.

Chartiers Valley was the top seed from the Blue Division with a 20-0 record. The Colts won two playoff games.

After the Colts tied the score, Greensburg Salem dominated the rest of the way but couldn’t beat Colberg.

“He’s the best,” Bonetti said about his goalie. “He’s tough on himself when he lets up a goal. He was tremendous down the stretch.”

In the overtime, the play was fast and furious as both teams had chances.

Held picked a pass off at the blue line and flipped the puck toward the goal and it went in.

“I was just trying to put the puck on the net,” Held said.”I couldn’t believe it went in. I thought we’d be playing for a while. I don’t think it hit anyone.”

This was Greensburg Salem’s first trip to the Penguins Cup finals.

Both teams’ defenses were outstanding.

“We have to build from this,” Mentch said. “We’ve had five consecutive winning seasons. We were in the semifinals last year and the finals this year. I’m proud of them.”

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at

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