Erie Cathedral Prep Wins 2nd Straight Pens Cup With OT Win Over NA
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 | 1:18 AM
Sophomore defenseman Pat Kelly’s power play goal at (8:52) of overtime propelled the Erie Cathedral Prep Ramblers to a 4-3 victory over top seeded North Allegheny in the PIHL Class AAA Championship game at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry and gave ECP its second consecutive Penguins Cup title and the school’s first in Class AAA since 1984.
With Tigers defensemen Cameron Zahn in the penalty box for tripping, junior forward Dillon Elliott gathered the puck in on the right wing half boards and fed a pass to freshman Luke Moon at the right point. His cross ice pass found Kelly open at the left point and his one-timer found its way past North Allegheny’s goaltender Joe Hubert who got a piece of the shot, but not enough to keep it out of the net. The game-winning goal capped a big sequence for Kelly, who was able to hustle back defensively seconds earlier to deny NA’s John Parks a shot as he broke in on the ECP goal behind the defense.
After a scoreless first period, Erie Cathedral Prep broke the ice early in the second frame, when senior Doran Okon snuck a backhanded past Hubert on the near post to give the Ramblers a 1-0 lead at the (3:06) mark. Junior Dillon Elliot scored his second goal of the playoffs a little over 4 minutes later when he deposited a Jack Becker rebound into the net to put the Ramblers in front 2-0. But the Tigers roared back later in the period with two goals of their own. William Carr deflected a puck across the goal-line past ECP goalie Jacob Kucharski at (10:36) of the period to make it a one-goal game. Joe Zappia would tie the game at 2-2 – 2:42 later for North Allegheny. The senior deflected a Dawson Richard slap shot past Kucharski at (13:18) for a power play goal.
The game remained tied at 2-2 until the (12:19) mark of the third period, when Erie Cathedral Prep’s Nick Tragesser put the Ramblers in front 3-2. The junior forward snagged the puck along the left goal-line and walked out on front to throw a shot past Hubert on the far side to put ECP back on top by a goal. But as has been the case in the playoffs, the Tigers were able to rally, with the goaltender pulled; Zappia scored his second goal of the game when he slid a pass from Erik Chidester into the back of the net with (1:20) remaining in regulation to tie the game at 3-3. The Tigers, who posted OT victories in both the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of this year’s playoffs, saw that streak end when Kelly’s heroics clinched the Penguins Cup for the third-seeded Ramblers. Hubert stopped 34 shots in a losing effort for NA, while the sophomore Kucharski made 29 saves in picking up his third playoff win for the Ramblers.
With the win, Erie Cathedral Prep became only the second team since Greensburg Central Catholic in 1993 & 1994 to win back-to-back Penguins Cup titles after moving up in classification. The Ramblers will look to win the fourth PA Cup in their history as they head to the Class AAA State Finals in State College this weekend. Erie Cathedral Prep will face the AAA Flyers Cup champions the LaSalle College Explorers this Saturday at the Pegula Ice Arena on the campus of Penn State University in hopes of bring home its second AAA State Championship.
North Allegheny: 0 2 1 0 = 3
Erie Cathedral Prep: 0 2 1 1 = 4
North Allegheny: 5 13 9 5 = 32
Erie Cathedral Prep: 18 9 8 3 = 38
ECP: Doran Okon (1) – Donovan Cullen, Jacob Emerson (3:06)
ECP: Dillon Elliot (2) – Jack Becker, Tanner White (7:52)
NA: Bill Carr (1) – Dawson Richard, Tyler Duderstadt (10:36)
NA: Joe Zappia (2) – Richard, Nate Taylor (13:18) PPG
ECP: Nick Tragesser (1) – Joe Sala (12:19)
NA: Zappia 2nd (3) – Erik Chidester, Richard (15:40)
ECP: Pat Kelly (1) – Luke Moon, Dillon Elliot (8:52)
NA: Justin Kidd (Slashing) 13:21
ECP: Mitch Slubowski (Interference) 4:48
ECP: Okon (Hooking) 13:02
NA: Cameron Zahn (Tripping) 8:13
North Allegheny: Joe Hubert (38 Shots – 34 Saves)
Erie Cathedral Prep: Jacob Kucharski (32 Shots – 29 Saves)
Management Science Associates 3 Stars of the Game
3) Dawson Richard (North Allegheny) – 3 Assists
2) Joe Zappia – (North Allegheny) – 2 Goals
1) Pat Kelly – (Erie Cathedral Prep) – GWG PPG in Overtime
Kelly’s Overtime Game-Winning Goal:
Pat Kelly Interview:
Tags: Erie Cathedral Prep