John Marshall Edges Kiski Area To Win 2011 PIHL Open Class Championship

Sunday, March 6, 2011 | 12:00 AM

A third seed and a fourth seed bucked the odds and captured Open Class titles. John Marshall won the Nailers Cup while Kiski Area captured a second straight Chiefs Cup in overtime. The Monarchs then went on to beat the Cavaliers in the Open Cup Title Game Sunday night. Here are recaps from all three championship games plus all of the final scores from both the Chiefs Cup and Nailers Cup tournaments.


John Marshall Monarchs 4 – Kiski Area Cavaliers 3

By Matt Vandriak:

The PIHL's Open Cup is heading to West Virginia as the John Marshall Monarchs won their first PIHL championship in program history with a hard fought 4-3 win over Kiski Area in the Open Class final at the Rostraver Ice Garden.

After defeating top-seeded and previously undefeated Wheeling Central Catholic in the Nailers Cup semi-finals, than knocking off #2 seed Harborcreek to win the Nailers Cup, John Marshall completed their playoff hat-trick by defeating Kiski Area, who was playing for the Open Cup for the second consecutive season.

The game started with Kiski Area taking the play to John Marshall. The Monarchs looked nervous early on as the Cavaliers took the first six-shots of the game. But John Marshall goalie Drew Balcar kept the Cavaliers off the board, and it was the Monarchs who would strike first, as Isaac Fitzpatrick score on John Marshall's first shot of the night. Fitzpatrick's power play tally from Jimmy Henderson at 8:22 of the 1st period put the Monarchs up 1-0. But five-minutes later Kiski would even things up as Nick Faletti found the net at 13:33 of the opening frame. Just over a minute later, Kiski would take the lead as Brandon Donnelly scored on the power play to put the Cavaliers ahead 2-1 with just :18 seconds left in the period.

In the 2nd period it was Jimmy Henderson and the power play of John Marshall that was the story. Henderson scored unassisted with the man advantage to tie the game 2-2 at the 4:10 mark of the 2nd. Henderson would get his second power play goal at 13:54, on what was by far the prettiest goal of the night. Alan Games fired a slap shot from the point that Henderson re-directed with his stick in between his legs, and past Cavaliers goalie Phillip Cappo to put the Monarchs back on top 3-2, which is where the score would stand after two periods of play.

Henderson's heroics weren't done yet, as he set up Zachary Hohn at 8:50 of the 3rd period to give John Marshall a two-goal lead. But Kiski Area fought hard until the end. With Cappo on the bench for an extra attacker, Ryan Felt scored with :21 seconds left to get the Cavaliers within a goal at 4-3. But that was a close as Kiski Area would get, and the Monarchs held on despite the late Cavaliers surge for the one-goal win.

John Marshall finishes the season as the Nailers Cup champions and overall champions of the Open Class with a final record of 17-5-2. Kiski Area, for the second year in a row, won the Chiefs Cup but fell in the Open Cup title game. The Cavaliers, who will move out of the Open Class and into PIHL classification play next season, finished 2010-2011 with an overall record of 16-7-1.


8:22(JM)–Isaac Fitzpatrick (Jimmy Henderson)
13:33(KA)–Nick Faletti (Alex Welsh)
14:42(KA)–Brandon Donnelly(Shawn McAdoo)-PPG

13:54(JM)–Henderson(Alan Games, Zachary Hohn)-PPG

14:39(KA)–Ryan Felt(Welsh)

JM 1 2 1 4
KA 2 0 1 3

JM 4 14 9 27
KA 11 6 10 27

JM 3-7
KA 1-4

1st Jimmy Henderson (JM)—2G, 2A, 4PTS

2nd Drew Balcar (JM)—24 saves on 27 shots

3rd Zachary Hohn (JM)—1G (game winning goal), 1A, 2PTS



John Marshall Monarchs 4 – Harbor Creek Huskies 3 (MSA)

By Bob Orkwis:
The Monarchs ended several years of playoff frustration when they defeated Harbor Creek at the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center to capture their first ever Nailers Cup Championship. John Marshall and junior goalie Drew Balcar withstood some early pressure from the Huskies before taking a 1-0 lead at the 9:35 mark of the first period. JM senior forward Zach Hohn fired a wrist shot wide of the Huskies net but Hohn was able to pick up his own rebound off the back boards and sneak it past Harbor Creek's Jake Lozowski for the first goal of the game. Jimmy Henderson and Isaac Fitzpatrick were credited with assists on the goal. Harbor Creek was able to tie the game at 1-1 in the second period. Zak Tomblin took a pass from Josh green and skated down the right wing. Tomblin made a great move to push the puck between the legs of a Monarchs defender and then skated in and beat Belcar with a wrist shot for the 1-1 tie. But John Marshall would strike back later in the second period with 2 goals in: 10. Hohn picked up his second goal of the game when he took a feed from Fitzpatrick on a 2-on-1 and beat Lozowski for a power play goal to give the Monarchs the lead back, Then, after Hohn dumped the puck towards the Harborcreek net after the faceoff, Henderson found the loose biscuit and beat Lozowski with a backhander at 12:02 to give John Marshall a 3-1 lead. Trailing by 2 goals after two, Harbor Creek's Zach Cook, who had shut out John Marshall earlier this year in the regular season, replaced Lozowski in net to start the third period. The Huskies had an early power play in the period, but couldn't get on the board. But big senior forward Andrew Herrmann would solve Belcar at the 6:39 mark to make it a one goal game. Andrew Chase and Green picked up the assist on the Herrmann backhand goal. As the period wore on, it seemed like the Monarchs one goal lead would hold up, but Tomblin had other ideas. The junior gathered in a pass a center ice from Taylor Allsworth and skated down the left wing. As he neared the John Marshall blue line, Tomblin threw what looked like an innocuous wrist shot towards the Monarchs cage. But the puck took a strange bounce, hit the stick of Belcar and deflected into the net, and the game was tied at 3-3 with 2:28 remaining in regulation. Cook, the senior goaltender picked up the second helper on Tomblin's second tally. Not to be outdone, John Marshall junior defensemen Alan Games proved that no shot is a bad shot, as Games skated up the left wing and one stride over the Harbor Creek blue line, he threw a wrist shot at the net. The puck hit Cook's glove, deflected up in the air over his head, hit the ice and slowly trickled over the goal line behind Cook for what proved to be the game winning and Nailers Cup clinching goal for John Marshall. That goal came just: 47 after Tomblin had tied the game. David Polinski and Joey Coleman received assists at the 13:19 mark of the final period. With about 90 seconds remaining in the contest and down a goal, the Huskies figured to try and pull Cook for the extra attacker, but Fitzpatrick, the junior alternate captain for John Marshall never allowed that to happen. Fitzpatrick stopped at least four Harbor Creek rushes in the neutral zone, each time dumping the puck back into the Huskies zone. Harborcreek was never able to pull Cook for the extra man and John Marshall skated away with the Nailers Cup Championship trophy. The Monarchs, seeded fourth in the Nailers Cup tournament, improved to (16-5-2) with the victory. The loss was a disappointing end to a very successful first season in the PIHL for Harborcreek. The #2 seeded Huskies finished their inaugural year with a record of (19-4). The Monarchs skate back to West Virginia with their first ever Nailers Cup trophy, but not for long. John Marshall heads north again on Sunday to battle Kiski Area for the PIHL Open Division Championship here on MSA Sports at the Rostraver Ice Gardens.

John Marshall: 1 – 2 – 1 = 4
Harbor Creek: 0 – 1 – 2 = 3

1st Period:
JM: Zach Hohn – (Jimmy Henderson, Isaac Fitzpatrick) 9:35
2nd Period:
HC: Zak Tomblin

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