Montour, Pine-Richland, North Allegheny take aim at Pennsylvania Cup titles

Friday, March 22, 2019 | 4:10 PM

After several years of games being played at Pegula Ice Arena at Penn State, the Pennsylvania Cup high school hockey state championships have returned to an alternate home base.

For the second time in three years, the PIHL is hosting and the event returns to the RMU Island Sports Center on Neville Island.

Last season, the three Flyers Cup champions swept the Penguins Cup winners for the second time in three years.

In fact, the advantage has definitely swung to the east in recent history as the Flyers Cup winners have gone on to capture the Pennsylvania Cup 12 times in the last five years while the Penguins Cup winners have won only three times.

In the last three years, the Flyers Cup champs are 8-1 and have outscored the Penguins Cup champs 37-9.

The eastern dominance in this series wasn’t always the case.

Penguins Cup winners swept the Pennsylvania Cup five straight years from 1993-97.

Class AA Penguins Cup winners claimed state gold 15 times in 16 years between 1996-2011, and Class AAA Pens Cup champs knocked off the Flyers Cup winners 13 times in a 16-year span from 1992-2007.

How will the three PIHL representatives fare this season?

Watch all three championship games live or archived on the TribLive High School Sports Network.

Class A Finals: Montour vs. West Chester Bayard Rustin, 11 a.m.

This is definitely new school vs. old school or up and coming program vs. golden dynasty.

The Spartans are fresh of their first Penguins Cup championship they won when they knocked off South Fayette on Tuesday, 6-3. Richard Froelich had two goals and an assist for the Spartans.

Bayard Rustin captured a sixth straight Flyers Cup title Sunday when it defeated Hershey. The Golden Knights have won the last five state crowns by outscoring opponents from the west 22-6.

Quaker Valley was the last Penguins Cup champion to win a Pennsylvania Cup in Class A in 2012.

Byard Rustin also won the state title in 2009.

Class AA Finals: Pine-Richland vs. Downingtown East, 1:30 p.m.

Both of these teams are searching for their third Class AA Pennsylvania Cup.

In fact, both have won back-to-back titles — Pine-Richland in 2006 and ‘07 and Downingtown East the past two, beating Plum, 3-1, in 2017 and Armstrong last season in a thrilling overtime shootout 3-2.

The Cougars captured a third straight Flyers Cup championship Sunday with a 7-3 victory over cross-town rivals, the Downingtown West Whippets.

Pine-Richland won the school’s fourth Penguins Cup on Monday and first in 11 years when it came back to beat Upper St. Clair, 7-5.

William Studt, Jared Eggert and Joseph Folmer each scored a third-period goal, and all three ended up with two goals to lift the Rams into the state finals.

Class AAA Finals: North Allegheny vs. LaSalle College, 4 p.m.

North Allegheny is a perfect 2 for 2 when it comes to high school hockey state championships.

The Tigers won their third Penguins Cup championship Tuesday when they blanked top-seeded Peters Township, 3-0.

NA netminder Richard Karapandi stopped all 25 shots on goal while Aaron Miller scored twice for the Tigers.

North Allegheny also won Penguins Cups in 2007 and ‘13 and went on to win the Class AAA state titles.

LaSalle College ended St. Joe’s Prep one-year reign as Flyers Cup champion with a 5-2 win on Sunday.

The Explorers are trying to win a sixth state title Saturday.

LaSalle College won state gold in 1998, 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2016 when they crushed Cathedral Prep, 7-1.

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