Norwin hockey celebrates ‘huge accomplishment’ of Penguins Cup

Saturday, April 2, 2022 | 11:01 AM

In an unforgettable run of validation, Norwin showed championship confidence early in the season and put it on display late, capturing the first PIHL Penguins Cup title in program history.

But Knights coach Mike Robinson said he doesn’t think this will be a one-hit-wonder kind of team. He believes his hockey program took a giant leap in progression, despite a 10-0 loss to West Chester East in the Pennsylvania Cup Class A championship March 26 near Philadelphia.

The Knights’ final skate of 2022 brought their season to a close at 16-5-4.

Only five days earlier, they flattened McDowell, 5-0, to win their first PIHL Class A title in their first finals trip since 1984.

“We have a deep enough team where we can make a run again next year,” Robinson said. “Yes, we do lose nine seniors, but there’s a lot of talent in the younger classes.

“I think we’re proudest of the fact that we came together at the right time, won that first Penguins Cup in Norwin history. That’s a huge accomplishment, and today’s (result) doesn’t take away from that.”

Norwin was welcomed back with a special ceremony at the high school a few days after the long trip east.

The Knights never had played in the Pennsylvania Cup final, marking another first for the resurgent program. Norwin went 8-11 last year and missed the PIHL playoffs.

“We knew we had a team that could get here,” Norwin sophomore goalkeeper Owen Burmeister said.

Norwin returned to the PIHL finals for the first time in 38 years and made the most of the opportunity, winning its first championship with a 5-0 victory over McDowell, the alma mater of Robinson.

Burmeister made 25 saves in his third shutout of the season, and sophomores Alex Thomas and Mario Cavallaro each tallied two goals for the second game in a row.

Ty Shigo led the Knights with 41 points on 18 goals and 23 assists. Thomas had a team-best 25 goals, senior Logan Fear had 21 goals and 16 helpers and senior Jake Meier 20 assists.

West Chester was immovable as the defending state champion. It ended the season with a remarkable 46 straight victories.

West Chester coach Eri Wolf said some of his fastest skaters play in his third line.

“They’re a great hockey team that works well together,” Robinson said. “They’re blowing teams out. Nobody’s been able to hang with them all year.”

Norwin will lose nine seniors from its cup-winning team: Fear, Meier, Willl Dillner, Dom Barca, Ty Shigo, Anthony Cavallaro, Hunter Hardy, Robbie Chappell and Ash Yemc.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at


More High School Hockey

Franklin Regional junior varsity hockey goes on amazing underdog run
4 Quaker Valley girls hockey players compete in national championships
Franklin Regional hockey coach disappointed after being ousted
Pine-Richland hockey caps special season with 4th state championship
Penn-Trafford playoff run ends with loss in Penguins Cup finals