Norwin hockey rolls into state final against West Chester East

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Tuesday, March 22, 2022 | 4:22 PM


Norwin hockey players held up a poster board with two words written on it Monday night after their first championship victory.

The words?

“Roll Academy.”

The meaning?

“We call ourselves the Academy,” sophomore goaltender Owen Burmeister said. “It’s just a name we came up with. We want to keep it rolling.”

The Academy is rolling on after an impressive 5-0 victory over McDowell in the PIHL Class A Penguins Cup final.

The Knights (16-4-2) next will take on Flyers Cup champion West Chester East (17-0) in the Pennsylvania Cup state championship at 11 a.m. Saturday in West Chester.

Norwin also will break new ground for its program by playing in the state final.

West Chester East is the defending champion in the classification. Last year’s finals were played at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry but will swing back to the east side of the state this year.

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

Sophomore Alex Thomas used one word to describe Monday’s win, which was punctuated by the Knights passing the cup and skating around the ice at the Lemieux Complex.

“Perfect,” Thomas said. “That is what it was.”

Norwin didn’t even make the PIHL playoffs last season but now holds the only Penguins Cup in program history and is looking for more.

“They didn’t let up once (Monday),” Norwin coach Mike Robinson said. “That was about as well as we can play, all three phases. We came in with the goal of winning the cup and going to states. The whole crew came ready to play.”

For the second straight playoff game, Thomas and sophomore Mario Cavallaro each scored a pair of goals, and senior Logan Fear scored a short-handed goal that gave the Knights a 2-0 lead.

A McDowell mistake at the blue line allowed Norwin to go the other way, and senior forward Ty Shigo knitted a pass to Fear for a backhanded goal.

Thomas had a goal on the power play.

The Knights put their speed and forechecking prowess on display, with the gas pedal pressed to the floor.

“We have been great on special teams and for some reason, with a man down,” Robinson said. “Our guys really pick it up (shorthanded) or on the power play.”

Burmeister was solid all night, stopping 25 shots and limiting the Trojans’ high-powered offense and junior Nico Catalde.

“It was easy, to be honest, with the way our defense played,” Burmeister said. “This was my best game of the season, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates in front of me.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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