Norwin notebook: Hockey team collects championship rings

Saturday, July 23, 2022 | 9:01 AM

The Norwin hockey team reassembled as PIHL champions recently and collected their spoils: championship rings.

One last time, the Knights again celebrated the greatest season in program history, one that saw them capture their first league title with a 5-0 win over Meadville in March at the UPMC Lemieux Complex in Cranberry.

The Knights hoisted the Class A Penguins Cup that evening and didn’t want to put it down.

The ring ceremony was held at DeNunzio’s in Monroeville. There also was a pool party at sophomore forward Alex Thomas’s house.

“I think it finally hit us when we got (the rings),” Knights senior forward Dom Barca said. “It was kind of a ‘Holy cow, we actually won the whole thing,’ moment.

“I think the rings are a great way to remember that we brought back the first Pens Cup in Norwin history and a great way to look back on the whole experience.”

Norwin finished 16-5-4 after falling to West Chester East in the Pennsylvania Cup Class A championship March 26 near Philadelphia.

“We have a deep enough team where we can make a run again next year,” coach Mike 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.”

Bilinsky offered

Norwin rising senior basketball player Adam Bilinsky’s recruiting stock is rising as the AAU season treks through the summer.

Bilinsky, a 6-foot-3 guard with hops, recently was issued a pair of Division II college scholarship offers, from Mercyhurst (Erie) and D’Youville (N.Y.)

Bilinsky, a standout for Mason Elite AAU — owned by former Highlands and Duquesne star Micah Mason — averaged 17.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, two steals and two blocks per game last season for the Knights.

More recruiting

Norwin’s rising senior special teams pair of kicker Joey Castle and long snapper Xander Smith, both of whom have attended national showcases in recent months, received invites to play at Akron, with a chance to earn a scholarship later. They have a similar offer from Buffalo.

• Norwin soccer player Ashley Ornowski, a rising senior, will play at Penn State Behrend.

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


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