Penguins Cup hockey playoffs begin with 9 quarterfinals games
Sunday, March 1, 2020 | 9:42 PM
The PIAA boys and girls basketball playoffs tip off with first-round action Friday and Saturday.
The WPIAL will have 70 teams involved, with 35 boys and girls teams each trying to close the season with state gold.
After the first two years of six classifications produced only two PIAA championships for WPIAL teams (Sewickley Academy boys in 2017 and Mars girls in 2018), the district had gold fever last year with four state champions.
Peters Township and Chartiers Valley finished with undefeated seasons in winning Class 6A and 5A girls titles. Moon in 5A and Lincoln Park in 3A were boys winners.
That was the most state titles for the WPIAL since five district teams won in 2014.
Most of the recent teams that went on to win states also were WPIAL champions.
However, for those 58 teams that didn’t win a WPIAL title, recent state champs like the Mars girls and Moon boys provide hope PIAA gold is attainable without a WPIAL crown.
Puck drops on Penguins Cup playoffs
The PIHL playoffs begin Monday with nine quarterfinals games, including all four contests in Class AA and Class B.
Pine-Richland won the Class AA Penguins Cup a year ago and moved up to AAA, so a new champion will be crowned.
One of the standout matchups in Class AA will be Hempfield taking on Plum at Pittsburgh Ice Arena in New Kensington.
The Mustangs will be hosting after winning the Northeast Division with 19 points, three behind the Southeast Division’s second-place Spartans.
In the only meeting between the two, Zach Radilla scored a hat trick as Hempfield won 9-2.
The B teams
It is not considered the Penguins Cup Playoffs in this classification, just the PIHL Class B playoffs.
Last season, Ringgold won what then was known as the PIHL Division II championship.
This year, Ringgold won the South Division with a 17-0-1 record. The Rams will host Wilmington at 7:15 p.m. on Monday at Rostraver Ice Gardens.
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