Peters Township Finally Golden in Win Over Rival Bethel Park

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Monday, March 17, 2014 | 11:42 PM


At Consol Energy Center in the PIHL AAA Championship, the Peters Township Indians defeated the top seeded Bethel Park Black Hawks by a score of 4-2. This is the fifth overall title for the Indians and first since 2005.

Both teams came into the showdown as numerous Penguin Cup winners and veterans to championship games. The Indians were in the title game for the fourth straight year and last won a title in 2005. The Black Hawks’ last title was in 2012, a win over Peters Township 2-1. Both are led by two veteran coaches with 11 Penguin Cup titles between them.

The veteran leadership showed, as the top two defensive teams in AAA played to a scoreless first period. Both Goalies, Brian Baker for Peters Township and William Lowe for Bethel Park, kept pucks in front of them and didn’t give up many rebounds, while their stellar defenses shined bright through the first 17 minutes. Bethel out shot the Indians 10-6 in the period.

At the start of the second period, with the Black Hawks out shooting the Indians, the game turned as Jonathan Dagnal came down the left side and fired a wrist shot high above Lowe’s left shoulder from the left circle to give the Indians a 1-0 lead at 3:01. This lit the fire for Peters as they carried the play for the better part of the period.

The Indians would make it 2-0 as Adam Alavi scored on a rebound off a shot by Chad Wyatt from the left boards at 10:02.  Only a few minutes after the goal, Peters Township’s Brady Cochrane took a major penalty for head contact, leveling Bethel Park’s Derek Lesnak with a shoulder to his head. The hit, which resulted in a game misconduct, left Lesnak bleeding and motionless on the ice. But he would manage to return to the game without missing a shift.

The penalty cost Peters Township, as the Black Hawks would score their first goal of the game at 15:52. Jake Worcester pounced on a rebound at the left of the net and got Bethel Hawk right back in the game, cutting the Indians’ lead to 2-1.

In the early moments of the third period, Peters Township’s Carter Ekberg took a penalty for interference. The officials were then summoned to the Bethel Park bench, where the Black Hawks’ coaches pulled a rule book out. After a near ten minute delay, another penalty was called on the Indians’ for having an illegal piece of equipment. Baker would change his mask, an indication that it was in violation of PIHL rules. Bethel Park would go on a 5-on-3 power play, but not score as the Peters Township defense and Baker held strong.

With just under ten minutes left, Peters Township would take another pair of penalties, setting up another 5-on-3 power play in the period for Bethel Park. However, the Peters Township defense held tight again and Baker, new mask and all, kept the puck out of the net.

The Black Hawks would continue to push and barrage the Indians with shots, but with only 4:09 to go, Jonathan Dagnal would score after a great cycle by he and his linemates. Lowe would lose his stick and the Indians would take advantage. After Carter Ekberg made a great play to keep the puck in the offensive zone, Samuel Barnes threw it to the net and Dagnal slid a back hander in to make it 3-1 at 12:51.

With Lowe pulled in the final minute, the Black Hawks made a last ditch effort to tie the game. With 21.7 seconds left, Jake Worcester scored his second goal of the game at 16:32 to make it 3-2. But it was too little too late, as Jonathan Dagnal would get the empty net, hat trick goal at 16:56.

Bethel Park ends their season with a record of 19-4, while Peters Township improves to 19-4 and will play LaSalle College High School on Saturday March 22nd at 4:00pm at the Pegula Ice Arena at Penn State University for the AAA Pennsylvania Cup.

Bladerunners Scoring Summary:

1st Period:

No Scoring

2nd Period:

PT – Jonathan Dagnal (Carter Ekberg) 3:01

PT – Adam Alavi (Zach Wyatt, Zach Gielarowski) 10:02

BP – Jake Worcester Power Play (Tyler Kruszewski) 15:52

3Rd Period:

PT – Jonathan Dagnal (Samuel Barnes) 12:51

BP – Jake Worcester (Chris Siak, Tyler Kruszewski) 16:32

PT – Jonathan Dagnal (unassisted) 16:56 {Empty Net}

Shots on Goal:

Peters Township:  6 – 10 – 9 = 25

Bethel Park:  10 – 17 – 16 = 43

Power Plays:

Peters Township:  0-0

Bethel Park:  1-4

Mt Lebanon Rec Center Play of the Game:

The Peters Township Indians third goal of the game by Jonathan Dagnal: He scored from in front after a great pass from Samuel Barnes. The play was set up as Carter Ekberg kept the puck in the zone and on sides. Peters was able to keep the play alive and get the eventual game winning goal.

Management Science Associates Three Stars of the Game:

#3 Jake Worcester 2 goals (Bethel Park)

#2 Jonathan Dagnal 3 goals (Peters Township)

#1 Brian Baker 41 saves (Peters Township)

 

 

 

 

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