Peters Township uses 3rd-period surge to capture Class 3A Penguins Cup title
Monday, March 21, 2022 | 9:37 PM
All of their players adorned with blond hair, the Peters Township hockey team captured PIHL gold.
The Indians scored four times in the third period to bust open a tight game and bump aside Seneca Valley, 6-2, to capture their third Penguins Cup title, the first since 2017, on Monday night before a sellout crowd at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry.
The Class 3A final marked the third win for third-seeded Peters Township (17-5) over the No. 5 Raiders (13-8) this season.
The Indians saved their best for last in the title-clinching victory.
“We’re a third-period team,” said Peters Township assistant coach Clif Bumford, who did postgame interviews at the behest of head coach Rick Tingle. “We practice to be a third-period team. We don’t want to put ourselves in that position, but our kids thrive in that position.”
The cup win was the third for Bumford, in his 10th year behind the boards.
The Indians move on to play the Flyers Cup champion, Malvern Prep, the defending champion, in the state championship at 5 p.m. Saturday at Ice Line Quad Rinks in West Chester.
“We’re here to win states,” Bumford said.
Junior Austin Mailey had two goals for Peters Township, which also won PIHL titles in 2014 and ‘17, with runner-up finishes in 2002, ‘03, ‘04 and ‘05.
Senior forward Chase Stauffer gave the Indians a 3-2 lead with 12:53 to play in the third period when he took a wrap-around feed from senior Cooper Slavin for a power-play goal.
Peters Township was 0 for 4 with a man-advantage up to that point.
The Indians added a pair of insurance scores by Mailey, and junior Ryder Mertens connected to stretch the advantage to three.
Senior Luke Casciola ripped in an empty-net score late for the final margin.
Seneca Valley last won a Penguins Cup in 2018.
“Peters makes such a commitment to team defense,” Seneca Valley coach Anthony Raco said. “That is a credit to Rick Tingle. He is one of the greatest coaches I’ve been around since I’ve been coaching.”
Freshman William Tomko, who had a hat trick against Seneca Valley earlier in the season, opened the scoring with a blistering wrist shot past Jonathan Nichols.
It was 2-0 two minutes later when Mailey took a cross-ice pass from junior Koby Ringwald. Mailey was in position to take the puck after he avoided a hit.
Kovac, Ringwald and Slavin each had two assists.
Still in the first, the Indians cut the lead to 2-1 when senior Patrick Dolan bumped in a rebound.
Seneca Valley finally scored the equalizer with 2:44 to play in the second period when sophomore Jacob Komaniak chipped in a putback to make it 2-2 heading into intermission.
Both teams came up empty on 5-on-3 chances in the second stanza.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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