PIHL girls hockey season begins 2nd season

By:
Tuesday, April 18, 2023 | 12:38 PM


The PIHL’s second season sponsoring a girls division begins Tuesday night.

Here are five things to know:

East ready to defend title

The PIHL’s inaugural girls hockey season culminated with East defeating Central, 2-1, in the championship game on an overtime goal by Penn-Trafford’s Kylie McKenzie, at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry.

In the semifinals, East won 5-4 in three overtimes over West, and Central topped Southeast, 2-1.

McKenzie returns to lead the East team after scoring eight goals with four assists in the 2022 regular season. Latrobe’s Kira Florek (7 goals, 3 assists) also returns for East.

Southwest’s Cameran Evans (Bethel Park) won the league’s first regular season scoring title with 19 points in 10 games. She also led the league in goals with 13 before graduating.


Related:

After 2-year wait, high school girls hockey team skated into inaugural season


West’s Jenna Collins (Moon) led all goalies with a .941 save percentage and recorded two shutouts. East’s Corrine Brunetto (Latrobe) was second with a .928 save percentage. Both netminders return this season.

West finished 10-0 in the regular season last year, followed by Central (7-3), North (5-4-1), East (5-5), Southwest (3-6-1) and Southeast (0-5-5).

The teams

The PIHL has added a team this season after the inaugural campaign had six squads. A Northeast team, with players from Armstrong, Burrell, Karns City, Hampton, Hollidaysburg, North Catholic, Oil City, State College and Westmont Hilltop, joins holdovers Central, East, West, North, Southeast and Southwest.

Teams have between 16-19 players on the roster, which includes players from multiple schools in that geographic area. Players wear shoulder patches of their school’s logo on their team jerseys.

The defending champion East team, for example, includes players from Baldwin, Franklin Regional, Greensburg Salem, Hempfield, Latrobe, Ligonier Valley, Richland, Steel Valley, Penn-Trafford and Windber.

The schedule

Each team faces every opponent twice for a 12-game regular-season schedule.

The league will play this season at Alpha Ice Complex in Harmar, Baierl Ice Complex in Warrendale, Ice Castle Arena in Castle Shannon, Palmer Imaging Arena in Delmont and the RMU Island Sports Center on Neville Island.

This week’s schedule includes:

Tuesday

North East at East, Palmer Imaging Arena, 8:50 p.m.

Central at North, Baierl Ice Complex, 9:10 p.m.

Wednesday

North at Northeast, Alpha Ice Complex, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday

Southeast at Southwest, Ice Castle, 6:20 p.m.

West at East, Palmer Imaging Arena, 7 p.m.

What’s at stake

All teams qualify for the playoffs, which will begin in June.

The tournament will conclude with a championship game.

How to watch

Several PIHL girls hockey games will be streamed on Tenband.TV. For a complete schedule, visit pihlhockey.com.

Bill Hartlep is the TribLive sports editor. A Pittsburgh native and Point Park graduate, he joined the Trib in 2004, covering high school sports. He held various editing roles before assuming his current position in 2019. He can be reached at bhartlep@triblive.com.

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