PIHL High School Hockey Notebook – 02/11/2013

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Monday, February 11, 2013 | 5:29 PM


Welcome to another edition of “PIHL Notebook,” your weekly companion to “The PIHL Power Play” on the MSA Sports Network. As usual, have your weekly thermometer of streaking teams in “Melting the Ice.” Plus, the “Scoreboard Watch” is packed with overtime action. Finally, our MSA broadcast preview slate breaks down a pair of contests featuring the Blackhawk Cougars. So, let’s light the lamp on this edition of “PIHL Notebook.”

MELTING THE ICE (Records listed indicate current unbeaten streak):

Class AAA: Peters Township (9-0-0), North Allegheny (7-0-2), Upper St. Clair (2-0-1)

Class AA: Latrobe (9-0-0), Bishop Canevin (5-0-0), Chartiers Valley (4-0-0), Plum (3-0-0)

Class A: Quaker Valley (17-0-0), Mars (12-0-1), Kittanning (4-0-0)

Open Class: Blackhawk (17-0-1), Harbor Creek (5-0-2), Indiana (6-0-0), Keystone Oaks (6-0-0), Greensburg Salem (5-0-0), Morgantown (4-0-1), Wheeling Central Catholic (3-0-0), Ford City (3-0-0)

SCOREBOARD WATCH:

2/4/13 – Class AA – Non-Section – Chartiers Valley 2, West Allegheny 1 (OT) … The Colts (12-3-1) and the Indians (5-10-2) traded power play goals from Rich Monti and Matt Grebosky respectively a mere 2:06 apart in the first period. The goalies put on a clinic from there until Monti finally put home the winner 3:04 into the extra session. Grant Gerstner made 25 saves in the losing effort while Noah Stevenson stopped 22 pucks.

2/5/13 – Class AAA – Non-Section – Upper St. Clair 4, North Allegheny 4 (OT) …  The Tigers (13-2-2) scored just nine seconds into the contest and carried that lead into the second only to see the Panthers (10-5-2) score the next two. USC’s lead would only last for 31 seconds, though, and NA would eventually get the lead back at 10:47 of the third. Upper St. Clair then scored twice 1:12 apart for a 4-3 lead with 2:26 on the clock. North Allegheny would get the final goal from Harry Kramer with 13 seconds remaining, and both teams settled for one point in the standings. All goals came at even strength with Matt Fantaski of NA and Austin Cassidy of USC each scoring once and adding an assist. Michael Ambrose of the Panthers outshined Bradford Thornburgh of the Tigers with 35 saves to 19.

2/6/13 – Open Class – Non-Section – Indiana 4, Baldwin 1 … The only varsity contest on this day saw the Indians (15-2-1) hold off the Highlanders (10-6-1). Patrick Hunter scored the only two goals Indiana would need in the first period, one early and one late, with a Dylan Davey goal for Baldwin sandwiched in the middle. Jess Bartholow and Dom Glavach would add insurance markers midway through the second 1:17 apart, and the defense clamped down from there. Both goaltenders registered 22 saves with Austin Moody earning the decision over Ryan Beerman.

2/7/13 – Class AA – Section 1 – Moon 5, North Hills 4 (OT) … The Indians (7-8-0) scored three power play goals in the first period, two from Brett Berner and one from Tyler Volz, but the Tigers (8-5-2) hung around with a pair at even strength. Moon would tie the game midway through the second while on the man advantage and take a 4-3 lead 2:03 into the third, but could not close the deal in regulation as Volz struck shorthanded with 3:56 remaining. Moon would not be denied, though, as Austin Siebert netted the winner before the final 11 seconds ticked off the overtime clock. Berner and Volz each added two assists to their evenings while Trevor Handlovitch paced the winning team with a goal and two helpers. The backstops had matching save totals of 33 with J.T. Cillo-Owens defeating Max Sikorski.

2/8/13 – Open Class – Section 1 – Wheeling Central Catholic 3, Trinity 2 … The Maroon Knights (6-9-1) erased a pair of one-goal deficits to defeat the Hillers (1-14-2), but it wasn’t easy. Aaron Cowden got Trinity on the board with a power play goal at 8:46 of the first period, but Michael Tighe tied it for Wheeling Central while shorthanded at 12:40 of the second. The Hillers broke the tie courtesy of Dakota Apperson at 4:15 of the third, but Tighe tied it back up at 8:04 before Jefferson Gwynn won it at 14:34. Michael Schwarz helped set up all three goals in the winning effort while John McFarland made 20 saves. Zach Kagle certainly did his part for Trinity by making 33 stops.

2/9/13 – Open Class – Non-Section – Harbor Creek 2, Morgantown 2 (OT) … The lone varsity tilt on this night turned out to be a push as the Huskies (14-2-2) could not hold off the Mohawks (13-2-2) power play. Harbor Creek led 1-0 after one thanks to Hunter Emerson, but Alex Battin tied things up on the man advantage in period two. Alex Van Houwe made it 2-1 Huskies just 1:03 into the third, and it nearly held up, but a late power play allowed Austin Babb to score the final goal with 2:22 left in regulation. Tyler Manna of Morgantown outdid Keegan Fall with 34 saves to 22.

UPCOMING MSA BROADCASTS:

2/11/13 – Open Class – Section 2 – Ambridge (7-9-1) @ Blackhawk (17-1-1) … The Cougars remain the hottest team in the class and top offense in the league with 149 goals. Meanwhile, the Bridgers are 3-2-0 in their last five and are coming off a win themselves. Daren Braudis continues to impress (46 G, 70 PTS, 11 PPG, 4 SHG) for Blackhawk while Grant Rombold (12-1-1, 2.53 GAA, 0.874 SV %, 1 SO) remains solid between the pipes. Ambridge has gotten 12 goals and 19 points from Walter Riggs while goaltender Preston Charlton (7-9-1, 4.27 GAA, 0.877 SV %, 1 SO) has played every second. Blackhawk won the previous meeting 8-2 on November 8 with six points (4 G, 2 A) from Braudis. The puck drops at 9:05 PM with Steve Nagler and Mike Azadian on the call.

2/14/13 – Open Class – Non-Section – Wheeling Park (13-3-0) @ Blackhawk (17-1-1) … Enough said about Blackhawk above as the Cougars close out their regular season schedule here. As for Wheeling Park, 135 goals makes them the second-best offense in the Nailers Cup bracket, with 32 of them coming from Nicco Catalano. Give Michael Grove credit as the team leader in assists (31) and points (57) while Noah Clune (13-3-0, 3.06 GAA, 0.803 SV %, 3 SO) has been the iron man goaltender. Blackhawk won the previous meeting in a wild 9-6 affair on December 10, getting five goals from Mr. Braudis. The puck drops at 9:05 PM with Mike Azadian and Brandon Showers on the call.

That wraps up this edition of “PIHL Notebook,” but check back every Monday through March for more news from around the league. In the meantime, Adam Hoerner and Josh Rowntree host another episode of “The PIHL Power Play” on Wednesday night at 8:00. Joining us this week will be State College forward Stefan Horgas, Greensburg Salem head coach Michael Steinhauser and Keystone Oaks head coach John McCarthy. Your home for the 2013 Penguins Cup Playoffs is the MSA Sports Network!

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