PIHL High School Hockey Notebook – 02/21/2012

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012 | 2:09 AM


Welcome to another edition of “PIHL Notebook,” your weekly companion to “The PIHL Power Play” on the MSA Sports Network. Check out which teams are hot right now in “Melting the Ice” and track recent game action in “Scoreboard Watch.” Plus, we preview upcoming MSA broadcasts and quote guests from the show in “They Said It.”

PIHL CLASS AAA:

MELTING THE ICE

Peters Township has pulled within five points of Canon-McMillan atop Section 1 after winning its last four … Bethel Park continues it’s nine-game unbeaten streak, which includes eight consecutive victories … North Allegheny still leads Section 2 after winning six in a row, but Mount Lebanon is just two points back after capturing back-to-back decisions … Pittsburgh Central Catholic has secured the Section 3 crown with a pair of wins while Shaler has points in two straight … Penn-Trafford has locked up the Section 4 title with a three-game unbeaten streak.

SCOREBOARD WATCH

2/13/12 – Section 1: Peters Township 5, Canon-McMillan 3 … The Indians tie the season series 1-1 and snap a two-game winning streak for the Big Macs … Peters Township scored first and took each of the first two periods by 2-1 counts … Canon-McMillan got the scored tied twice, but never took the lead … Trevor Recktenwald’s hat trick included a shorthanded tally and an empty-netter on the winning end … Jacob Brown set up three goals for the Indians while Davan Groom scored the winner and added two assists … Zack McKown starred for the Big Macs with two goals, one of which came on the power play … Brian Baker stopped 31 shots to earn the victory.

2/16/12 – Non-section: Shaler 6, Penn-Trafford 6 (OT) … The Titans earn a very important point in their quest for a postseason berth while the Warriors fail to win a third straight contest … After seeing 1-1 and 2-2 scores, Penn-Trafford grabbed a 4-2 advantage at the break … It was 6-4 when Shaler got two late power play goals from Ryan Fischerkeller, tying the score for good … Jacob Hetz contributed a hat trick to the Titans’ cause, including one power play goal … Conlan Sodrosky paced the Warriors with a hat trick of his own while Joe Boyer picked up four points (PPG, 3 A) and Dan Maier added two (1 G, 1 A).
 

PIHL CLASS AA:

MELTING THE ICE

West Allegheny continues to headline the list with a winning streak now standing at 14 games … Chartiers Valley is back atop Section 2 having extended its string of two-point efforts to six, but Erie Cathedral Prep is just three points back with points in its last three outings … Latrobe’s seven-game unbeaten streak has assured a Section 4 championship.

SCOREBOARD WATCH

2/16/12 – Non-section: West Allegheny 3, Bishop Canevin 2 … In a matchup which could very well happen again deep into the Penguins Cup Playoffs, the Indians survived a comeback attempt by the Crusaders … West Allegheny controlled the first two periods by 1-0 and 2-0 counts … Bishop Canevin stormed out with two early third period markers, but got no closer … Jonathan Levitt’s power play goal proved to be the winner while Patrick Coburn was the only multi-point producer of the evening (1 G, 1 A) … Chadd Lounder scored shorthanded for the Crusaders … Nikita Meskin was okay between the pipes with 18 saves, but Jason Kumpfmiller was better for the Indians with 23 stops.

2/16/12 – Non-section: Erie Cathedral Prep 7, North Hills 3 … The Ramblers could not have picked a better time to start a winning streak while the Indians remain on the playoff fringe … It was 1-1 after one period, and North Hills had a 2-1 lead at 4:14 of the second,  but Erie Prep tied it five seconds later to trigger a three-goal explosion … It was 5-3 at intermission, and Erie scored two more for good measure late in the third … Jimmy Bufalino’s hat trick included the winner while shorthanded … The Ramblers also got solid efforts from Cameron Zbrzeznj (2 G, 1 A) and Dan Trageser (PPG, 1 A) … Jake Lydon paced the Indians with two points (1 G, 1 A) … Jacob Varo stopped 17 shots to earn the victory.
 

PIHL CLASS A:

MELTING THE ICE

Mars has a tenuous lead on first place in Section 2 thanks to its six-game winning streak, but Quaker Valley’s unbeaten streak of 15 means this race will come down to the wire … Kittanning’s string of five victories has given them control of Section 3, at least for the moment, while Bishop McCort’s fight for a playoff berth has gained steam following back-to-back victories … Hampton has managed at least a point in two consecutive contests.

SCOREBOARD WATCH

2/16/12 – Non-section: Mars 3, Freeport 2 … The Yellowjackets put forth another solid effort, but have now lost two straight as the Planets hold them off … A late second period tally put Mars up 1-0 at intermission … It was 2-0 early in the third, but Freeport tied it at 7:23 … It would not last, though, as Nicholas Blaney scored the winner just 49 seconds later … Austin Heakins contributed two points (1 G, 1 A) while Robert Foley set up a pair of goals for the Planets … Cole Hepler paced Freeport with two points (1 G, 1 A) … Cody Lee was stout with 32 saves, but 18 stops were enough for Alex Stepke to pick up the decision.

2/16/12 – Section 1: Serra Catholic 4, Thomas Jefferson 3 … The Eagles sweep the season series and keep the Jaguars on the playoff fringe, but it was not an easy victory … TJ led 1-0 after one and 2-0 early in the second … Serra would scored the next three for a narrow lead when the Zamboni went to work … The Jags tied it midway through the third, but Tyler Speis netted the winner at 13:10, completing a three-point night for himself (2 G, 1 A) … Robert Kendi chipped in two points for the Eagles (1 G, 1 A) … Kyle Miller again found himself pacing the Jaguars with two goals … Anthony Piccioni did what he could by making 30 saves, but Travis Marzina’s 15 saves proved enough for Serra.
 

PIHL OPEN CLASS:

MELTING THE ICE

The only team streaking in the Nailers Cup bracket is Harbor Creek with a four-pack of wins … We continue to wish Ford City and West Allegheny could play each other as the Sabers also notched their 14th win in a row … Despite that, Indiana has won five straight and remains just five points back in Section 3 … Baldwin extends its winning streak to 12 games, thus maintaining its three-point lead over Greensburg Salem in Section 4 … Carrick continues to impress by capturing its seventh consecutive decision.

SCOREBOARD WATCH

2/13/12 – Section 3: Ford City 4, Hollidaysburg 1 … The Sabers sweep the season series, but the Golden Tigers made it interesting for a while … Hollidaysburg struck first at 8:08 of the first and held the lead until Kevin Valasek tied it at 14:26 … Ford City then got the winner from Jesse Valasek at 3:44 of the second, with insurance markers coming late in the same period … Josh Oliver (1 G, 1 A) and John Phelps (2 A) were the only multi-point getters … Tip your cap to Charlie Lafferty, who made 42 saves despite suffering the loss while Zach Latorre only had to stop 10 shots.

2/13/12 – Non-section: Wheeling Park 7, Central Valley 6 … The Patriots sweep the season series and have earned points in seven out of nine games in 2012 while the Warriors’ regular campaign ends on a sour note heading into the playoffs despite a solid effort here … It was 3-1 Wheeling Park after one, but Central Valley made it 4-4 after two … It was 5-5 less than a minute into period three, but the Patriots scored the next two, with Nicco Catalano netting his second and the winner at 3:01 … Brendan Brown completed a four-point night (2 PPG, SHG, 1 A) with a power play goal at 11:21, but the Warriors could not get another equalizer … Wheeling Park also got multiple points from Porter Knollinger (2 G, 1 SH, 1 A), Michael Grove (3 A), Morgan Smith (1 G, 1 A), Derek Smith (2 A) and Tyler Landis (2 A) … For Central Valley it was Kevin Guzak (1 G, 3 A), Craig Fairley (3 A), Michael Harrington (1 G, 1 A) and Anthony Molinaro (PPG, 1 A).

UPCOMING MSA BROADCASTS

2/23/12 – Class AAA – Non-section: Penn-Trafford @ Peters Township … The Warriors boast the top offense in the class with 127 goals, but the Indians lead defensively with 35 allowed, so obviously something has to give between the current two and five seed respectively … Not surprisingly, Penn-Trafford has three of the top four scorers in the class in Dan Maier (33 G, 23 A), Conlan Sodrosky (23 G, 31 A) and Joe Boyer (15 G, 31 A) … Peters has the best goaltender around, though, with Brian Baker posting a 10-2-2 record, 1.40 GAA, 0.949 save percentage and four shutouts thus far … The puck drops at 7:05 PM on these airwaves.

THEY SAID IT:

“It’s been more of a whole team effort. We have been using more of our lines. I think we have a little bit better depth this year than we have in past years actually because it seems like we can send out any one of our lines and we can shut down the other team’s top line. We have been playing together since mites, so we have been really good friends through all of these years.” – Latrobe forward Jacob Koluder on the strength of his team this season

That wraps up this edition of “PIHL Notebook,” but check back every Monday from now through March for the most current news from around the league. First, though, Adam Hoerner and Josh Rowntree host another episode of “The PIHL Power Play” on a special Thursday night edition at 8:00. Joining us this week will be Mount Lebanon forward Jason Hartman to tell us why the Blue Devils are a force to be reckoned with this postseason. The exclusive home for the 2012 Penguins Cup Playoffs is the MSA Sports Network!

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