PIHL Notebook: 2013-2014 Open Class Preview

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Monday, October 28, 2013 | 3:41 PM


Welcome to another installment of “PIHL Notebook” as we celebrate the drop of the puck across the league tonight by wrapping out season preview four-pack with a look inside the Open Class.

This is by far the largest classification, even more than usual, with 12 teams vying for the Nailers Cup while 11 will chase the Chiefs Cup. As to the former, Section 1 should again be strong, with the four West Virginia powers – Morgantown, defending champ Wheeling Park, John Marshall and Wheeling Central Catholic – joined as usual by Trinity and now Peters Township’s B-Team. Section 2 will likely see Blackhawk and Harbor Creek again duking it out, but don’t count out OLSH, playing under its third name in three seasons (see Ambridge and Quigley), and McDowell could add some intrigue after moving down from Class AAA despite a winless campaign.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs Cup is wide open with champion Ford City now merged with Kittanning in Class AA under the Armstrong banner. Section 3 will have plenty of storylines. Although Indiana and Greensburg Salem will be the early favorites for the crown, three transplanted teams – Hempfield from AAA, Gateway from AA and Greensburg Central Catholic from A – all bring something different to the table. In Section 4, Keystone Oaks and Baldwin are the favorites until Carrick and Ringgold can complete the rebuilding process of past success.

(Teams listed in order of 2012-13 winning percentage)

SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE

SECTION 1:

Morgantown Mohigans

2012-13 Record: 16-2-2, 34 PTS

2012-13 Team Stats: 127 GF, 31 GA, 286 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Lost in Final

2012-13 Three Stars: Alex Battin (24 G, 20 A); Kienan Battin (10 G, 29 A); Keegan Fall (13-2-1, 1.57 GAA, 0.927 SV%, 6 SO)

Wheeling Park Patriots

2012-13 Record: 16-4-0, 32 PTS

2012-13 Team Stats: 163 GF, 62 GA, 266 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Won Nailers Cup & Lost Open Cup

2012-13 Three Stars: Michael Grove (35 G, 35 A); Nicco Catalano (42 G, 27 A); Noah Clune (16-4-0, 3.10 GAA, 0.819 SV%, 4 SO)

John Marshall Monarchs

2012-13 Record: 8-10-2, 18 PTS

2012-13 Team Stats: 84 GF, 104 GA, 336 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2012-13 Three Stars: Josh Merriman (30 G, 18 A); Logan Landis (16 G, 29 A); Bryce Gelner (5-1-0, 3.38 GAA, 0.883 SV%)

Wheeling Central Catholic Maroon Knights

2012-13 Record: 8-10-2, 18 PTS

2012-13 Team Stats: 54 GF, 82 GA, 462 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2012-13 Three Stars: Michael Tighe (27 G, 7 A); Ben Duplaga (9 G, 9 A); John McFarland (8-10-2, 3.90 GAA, 0.926 SV%)

Trinity Hillers

2012-13 Record: 1-17-2, 4 PTS

2012-13 Team Stats: 34 GF, 115 GA, 300 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Did not qualify

2012-13 Three Stars: Dakota Apperson (8 G, 4 A); Camden Allison (8 G, 2 A); Dean Hodgdon (3 G, 5 A)

Peters Township Indians

Just like Canon-McMillan did last season, Peters Township is fielding a B-Team this year due to the sheer volume of kids trying out. See our Class AAA preview from 10/7 to see how the Indians fared in 2012-13, but as to whether the experiment was a success for the Big Macs, they are not repeating it after posting a 6-11-3 record. Read into that what you will, if anything, as it relates to Peters taking a shot.

SECTION 2:

Blackhawk Cougars

2012-13 Record: 17-2-1, 35 PTS

2012-13 Team Stats: 144 GF, 49 GA, 236 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Lost in Semifinals

2012-13 Three Stars: Daren Braudis (44 G, 22 A); Josh McCuean (17 G, 32 A); Grant Rombold (13-2-1, 2.72 GAA, 0.872 SV%, 1 SO)

Harbor Creek Huskies

2012-13 Record: 16-2-2, 34 PTS

2012-13 Team Stats: 112 GF, 38 GA, 316 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Lost in Semifinals

2012-13 Three Stars: Hunter Emerson (21 G, 17 A); Nick Rocco (17 G, 16 A); Tyler Manna (15-2-2, 1.68 GAA, 0.928 SV%, 2 SO)

OLSH Chargers

2012-13 Record: 9-10-1, 19 PTS (Playing as Ambridge)

2012-13 Team Stats: 56 GF, 81 GA, 142 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2012-13 Three Stars: Walter Riggs (12 G, 10 A); Glenn Veahman (11 G, 11 A); Tim Stahoviak (12 G, 9 A)

Beaver Bobcats

2012-13 Record: 5-15-0, 10 PTS

2012-13 Team Stats: 37 GF, 126 GA, 272 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Did not qualify

2012-13 Three Stars: Kevin Orndorf (10 G, 10 A); Brendan Brown (10 G, 9 A); Anthony Suchanec (5 G, 5 A)

Central Valley Warriors

2012-13 Record: 0-19-1, 1 PT

2012-13 Team Stats: 29 GF, 143 GA, 245 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Did not qualify

2012-13 Three Stars: Anthony Molinaro (9 G, 7 A); Spencer Hondt (5 G, 2 A); Jonathan Palombo (5 G, 1 A)

McDowell Trojans

2012-13 Record: 0-21-0, 0 PTS (Class AAA)

2012-13 Team Stats: 23 GF, 212 GA, 281 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Did not qualify

2012-13 Three Stars: Nicholas Wilcox (6 G, 2 A); Aaron Parry (3 G, 5 A); Mitchell Reichert (4 G, 2 A)
 

NORTHEAST CONFERENCE

SECTION 3:

Indiana Little Indians

2012-13 Record: 17-2-1, 35 PTS

2012-13 Team Stats: 151 GF, 39 GA, 380 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Lost in Final

2012-13 Three Stars: Patrick Hunter (42 G, 23 A); Jess Bartholow (24 G, 13 A); Austin Moody (17-2-1, 1.90 GAA, 0.917 SV%, 2 SO)

Greensburg Salem Golden Lions

2012-13 Record: 15-4-1, 31 PTS

2012-13 Team Stats: 190 GF, 74 GA, 205 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Lost in Semifinals

2012-13 Three Stars: Cody Austad (28 G, 40 A); Jonathan Finger (30 G, 37 A); Dakota Sheetz (15-4-1, 3.68 GAA, 0.833 SV%, 3 SO)

Gateway Gators

2012-13 Record: 8-11-0, 16 PTS (Class AA)

2012-13 Team Stats: 66 GF, 99 GA, 229 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: X

2012-13 Three Stars: Camden Cacolice (12 G, 19 A); Jonathan Kasper (16 G, 9 A); Taylor Siwik (16 G, 9 A)

Altoona Mountain Lions

2012-13 Record: 8-12-0, 16 PTS

2012-13 Team Stats: 110 GF, 114 GA, 363 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2012-13 Three Stars: Adam Badorrek (47 G, 7 A); Kody Blevins (14 G, 17 A); Matt Dalto (10 G, 8 A)

Hempfield Spartans

2012-13 Record: 2-16-2, 6 PTS (Class AAA)

2012-13 Team Stats: 52 GF, 134 GA, 220 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Did not qualify

2012-13 Three Stars: Channing Gorscak (15 G, 15 A); Andrew Koziara (10 G, 10 A); Justin Bartus (6 G, 10 A)

Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions

2012-13 Record: 0-22-0, 0 PTS (Class A)

2012-13 Team Stats: 49 GF, 236 GA, 180 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Did not qualify

2012-13 Three Stars: Nicholas Benjamin (15 G, 16 A); Zachary Banko (8 G, 19 A); Nicholas Frank (14 G, 5 A)

SECTION 4:

Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles

2012-13 Record: 13-6-1, 27 PTS

2012-13 Team Stats: 139 GF, 77 GA, 252 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2012-13 Three Stars: Ryan Rosato (36 G, 22 A); Bryton Tomko (25 G, 19 A); Jonathan Mead (10-6-1, 4.14 GAA, 0.837 SV%, 1 SO)

Baldwin Highlanders

2012-13 Record: 11-8-1, 23 PTS

2012-13 Team Stats: 133 GF, 66 GA, 245 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2012-13 Three Stars: Dakota Becker (20 G, 16 A); Brian Dee (20 G, 13 A); Ryan Beerman (11-8-1, 3.27 GAA, 0.844 SV%, 2 SO)

Carrick Cougars

2012-13 Record: 5-15-0, 10 PTS

2012-13 Team Stats: 74 GF, 158 GA, 352 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2012-13 Three Stars: Anthony Manuel (18 G, 20 A); Jacob Schrader (18 G, 18 A); Joseph Brinton (4 G, 14 A)

Ringgold Rams

2012-13 Record: 3-17-0, 6 PTS

2012-13 Team Stats: 42 GF, 228 GA, 265 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Did not qualify

2012-13 Three Stars: Jesse Benning (11 G, 4 A); Alex Nageli (6 G, 5 A); Jesse Pry (5 G, 5 A)

Connellsville Falcons

2012-13 Record: 1-19-0, 2 PTS

2012-13 Team Stats: 19 GF, 232 GA, 268 PIM

2012-13 Playoffs: Did not qualify

2012-13 Three Stars: Jonathan Herchko (6 G, 1 A); Sam Wiatrak (4 G, 2 A); Jacob Miller (2 G, 2 A)

This concludes our annual PIHL season preview, but we will begin our regular weekly installments of “PIHL Notebook” on Monday, December 2. Then tune in at 8:00 PM on Wednesday, December 4 as Adam Hoerner and Josh Rowntree bring you the ninth season premiere of “The PIHL Power Play,” airing weekly through March. Your home for the 2014 Penguins Cup Playoffs is the MSA Sports Network!

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