PIHL Notebook – 2014-2015 Class AAA Preview

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Monday, October 6, 2014 | 2:35 PM


Welcome to “PIHL Notebook” and our annual season preview. Over the next four Monday’s, we will provide thumbnail sketches of all 63 PIHL teams to make sure local high school hockey fans are ready when the puck drops…tonight!

And, oh, by the way, we will have exclusive coverage, both audio AND video, of the opening night doubleheader from the RMU Island Sports Center on Neville Island. Seneca Valley will take on Canon-McMillan in Class AAA at 7:15, followed by Quaker Valley against Freeport at 9:15 in a rematch of last year’s dramatic Class A Semifinal.

Under the new alignment discussed in today’s companion piece, Class AAA has no conferences, no divisions. Just one conference with 12 teams battling it out for the available spots in the 2015 Penguins Cup Tournament. If you thought the competition was tight in this classification last season, our guess is we haven’t seen anything yet.

Can defending state champion Peters Township do it again? How will runner-up Bethel Park rebound? Can Butler sustain last year’s momentum and earn a more permanent spot in the conversation about legitimate contenders? Can struggling stalwarts like Mount Lebanon and Upper St. Clair make a return to meaningful postseason action? All these questions and more will be answered in the months ahead.

(Teams listed in order of 2013-14 winning percentage)

Bethel Park Black Hawks

2013-14 Record: 17-3-0, 34 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 85 GF, 39 GA, 166 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Final

2013-14 Three Stars: Christian Siak (29 G, 13 A); Derek Lesnak (12 G, 23 A); Zach Davis (12-1-0, 1.92 GAA, 0.900 SV%, 1 SO)

Peters Township Indians

2013-14 Record: 16-4-0, 32 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 95 GF, 47 GA, 194 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Won Penguins Cup & Pennsylvania Cup

2013-14 Three Stars: Adam Alavi (20 G, 16 A); Carter Ekberg (7 G, 13 A); Brian Baker (8-3-0, 2.22 GAA, 0.919 SV%, 1 SO)

Butler Golden Tornado

2013-14 Record: 13-7-0, 26 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 98 GF, 72 GA, 300 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2013-14 Three Stars: Troy Double (13 G, 21 A); Connor Scott (15 G, 18 A); Nicholas Whann (6 G, 24 A)

North Allegheny Tigers

2013-14 Record: 12-7-1, 25 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 66 GF, 46 GA, 134 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2013-14 Three Stars: Martin Hubert (18 G, 9 A); Dawson Richard (4 G, 16 A); Bradford Thornburgh (8-5-1, 2.12 GAA, 0.922 SV%, 3 SO)

Canon-McMillan Big Macs

2013-14 Record: 11-8-1, 23 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 113 GF, 77 GA, 350 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in First Round

2013-14 Three Stars: James Oddi (27 G, 25 A); Austin Tonkovich (18 G, 24 A); Zach Mansmann (13 G, 21 A)

Penn-Trafford Warriors

2013-14 Record: 12-8-0, 24 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 108 GF, 68 GA, 365 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Semifinals

2013-14 Three Stars: Jacob Miller (23 G, 31 A); Jonah Graffius (20 G, 21 A); Jordan Eisenstat (18 G, 19 A)

Pine-Richland Rams

2013-14 Record: 11-8-1, 23 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 99 GF, 65 GA, 218 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Semifinals

2013-14 Three Stars: Nicholas Matelan (24 G, 19 A); Ryan Cole (16 G, 20 A); Kyle Cunningham (9 G, 14 A)

Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings

2013-14 Record: 11-8-1, 23 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 88 GF, 71 GA, 263 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in First Round

2013-14 Three Stars: Jesse Yeckel (13 G, 17 A); Jake Tepe (8 G, 9 A); Brian Burger (8-3-0, 3.20 GAA, 0.884 SV%)

Seneca Valley Raiders

2013-14 Record: 11-9-0, 22 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 83 GF, 63 GA, 307 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2013-14 Three Stars: Brendan MacFarlane (11 G, 20 A); Chris Marziotto (11 G, 17 A); Tanner Pfeffer (8-6-0, 2.43 GAA, 0.914 SV%)

State College Little Lions

2013-14 Record: 9-10-1, 19 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 74 GF, 66 GA, 341 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2013-14 Three Stars: Jared Karas (14 G, 14 A); Lucas Michael (11 G, 10 A); Sey Yeaple (14 G, 4 A)

Mount Lebanon Blue Devils

2013-14 Record: 6-13-1, 13 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 77 GF, 85 GA, 198 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in First Round

2013-14 Three Stars: Stephen Sramac (13 G, 28 A); Reed Farber (18 G, 17 A); George Farrell (15 G, 17 A)

Upper St. Clair Panthers

2013-14 Record: 6-14-0, 12 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 59 GF, 87 GA, 244 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2013-14 Three Stars: Austin Cassidy (22 G, 13 A); Matt Boyd (9 G, 7 A); Kasey Colcombe (3 G, 10 A)

That wraps up our Class AAA preview, but we still have three more to go, so check back next Monday as we delve into Class AA. Your home for the 2015 Penguins Cup Playoffs is the MSA Sports Network!

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