PIHL Notebook – 2014-2015 Class B & C Preview

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Monday, October 27, 2014 | 4:08 PM


Welcome to another installment of “PIHL Notebook” as we wrap up our season preview four-pack with a look inside what used to be the Open Class. Instead, it will now be known as Varsity Division II, divided into Class B and Class C. It bears mentioning, as touched upon in our feature on the new alignment on October 6, only co-op teams are allowed in Division II.

Class B is the cream of the crop, at least on paper. Defending Nailers Cup champion Harbor Creek headlines things, joined by four semifinalists from the 2014 Open Class Playoffs. Also in the mix is a Penn-Trafford squad down from Class AAA, a brand new “B Team” from Upper St. Clair, and a blast from the past in Meadville.

Class C might contain a lot of teams which failed to make the 2014 postseason, but then that is the entire point of the new alignment. Increase competition by trying to keep similar programs pitted against each other. And the name recognition is certainly there with schools like Central Valley and returning-to-the-varsity-level Elizabeth Forward joining playoff teams like Carrick, Ringgold and John Marshall.

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

CLASS B:

Harbor Creek Huskies

2013-14 Record: 19-1-0, 38 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 180 GF, 30 GA, 203 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Won Nailers Cup; Lost Open Cup

2013-14 Three Stars: Logan Conboy (34 G, 33 A); Nick Rocco (29 G, 33 A); Tyler Manna (19-1-0, 1.50 GAA, 0.919 SV%, 7 SO)

Indiana Little Indians

2013-14 Record: 17-1-1, 35 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 162 GF, 47 GA, 276 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Semifinals

2013-14 Three Stars: Jess Bartholow (34 G, 29 A); Camden Lydick (17 G, 35 A); Thomas Petro (9 G, 38 A)

Morgantown Mohigans

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

2013-14 Team Stats: 123 GF, 46 GA, 525 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Final

2013-14 Three Stars: Kienan Battin (28 G, 15 A); Cullen Gookin (10 G, 18 A); Jacob Hough (16-2-0, 2.04 GAA, 0.927 SV%, 3 SO)

Peters Township Indians

2013-14 Record: 15-5-0, 30 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 108 GF, 50 GA, 224 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2013-14 Three Stars: John Platt (9 G, 12 A); Joey Spinabelli (5 G, 16 A); William Barnes (14 G, 6 A)

Altoona Mountain Lions

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

2013-14 Team Stats: 102 GF, 78 GA, 253 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Semifinals

2013-14 Three Stars: Matthew Dalto (18 G, 19 A); Austin Myers (17 G, 16 A); Jacob Russo (21 G, 9 A)

Blackhawk Cougars

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

2013-14 Team Stats: 121 GF, 61 GA, 304 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Semifinals

2013-14 Three Stars: Kyle Schaefer (23 G, 27 A); Robert Swinderman (21 G, 21 A); Nathan Lundy (14 G, 13 A)

Penn-Trafford Warriors

2013-14 Record: 12-8-0, 24 PTS (Class AAA)

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); Jonathan Graffius (20 G, 21 A); Jordan Eisenstat (18 G, 19 A)

Beaver Bobcats

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

2013-14 Team Stats: 96 GF, 69 GA, 363 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Semifinals

2013-14 Three Stars: Antoni Chirgott (15 G, 24 A); Ryan Hartman (21 G, 16 A); Noah Schultz (10 G, 16 A)

Canon-McMillan Big Macs

2013-14 Record: N/A

The skinny: The Big Macs were the first program to try the “B Team” experiment in 2012-13, finishing X in Open Class competition. After going back to just one varsity squad a year ago, Canon-McMillan will double up again this season.

Meadville Bulldogs

2013-14 Record: N/A

The skinny: After competing outside the PIHL since the 2009-10 campaign as a member of Class AA, it is just great to see the Meadville program return. And, yes, we double-checked, and Jamie Plunkett is still coaching the Bulldogs. The rabid fan base up there is surely in for quite a show given the level of competition in Class B

Upper St. Clair Panthers

2013-14 Record: N/A

The skinny: Like Canon-McMillan and Peters Township before them, the Panthers will become the third Class AAA school with the numbers and the know-how to field a second varsity team. One thing you can bet on is the competition among the three South Hills powers being every bit as stiff in Division II as it will be in Division I.

CLASS C – NORTHERN CONFERENCE

Carrick Cougars

2013-14 Record: 10-10-0, 20 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 81 GF, 74 GA, 323 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2013-14 Three Stars: Anthony Manuel (26 G, 12 A); Jacob Speicher (10 G, 12 A); Nathan Norkevicus (9-5-0, 2.65 GAA, 0.908 SV%, 2 SO)

OLSH Chargers

2013-14 Record: 4-16-0, 8 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 45 GF, 130 GA, 240 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Did not qualify

2013-14 Three Stars: Walter Riggs (9 G, 10 A); Dante Egizio (9 G, 3 A); Glenn Veahman (7 G, 5 A)

Central Valley Warriors

2013-14 Record: 3-17-0, 6 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 27 GF, 181 G, 205 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Did not qualify

2013-14 Three Stars: Kiernan Brown (5 G, 7 A); Cameron Drake (6 G, 2 A); Spencer Hondt (5 G, 3 A)

Elizabeth Forward Warriors

2013-14 Record: 5-12-1, 11 PTS (Junior Varsity)

2013-14 Team Stats: 36 GF, 97 GA, 270 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: N/A

2013-14 Three Stars: Wesley Scott (10 G, 8 A); Justin Cullen (9 G, 6 A); Brian Davies (9 G, 6 A)

CLASS C – SOUTHERN CONFERENCE

Ringgold Rams

2013-14 Record: 9-11-0, 18 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 80 GF, 117 GA, 322 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2013-14 Three Stars: Aaron Major (28 G, 9 A); Brian Gregg (10 G, 14 A); Alex Nageli (13 G, 10 A)

John Marshall Monarchs

2013-14 Record: 9-11-0, 18 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 72 GF, 97 GA, 504 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2013-14 Three Stars: Josh Merriman (25 G, 9 A); Logan Landis (8 G, 18 A); Michael Eskridge (12 G, 8 A)

Wheeling Central Catholic Maroon Knights

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

2013-14 Team Stats: 70 GF, 123 GA, 348 PIN

2013-14 Playoffs: Did not qualify

2013-14 Three Stars: Jacob Tighe (36 G, 16 A); Ben Duplaga (11 G, 12 A); Jonathon Haley & Ryan Gossett (3 G, 10 A each)

Trinity Hillers

2013-14 Record: 0-20-0, 0 PTS

2013-14 Team Stats: 20 GF, 163 GA, 265 PIM

2013-14 Playoffs: Did not qualify

2013-14 Three Stars: Turner Jacobs (6 G, 3 A); Brandon Loos (3 G, 3 A); Jacob Hoch (2 G, 3 A)

This concludes our annual PIHL season preview, but we will begin our regular weekly installments of “PIHL Notebook” on Monday, December 1. Then tune in at 8:00 PM on Wednesday, December 3 as Adam Hoerner and Josh Rowntree bring you the tenth (!) season premiere of “The PIHL Power Play,” airing weekly through March. Your home for the 2015 Penguins Cup Playoffs is the MSA Sports Network!

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