PIHL Notebook – 01/05/2015

Monday, January 5, 2015 | 10:38 AM

Welcome to the first 2015 edition of “PIHL Notebook,” your weekly companion to “The PIHL Power Play” on the MSA Sports Network. With no unbeaten streaks to update and no games to recap since last week’s column, what’s a writer to do? As longtime readers know, this is always a great time to look at the midseason snapshot of the Penguins Cup playoff brackets, especially since we had the privilege of unveiling the new format on our show two weeks back. We won’t stop there, though, with a five-pack of network broadcasts to preview, including a battle of South Hills powers in Class AAA and a first-place versus second-place contest in Class A. So, let’s light the lamp on this edition of “PIHL Notebook.”


Class AAA

Quarterfinals: #8 Upper St. Clair Panthers (5-7-1) AT #1 Peters Township Indians (11-1-1)

Quarterfinals: #5 Canon-McMillan Big Macs (7-4-1) AT #4 Butler Golden Tornado (7-3-3)

*Winners of above two games would meet in Semifinals @ RMU Island Sports Center*

Quarterfinals: #7 Mount Lebanon Blue Devils (5-7-1) AT #2 North Allegheny Tigers (9-2-2)

Quarterfinals: #6 Seneca Valley Raiders (7-5-0) AT #3 Bethel Park Black Hawks (8-4-1)

*Winners of above two games would meet in Semifinals @ RMU Island Sports Center*

Class AA

First Round: #5 West – West Allegheny Indians (4-6-0) vs. #4 East – Fox Chapel Foxes (5-4-2) at neutral site

First Round: #5 East – Latrobe Wildcats (5-5-1) vs. #4 West – Bishop Canevin Crusaders (4-6-0) at neutral site

Quarterfinals: West Allegheny/Fox Chapel winner AT #1 West – Erie Cathedral Prep (9-2-0)

Quarterfinals: #3 West – North Hills Indians (6-5-0) AT #2 East – Hampton Talbots (8-1-1)

*Winners of above two games would meet in Semifinals @ RMU Island Sports Center*

Quarterfinals: Latrobe/Bishop Canevin winner AT #1 East – Shaler Titans (10-1-0)

Quarterfinals: #3 East – Armstrong River Hawks (7-3-0) AT #2 West – Moon Tigers (8-3-0)

*Winners of above two games would meet in Semifinals @ RMU Island Sports Center*

Class A

First Round: Tier 2 East #1 – Franklin Regional Panthers (7-5-0) vs. Tier 1 East #4 – Westmont Hilltop Hilltoppers (5-8-0) at neutral site

First Round: Tier 2 West #2 – South Fayette Lions (3-9-0) vs. Tier 1 West #3 – Thomas Jefferson Jaguars (8-5-0) at neutral site

First Round: Tier 2 West #1 – South Park Eagles (9-3-0) vs. Tier 1 West #4 – Montour Spartans (7-5-0) at neutral site

First Round: Tier 2 East #2 – Bishop McCort Crimson Crushers (5-6-0) vs. Tier 1 East #3 – Freeport Yellowjackets (8-4-0) at neutral site

Quarterfinals: Franklin Regional/Westmont Hilltop winner AT Tier 1 West #1 – Quaker Valley Quakers (12-1-0)

Quarterfinals: South Fayette/Thomas Jefferson winner AT Tier 1 East #2 – Hempfield Spartans (9-3-0)

*Winners of above two games would meet in Semifinals @ RMU Island Sports Center*

Quarterfinals: South Park Montour/winner AT Tier 1 East #1 – Deer Lakes Lancers (11-2-0)

Quarterfinals: Bishop McCort/Freeport winner AT Tier 1 West #2 – Mars Fighting Planets (12-2-0)

*Winners of above two games would meet in Semifinals @ RMU Island Sports Center*

Class B-C

First Round: Class C South #1 – Ringgold Rams (5-6-0) vs. Class C North #1 – Carrick Cougars (13-0-0) at neutral site

First Round: Class C Wildcard – OLSH Chargers (9-3-0) vs. Class B #7 – Beaver Bobcats (5-6-0) at neutral site

Quarterfinals: Ringgold/Carrick winner AT Class B #1 – Harbor Creek Huskies (9-1-0)

Quarterfinals: Class B #5 – Peters Township Indians (6-6-0) AT Class B #4 – Meadville Bulldogs (6-5-0)

*Winners of above two games would meet in Semifinals @ RMU Island Sports Center*

Quarterfinals: OLSH/Beaver winner AT Class B #2 – Indiana Little Indians (8-1-1)

Quarterfinals: Class B #6 – Morgantown Mohigans (5-5-1) AT Class B #3 – Blackhawk Cougars (6-4-0)

*Winners of above two games would meet in Semifinals @ RMU Island Sports Center*


1/5/15 – Class AAA – Mount Lebanon Blue Devils vs. Seneca Valley Raiders AT Bladerunners in Warrendale … The Blue Devils (5-7-1) are coming off a loss, going 1-4-0 in their last five, while the Raiders (7-5-0) are coming off a win, part of a 3-3-0 run. George Farrell (9 G, 11 A) and Reed Farber (7 G, 10 A) key the Mount Lebanon attack while Joel Kirshner (3-6-0, 2.86 GAA, 0.892 SV%, 1 SO) boasts respectable numbers despite his record. Alexander Crilley (11 G, 9 A) leads the Seneca Valley offense while Alyssa Peterson (4-5-0, 2.7 GAA, 0.902 SV%) has been impressive in net. The Raiders took the previous meeting 5-3 back on October 13. Crilley’s three-point night included two power play goals while Sam Johnson scored twice, including the winner. The puck drops at 6:30 PM with Matt Vandriak and Lee Mohn on the call while Scott Majesky mans the camera.

1/5/15 – Class B – Morgantown Mohigans vs. Blackhawk Cougars AT Beaver County Ice … The Mohigans (5-5-1) won back-to-back outings to close out 2014, going 4-1-0 in their last five, while the Cougars (6-4-0) have won five straight. Kienan Battin leads the Morgantown offense with 15 goals and seven assists while Jacob Hough (3-5-1, 3.31 GAA, 0.894 SV%) has played the bulk of the minutes in net. For Blackhawk, Grant Rombold is pacing the attack with 10 goals and nine helpers while Corey Steinle (2.81 GAA, 0.918 SV%, 1 SO) has been the only goalie of record. The Mohigans took the previous meeting 5-2 on October 9 with Zac Lewis scoring twice, including the winner. Nate Frisbee chipped in a power play goal and two assists, Battin set up two and Hough made 24 saves. For the Cougars, Rombold had two points (1 G, 1 A) and Steinle made 37 stops despite the loss. The puck drops on this one at 9:00 PM with Mike Azadian and Mark Schaas on the call.

1/5/15 – Class A – Hempfield Spartans vs. Deer Lakes Lancers AT Ice Connection in Valencia … The Lancers (11-2-0) dropped their last game before the holiday break, but had won eight straight before that. Meanwhile, the Spartans (9-3-0) ended 2014 with back-to-back losses after winning six consecutive outings. Deer Lakes boasts the top offense in the class with 113 goals, and its 43 allowed is sixth-best. Mitch Rupprecht (43 G, 24 A) and Zach Luniewski (28 G, 35 A) continue to lead the entire league in points while combining for 12 power play goals and four shorthanded. Jonathan Lang has played every minute between the pipes with a 3.31 GAA and 0.874 save percentage. For Hempfield, its second-ranked defense (33 GA) has keyed things while the offense is a respectable fifth-best (78 GF). Luke Rosendal (21 G, 13 A) and Andrew Koziara (12 G, 17 A) lead the offense while Garet Ciaramella (7-2-0, 2.56 GAA, 0.900 SV%, 1 SO) has been the top goaltender. The puck drops at 9:10 PM with Steve Nagler and Rob Longo on the call.

1/6/15 – Class AAA – Bethel Park Black Hawks vs. Canon-McMillan Big Macs AT Ice-O-Plex at Southpointe … The Black Hawks (8-4-1) won their last game before the holidays, part of a 2-2-1 stretch, while the Big Macs (7-4-1) have dropped their last two contests, matching their opponent’s recent 2-2-1 mark. Louie McLinden’s 16 points (8 G, 8 A) leads a quartet of double-digit scorers for Bethel Park while William Lowe (2.20 GAA, 0.905 SV%) has been the iron man goaltender for the third-best defense in the class (29 GA). Austin Tonkovich (12 G, 6 A) is tops among six 10-point producers for Canon-McMillan, which boasts the third-ranked offense (52 GF), while Conor Hartnett (6-3-1, 2.74 GAA, 0.881 SV%, 1 SO) has been the number one backstop. The Black Hawks won the previous meeting 2-1 on October 9, gary Cerrone netting the winner. Hartnett made 38 saves, but was outdone by Lowe’s 39 stops. The puck drops on this chapter in the rivalry at 7:00 PM with Adam Gusky and Josh Rowntree on the call.

1/8/15 – Class A – South Fayette Lions vs. Serra Catholic Eagles AT Rostraver Ice Gardens … The Lions (3-9-0) entered Christmas on a high note with a win that snapped a six-game losing streak while the Eagles (4-8-0) ended on a loss and are 1-5-0 in their last six games. Jordan Timmons has keyed the South Fayeete offense with 15 goals and six assists in only seven appearances. For Serra Catholic, Thomas Werner (12 G, 13 A) leads the offense while Tyrik Barkley (3-2-0, 3.89 GAA, 0.853 SV%, 1 SO) has the better stat line of the goaltending rotation. These two teams previously met on October 10, with the Lions scoring a 7-4 victory. Timmons shined with a three-goal, three-assist performance while William Purdue managed four points (2 G, 2 A) in the loss. South Fayette took a staggering 51-20 edge in shots that night. The puck drops on the rematch at 6:20 PM with Scott Majesky and Lou Rood on the call while Jess Levo will shoot the action.

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” back in our regular slot Wednesday night at 8:00. Joining us this week will be Fox Chapel forward Ben Friedland and Elizabeth Forward head coach Clarence Hawk. Your home for the 2015 Penguins Cup Playoffs is the MSA Sports Network!

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