PIHL Notebook – 02/08/2016

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Monday, February 8, 2016 | 1:27 PM


Welcome to another edition of “PIHL Notebook,” your weekly companion to “The PIHL Power Play” on the MSA Sports Network. First up, “Melting the Ice” provides your weekly thermometer of streaking teams around the league. Meanwhile, this week’s “Scoreboard Watch” includes an important win on the Class AA bubble along with a nail-biting no-contest at the top of Class B. Last but not least, we round things out with a preview of upcoming MSA broadcasts, with playoff ramifications abounding in each of the three main classifications. So, let’s light the lamp on this edition of “PIHL Notebook.”

MELTING THE ICE (Records listed indicate current unbeaten streak):

Class AAA: North Allegheny (8-0-0); Erie Cathedral Prep (5-0-1)

Class AA: Quaker Valley (4-0-0); Hampton (3-0-1); Latrobe (3-0-0); Mars (1-0-2)

Class A: Montour (13-0-1); Freeport (5-0-0); Franklin Regional (3-0-0); South Fayette (3-0-0); West Allegheny (3-0-0)

Division 2: Beaver (13-0-0); Indiana (6-0-0)

SCOREBOARD WATCH:

Class AAA

2/2/16 – Shaler 6, Pine-Richland 4 … The Titans (4-13-1) jumped out to 3-0 lead in the first 8:26 of the hockey game, ultimately taking the first period 4-2. After a scoreless second, the 2-2 third featured three shorthanded goals and one power play tally, but the two-goal margin held up. The winner came from Austin Martz at 3:44 of the final frame, part of a hat trick for him. Justin Yuiska (1 G, 1 A) and Norman Riffner (2 A) also contributed multiple points for Shaler. The Rams (2-15-0) got three points from Matthew Cole (1 PPG, 2 A) and controlled the shots 41-32, but Wyatt Wolf made 37 saves to earn the victory.

Class AA

2/1/16 – North Hills 4, Chartiers Valley 3 (OT) … Jeremiah Polaski scored twice to put the Indians (7-12-0) up 2-0 after the first period, but Spencer Carlson on the power play and Ray Lindow at even strength pulled the Colts (2-17-0) even at intermission. Jesse Weideman put North Hills back on top 2:54 into the third, but Lindow tied it right back up at the 4:48 mark. That score would nearly hold up, but Sam Urbanek buried the winner with 18 seconds remaining in overtime. Weideman added two assists, Gannon Warrick set up three goals, and Dominic Porco stopped 25 shots for the Indians. Chartiers Valley also got two assists from Carlson while Brandon Edwards made 33 saves.

Class A

2/4/16 – Wheeling Park 4, Sewickley Academy 3 … The Panthers (3-16-0) took the first period 1-0, but the Patriots (5-13-0) took the next two periods by 2-1 counts to seal the win. Luke Knollinger scored twice, shorthanded in the first and then the deciding goal at 16:11 of the third period. Austin Curnes contributed two assists for Wheeling Park while Dorothy Romanek made 24 saves to earn the victory. Sewickley Academy controlled the shots 29-27 while getting one goal and one assist each from Don Gex and Michael Hertzberg.

Division 2

2/1/16 – Carrick 3, Meadville 3 (OT) … After a 2-2 first period, Jacob Speicher scored shorthanded for the Cougars (13-4-1) just 54 ticks into the second, part of a two-goal night for him. That lead held until the 9:45 mark of period three when Nicholas Frantz tied it back up for the Bulldogs (13-4-1), and the goalies took over from there. Sam Kineston stopped 26 pucks for Meadville, but Nathan Norkevicus was better with 41 saves. Frantz ended up with three points (2 G, 1 PP, 1 A) while teammates Benjamin Meure (1 G, 1 A), Cody Pasilla (2 A), and Alec Gizzie (2 A) chipped in multiple points as well.

UPCOMING MSA BROADCASTS

2/8/16 – Class AA – Baldwin Highlanders vs. Mount Lebanon Blue Devils @ Mount Lebanon Ice Arena … The Highlanders (9-9-1) have lost two straight and are 1-3-1 in their last five. The Blue Devils (7-10-2) are coming off a tie, part of a 1-2-2 stretch. Paul Knerr (28 G, 5 PP, 2 SH, 4 GW, 11 A) and Max Milan (10 G, 2 PP, 21 A) lead the Baldwin offense with 30-plus point each. Benjamin McGraw (8 G, 1 PP, 12 A) and Griffin Nelson (14 G, 5 PP, 1 GW, 4 A) key the Mount Lebanon attack while Ryan Wetherington (2.97 GAA, 0.893 SV%, 1 SO) has earned every decision between the pipes. Lebo took the previous meeting by a decisive 6-0 margin on November 2. The puck drops at 9:00 PM with Gero Von Dahn and Lou Rood on the call.

2/9/16 – Class AAA – Canon-McMillan Big Macs vs. Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings @ Alpha Ice Center in Harmarville … The Big Macs (8-6-3) are coming off a win, part of a 2-3-0 string. The Vikings (10-5-2) are coming off a loss, but were unbeaten in eight straight prior to that. Canon-McMillan is led up front by Luke Lavella (16 G, 3 PP, 3 GW, 11 A) while Conor Hartnet (3.03 GAA, 0.903 SV%, 1 SO) has played all but 26 minutes in net. Jake Tepe (14 G, 1 PP, 1 GW, 13 A) leads a trio of 20-point scorers for Pittsburgh Central while Nathaniel Cava (3.56 GAA, 0.901 SV%) has played all but eight minutes between the pipes. The Big Macs shut out the Vikings 4-0 in the previous meeting on November 25. The puck drops at 7:00 PM with Mike Azadian and Cory Campano on the call.

2/11/16 – Class AA – Quaker Valley Quakers vs. Mars Fighting Planets @ Baierl Ice Complex in Warrendale … The Quakers (13-6-0) are riding a four-game winning streak and rank fourth in the class with 108 goals scored. The Fighting Planets (13-4-2) are 2-1-2 in their last five outings and lead the class with 39 goals allowed. Connor Quinn (35 G, 5 PP, 4 SH, 3 GW, 34 A) leads the class with 69 points for Quaker Valley. Tyler Spreng (2.05 GAA, 0.899 SV%, 2 SO) owns every decision for Mars while Jonathan Kowalkowski (14 G, 2 PP, 2 GW, 18 A) leads an offense with 11 double-digit scorers. The Planets won the previous meeting 4-3 on November 2. The puck drops at 8:00 PM with Josh Rowntree and Kevin Zielmanski on the call.

2/11/16 – Class A – Franklin Regional Panthers vs. Freeport Yellowjackets @ Belmont Ice Complex in Kittanning … The Panthers (15-4-0) have won three in a row, leading the Eastern Conference with 126 goals and ranking fourth in the class with 53 allowed. The Yellowjackets (14-4-1) have won five straight, placing just behind their opponent with 121 goals. James Mauro (14 G, 1 SH, 3 GW, 21 A) leads a Franklin Regional attack which boasts 12 other players with 11 or more points while Nicholas Paone (10-2-0, 2.50 GAA, 0.867 SV%) has been the number one goaltender. Freeport has three players who could headline a lot of teams offensively, including Robert Reichenbaugh (26 G, 6 PP, 4 SH, 1 GW, 36 A), Stone Haberstroh (31 G, 5 PP, 1 SH, 5 GW, 23 A), and Michael Frazetta (23 G, 4 PP, 2 GW, 20 A). The puck drops at 9:00 PM with Mike Azadian and James Dotson on the call.

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, Josh Rowntree and Kevin Zielmanski host another episode of “The PIHL Power Play” this Wednesday night at 8:00. Joining us this week will be Moon goaltender Ryan Durkin and Bishop McCort head coach John Bradley. Your home for the 2016 Penguins Cup Playoffs is the MSA Sports Network!

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