PIHL Notebook – 02/15/2016
Monday, February 15, 2016 | 3:49 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 overtime action in Class AAA along with battles among playoff teams in the other three classifications. There are no broadcasts to preview this week, but we will make use of the allotted space with a look at the current playoff picture in each classification as we head into the final two weeks of the regular season. 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 (9-0-0); Erie Cathedral Prep (6-0-1)
Class AA: Mars (2-0-2); Hampton (3-0-0); Moon (3-0-0); Armstrong (2-0-1)
Class A: Freeport (6-0-0); West Allegheny (4-0-0); South Fayette (3-0-1); Bishop McCort (3-0-0)
Division 2: Beaver (14-0-0); Elizabeth Forward 4-0-0)
2/8/16 – Pine-Richland 5, Upper St. Clair 4 (OT) … The Panthers (4-13-2) took the first period by a 3-1 count, but the Rams (3-15-0) scored the lone goal of the second and won the third 2-1 to force overtime. Ben Meyer tied it with 50 seconds left in regulation, and then Nicholas Hawkins buried the deciding goal just 16 ticks into the extra session. Matthew Cole scored twice and added one assist for Pine-Richland, Antonio Binotto registered two helpers, and Ben Stauffer stopped 29 pucks. Sean Stevenson scored twice for Upper St. Clair, once with the man advantage. Patrick Woomer added one goal and one assist while Jonathan Bleier made 28 saves. Shots were dead even at 33 apiece.
2/8/16 – Plum 2, Hampton 1 … After a scoreless first period, Luke Cirlingione got the Talbots (12-7-1) on the board at 4:28 of the second with a shorthanded goal. Dillon Morello tied things up for the Mustangs (12-6-2) at the 12:02 mark, and Nolan Puhala cashed in with the power play winner at 15:54 as the goalies clamped down in the third. Nolan Puhala added one assist to his night, Anthony Borriello contributed two helpers, and Nathan Puhala stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced. Kameron Bott made 16 saves in the losing effort.
2/11/16 – West Allegheny 4, Montour 2 … After a scoreless first period, the Indians (17-2-0) took the second 2-0. Jess Ligas netted what would prove to be the winner on the power play at 3:10 of the third. The Spartans (17-2-1) battled back with goals from Brandon Eisel at 4:37 and Mason Skoff at 6:02, but Jaret Mielnicki buried some insurance for West Allegheny at 7:35. Ligas added one assist while Anthony Dominick made 26 saves. Shots were nearly even, but the Indians took the slight edge 29-28.
2/11/16 – Blackhawk 4, Carrick 3 … Carrick (13-5-1) lead 3-1 after 17 minutes of action, but Blackhawk (10-8-0) fought back, scoring three unanswered to pull the mild upset. James Kelly-Tindall scored twice in the third period, shorthanded to tie it at 4:35 and even strength to win it at 10:49. Kelly-Tindall added one assist to his effort, Sean Steinle contributed one goal and one helper, and Cory Steinle made 31 saves. Jacob Speicher factored into all three goals on the losing side, scoring twice and setting up the other. Blackhawk controlled the shots 34-23.
2016 PENGUINS CUP PLAYOFFS
Class AAA (Top 8 teams qualify – All teams have clinched a spot)
#1 North Allegheny (13-4-1) vs. #8 Bethel Park (7-10-1)
#2 Pittsburgh Central Catholic (11-5-2) vs. #7 Canon-McMillan (8-7-3)
#3 Peters Township (10-4-4) vs. #6 Butler (10-7-1)
#4 Erie Cathedral Prep (10-5-3) vs. #5 Seneca Valley (11-8-0)
Class AA (Top 5 teams in each conference qualify – All but Baldwin have clinched)
W#4 Quaker Valley (13-7-0) vs. E#5 Fox Chapel (10-10-0)
E#4 Hampton (12-7-1) vs. W#5 Baldwin (9-10-1)
E#1 Armstrong vs. Quaker Valley/Baldwin winner
W#2 Moon (14-4-2) vs. E#3 Plum (12-6-2)
W#1 Mars vs. Hampton/Baldwin winner
E#2 Latrobe (14-6-0) vs. W#3 Bishop Canevin (13-6-1)
Class A (Top 5 teams in each conference qualify – All but Kiski Area have clinched)
W#4 South Park (9-11-0) vs. E#5 Kiski Area (7-13-0)
E#4 Serra Catholic (9-10-1) vs. W#5 Thomas Jefferson (8-11-0)
E#1 Franklin Regional (15-5-0) vs. South Park/Kiski Area winner
W#2 West Allegheny (17-2-0) vs. E#3 Freeport (14-5-1)
W#1 Montour (17-2-1) vs. Serra Catholic/Thomas Jefferson winner
E#2 Bishop McCort (14-4-1) vs. W#3 South Fayette (14-4-2)
Division 2 (Top 5 Class B & Top 3 Class C teams qualify – All teams have clinched a spot)
#1 Beaver (16-2-0) vs. #8 Central Valley (9-9-0)
#2 Meadville (13-4-1) vs. #7 OLSH (9-9-1)
#3 Carrick (13-5-1) vs. #6 Elizabeth Forward (14-5-0)
#4 Indiana (12-7-0) vs. #5 Blackhawk (10-8-0)
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” on a special night of Thursday at 8:00. Joining us this week will be Bethel Park forward Tyler Kruszewski and Kiski Area head coach Chuck Sites. Your home for the 2016 Penguins Cup Playoffs is the MSA Sports Network!