PIHL Notebook – 12/30/2013

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Monday, December 30, 2013 | 11:32 PM


Welcome to the New Year’s week edition of “PIHL Notebook,” your weekly companion to “The PIHL Power Play” on the MSA Sports Network. There were no games played over the past week due to the Christmas break, so whatever shall we do with ourselves? How does a look at the playoff picture in each classification heading into the second half of the 2013-14 season sound? We knew you would think it was a good idea, but we won’t stop there! With a hat trick of network broadcasts scheduled to kick off 2014, preview goodness is also in store. So, let’s light the lamp on this edition of “PIHL Notebook.”

CLASS AAA – 2014 PENGUINS CUP PLAYOFFS (Top 12 teams qualify):

  1. Peters Township (8-1-0, 16 PTS)
  2. North Allegheny (7-2-1, 15 PTS)
  3. Bethel Park (7-2-0, 14 PTS)
  4. Penn-Trafford (7-3-0, 14 PTS)
  5. Upper St. Clair (6-4-0, 12 PTS)
  6. Butler (6-5-0, 12 PTS)
  7. Canon-McMillan (5-5-0, 10 PTS)
  8. Seneca Valley (5-5-0, 10 PTS)
  9. Pine-Richland (5-5-0, 10 PTS)
  10. Pittsburgh Central Catholic (5-5-0, 10 PTS)
  11. State College (4-6-0, 8 PTS)
  12. Shaler (4-7-0, 8 PTS)

On the bubble: Mount Lebanon (3-6-1); Fox Chapel (2-9-0); Norwin (0-9-0)

CLASS AA – 2014 PENGUINS CUP PLAYOFFS (Top 8 teams qualify):

  1. Bishop Canevin (9-1-0, 18 PTS)
  2. Armstrong (8-2-0, 16 PTS)
  3. Erie Cathedral Prep (7-2-2, 16 PTS)
  4. Hampton (7-5-0, 14 PTS)
  5. Plum (6-3-2, 14 PTS)
  6. Latrobe (5-4-1, 11 PTS)
  7. Chartiers Valley (5-5-0, 10 PTS)
  8. North Hills (4-7-0, 8 PTS)

On the bubble: Moon (4-8-0); Montour (3-7-1); West Allegheny (3-7-0); Franklin Regional (0-10-0)

CLASS A – 2014 PENGUINS CUP PLAYOFFS (Top 8 teams qualify):

  1. Mars (10-1-0, 20 PTS)
  2. Quaker Valley (10-1-0, 20 PTS)
  3. Westmont Hilltop (6-3-2, 14 PTS)
  4. Thomas Jefferson (6-4-1, 13 PTS)
  5. Serra Catholic (4-6-1, 9 PTS)
  6. Deer Lakes (4-5-0, 8 PTS)
  7. Freeport (3-3-2, 8 PTS)
  8. South Fayette (3-7-0, 6 PTS)

On the bubble: South Park (1-9-0); Bishop McCort (1-9-0)

OPEN CLASS – 2014 NAILERS CUP PLAYOFFS (Top 8 teams qualify):

  1. Harbor Creek (11-1-0, 22 PTS)
  2. Morgantown (8-2-0, 16 PTS)
  3. Peters Township (8-2-0, 16 PTS)
  4. McDowell (7-2-0, 14 PTS)
  5. Blackhawk (7-4-0, 14 PTS)
  6. Beaver (6-5-0, 12 PTS)
  7. John Marshall (6-6-0, 12 PTS)
  8. Wheeling Park (4-6-0, 8 PTS)

On the bubble: Wheeling Central Catholic (3-9-0); OLSH (3-9-0); Central Valley (1-8-0); Trinity (0-0-10-0)

OPEN CLASS – 2014 CHIEFS CUP PLAYOFFS (Top 8 teams qualify):

  1. Indiana (8-0-0, 16 PTS)
  2. Baldwin (8-1-0, 16 PTS)
  3. Hempfield (7-2-0, 14 PTS)
  4. Greensburg Salem (7-3-0, 14 PTS)
  5. Altoona (6-4-0, 12 PTS)
  6. Carrick (6-4-0, 12 PTS)
  7. Ringgold (4-6-0, 8 PTS)
  8. Keystone Oaks (3-9-0, 6 PTS)

On the bubble: Greensburg Central Catholic (2-6-0); Gateway (2-7-0); Connellsville (0-11-0)

UPCOMING MSA BROADCASTS

1/2/14 – Class AAA – Section 1: Upper St. Clair Panthers (8-1-0) vs. Bethel Park Black Hawks (7-2-0) AT Bethel Park Bladerunners at 8:20pm (Matt Vandriak and Lou Rood) … The Black Hawks have won six straight while the Panthers stopped a three-game skid with back-to-back victories heading into the Christmas break. Bethel ranks second in the class with 20 goals allowed, keyed by the play of Zach Davis (6-1-0, 2.19 GAA, 0.856 SV %). Offensively, it has been the dynamic duo of Christian Siak (19 G, 5 A) and Derek Lesnak (4 G, 13 A) setting the tone. As for USC, give them credit for a winning record despite a minus-four goal differential. Tyler Finn (6-4-0, 3.51 GAA, 0.870 SV %, 1 SO) has been the iron man in net while Austin Cassidy leads the team with nine goals and seven assists.

1/2/14 – Open Class – Section 2: Erie McDowell Trojans (7-2-0) vs. Blackhawk Cougars (7-4-0) AT Beaver County Ice Arena at 6:45pm (Gero Von Dahn and Mike Azadian) … The Trojans may have ended the first half of the season with a loss, but they had won four straight beforehand, including a 5-4 triumph over the Cougars on December 16, part of a 3-2-0 run for Blackhawk. Matthew Lorei’s hat trick included the game-winner in the previous meeting while Kyle Schaefer matched him goal for goal in the losing effort. For the season, Aaron Parry has led McDowell with 13 goals and 22 points while Schaefer has paced his squad with 17 goals and 17 assists.

1/3/14 – Class AA – Non-Section: Armstrong River Hawks (8-2-0) vs. Bishop Canevin Crusaders (9-1-0) AT Ice Castle in Castle Shannon at 7:00pm (Mike Sackley and Adam Hoerner) … The River Hawks have won eight straight while the Crusaders have taken the last six. Hard to argue Canevin has gotten it done largely with defense, leading the way with 20 goals allowed, and Nikita Meskin (9-1-0, 1.99 GAA, 0.919 SV %, 2 SO) playing every minute between the pipes. The offense has been balanced, with four players breaking the 10-goal barrier already, while Randy Unger leads the squad with 19 assists and 30 points. Meanwhile, Armstrong leads the class with 72 goals, keyed by the performances of Hunter Grafton (22 A, 36 PTS) and Christian Miller (25 G, 6 PP).

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” on a special night, this Thursday at 8:00. This week’s guest list includes Harbor Creek forward Logan Conboy, Peters Township head coach Rick Tingle and Bishop Canevin bench boss Kevin Zielmanski. Your home for the 2014 Penguins Cup Playoffs is the MSA Sports Network!

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