PIHL Notebook – 12/18/2017

Monday, December 18, 2017 | 7:01 PM

While the holidays are on the horizon, the PIHL still has another week of action before the break officially begins. This edition of the PIHL Notebook will not only look at the action that unfolded over the past week, but also preview the upcoming week. Exciting high-school hockey is something that should be on everyone’s wish list this year.

Melting the Ice (the longest winning streak in each classification)

Class AAA: Peters Township (3) – The Indians are not only the defending champions in Class AAA and atop the standings, but they also maintain the longest winning streak, too. After falling to Seneca Valley in a shootout on Nov. 21, Peters Township has scored victories against Canon-McMillan, Butler and Bethel Park, the most recent of which came in overtime. The surge will remain intact until 2018, as the Indians don’t play again until Jan. 2, against Plum.

Class AA: Armstrong (8) – The return to Class AA has been extremely beneficial to the River Hawks, as they reside in first place and have not lost since their first game. Armstrong’s only blemish came on Oct. 12 against Upper St. Clair, but the River Hawks have been stellar since, including Thursday’s 9-4 win against Shaler Area. Armstrong looks to extend the streak tonight, when it travels to face Montour.

Class A: Bishop McCort and Meadville (10) – Although a showdown between the Crimson Crushers and Bulldogs is still approximately seven weeks away, the squads appear to eventually be on a collision course. Last week, Bishop McCort cruised to a 6-1 win against Deer Lakes, while Meadville edged Fox Chapel, 5-4. The Crimson Crushers have one game left on the slate before the holiday break, as they host Wheeling Park on Tuesday. Likewise, the Bulldogs travel to face Greensburg Central Catholic tonight.

Division 2: Moon (10) – The Tigers are in the busiest part of their schedule, playing twice last week and twice more this week. Moon first prevailed 3-1 against Connellsville, and followed that up with a 5-1 triumph against Carrick three days later. The Tigers play again tonight, and face a big test, as they travel to face second-place Burrell. Moon has allowed just 16 goals in 10 games thus far, the best mark in the class.

Quotable (excerpt from a recent Center Stage interview)

“The first five games, we won, then we’ve lost a couple and we’re in this losing streak right now. This was a big game for us to claim the top seed and keep us high in the rankings and to get a win back.” – Hempfield Area forward Jared Gerger after the Spartans’ 4-1 against Mars last week, which snapped a three-game skid. For the full interview, watch here:

Slapshots on Slate (upcoming video broadcasts on the TribLive High School Sports Network)

Monday, Dec. 18: West Allegheny at South Fayette at 9:10 p.m. at the Mount Lebanon Ice Arena, with Steve Nagler and Kevin Zielmanski on the call, and Jess Levo filming – With nearly two dozen teams in Class A, the Indians and Lions both sit in the top five spots in the standings. West Allegheny’s 18 points ranks third, while South Fayette is tied for fifth, with 15 points. West Allegheny’s key has been the offense, as its 71 goals ranks second in the classification. The Lions have been a bit more defensive-minded, surrendering just 26 goals in 10 contests. The matchup marks the final game of 2017 for each team, and the Indians have a bit more momentum, as they’ve won two straight, while the Lions dropped their last contest to struggling Wheeling Park.

Thursday, Dec. 21: Moon at Ringgold at 6:15 at the Rostraver Ice Gardens, with Sean Saputo and Lou Rood on commentary, and Jess Levo filming – This tilt pits the top team and the third-place team in Division 2, capping off a big week for the Tigers. Moon, currently unbeaten, plays second-place Burrell tonight. Moon’s defense has been suffocating this campaign, but the Rams have the second-best defense in Division 2, allowing just 26 goals. Offensively, the teams have produced similar numbers, although the Rams might have the slight edge. Moon has netted 45 goals in 10 games, while Ringgold boasts 41 in eight affairs. This marks the first of two matchups between the teams.

That’s all for this week’s installment of the PIHL Notebook, but remember to check out the TribLive High School Sports Network every Monday for a new edition. Also, this Wednesday, the PIHL Power Play Show airs on the Network at 8 p.m., with hosts Josh Rowntree and Kevin Zielmanski.

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