PIHL Notebook – Class AAA Preview

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Monday, October 5, 2015 | 12:58 PM


Welcome to “PIHL Notebook” and our annual season preview. Over the next four Monday’s, we will provide thumbnail sketches of all 57 PIHL teams to make sure local high school hockey fans are ready when the puck drops Monday night!

And as we did last year, we will provide exclusive audio and video coverage of the “PIHL Premiere” at the brand new UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry. Do not miss this special event before our regular hockey coverage picks up in December. Faceoff times are 6:00 for North Hills and Mars in Class AA, followed at 8:00 by North Allegheny and Pine-Richland in Class AAA.

That being said, what can we expect out of Class AAA in 2015-16? Tight competition for one, as has certainly been the case in recent years, but this season it gets kicked up a notch. Of the 11 teams vying for one of the eight spots in the Penguins Cup bracket, all but one qualified for the postseason last March, and that one is a Pine-Richland program certainly well-versed in such things. The new PIHL alignment rules, introduced last season, also caused last year’s Class AA champion, Erie Cathedral Prep, to move up and join your defending Class AAA medal winner, Canon-McMillan.

Beyond that, can upstart Butler repeat last year’s run to the final round? And what will we hear from perennial powers like North Allegheny, Peters Township and Bethel Park? Time will provide the answers as always, but read on for now to see how your favorite team fared last season.

(Teams listed in order of 2014-15 point percentages)

North Allegheny Tigers

2014-15 Regular Season: 16-2-4, 36 PTS, 88 GF, 43 GA

2014-15 Playoffs: Lost in Semifinals

2014-15 Three Stars: Erik Chidester (15 G, 4 PP, 1 SH, 3 GW, 16 A); Dawson Richard (9 G, 1 PP, 1 GW, 18 A); Joseph Hubert (9-2-4, 1.88 GAA, 0.920 SV%, 2 SO)

Erie Cathedral Prep Ramblers

2014-15 Regular Season: 17-2-0, 34 PTS, 124 GF, 45 GA

2014-15 Playoffs: Won Class AA Penguins Cup & Pennsylvania Cup

2014-15 Three Stars: Ben Eliason (17 G, 8 PP, 2 GW, 23 A); Richard Vicary (17 G, 6 PP, 4 GW, 20 A); Trevor Faulkner (15 G, 3 PP, 1 SH, 1 GW, 16 A)

Peters Township Indians

2014-15 Regular Season: 16-4-2, 34 PTS, 98 GF, 44 GA

2014-15 Playoffs: Lost in Semifinals

2014-15 Three Stars: Zach Gielarowski (13 G, 4 PP, 1 SH, 3 GW, 18 A); Brady Cochrane (11 G, 3 PP, 1 SH, 15 A); Tony Lejeune (8-3-2, 2.41 GAA, 0.905 SV%)

Shaler Titans

2014-15 Regular Season: 15-3-0, 30 PTS, 112 GF, 62 GA

2014-15 Playoffs: Lost in Semifinals

2014-15 Three Stars: Alexander Ficorilli (33 G, 5 PP, 3 GW, 21 A); Austin Martz (16 G, 3 PP, 1 SH, 3 GW, 21 A); Justin Yuiska (17 G, 3 PP, 6 SH, 2 GW)

Bethel Park Black Hawks

2014-15 Regular Season: 14-6-2, 30 PTS, 75 GF, 44 GA

2014-15 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2014-15 Three Stars: Louie McLinden (14 G, 7 PP, 4 GW, 14 A); Andrew Bello (10 G, 4 PP, 3 GW, 15 A); William Lowe III (14-6-2, 2.01 GAA, 0.905 SV%)

Canon-McMillan Big Macs

2014-15 Regular Season: 14-7-1, 29 PTS, 102 GF, 59 GA

2014-15 Playoffs: Won Class AAA Penguins Cup; Lost Pennsylvania Cup

2014-15 Three Stars: Austin Tonkovich (21 G, 3 PP, 2 SH, 4 GW, 14 A); Jack Clendaniel (7 G, 1 PP, 27 A); Conor Hartnett (11-5-1, 2.37 GAA, 0.901 SV%, 3 SO)

Seneca Valley Raiders

2014-15 Regular Season: 13-9-0, 26 PTS, 71 GF, 60 GA

2014-15 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2014-15 Three Stars: Alexander Crilley (16 G, 3 PP, 15 A); Parker Faix (9 G, 3 PP, 1 SH, 4 GW, 13 A); Alyssa Peterson (9-9-0, 2.41 GAA, 0.910 SV%)

Butler Golden Tornado

2014-15 Regular Season: 11-8-3, 25 PTS, 86 GF, 72 GA

2014-15 Playoffs: Lost in Final

2014-15 Three Stars: Dustin Davis (21 G, 6 PP, 2 SH, 3 GW, 11 A); Connor Scott (14 G, 2 PP, 2 SH, 3 GW, 16 A); Clay Bachman (10-6-2, 2.79 GAA, 0.909 SV%, 2 SO)

Upper St. Clair Panthers

2014-15 Regular Season: 10-11-1, 21 PTS, 86 GF, 69 GA

2014-15 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2014-15 Three Stars: Austin Cassidy (30 G, 5 PP, 3 SH, 3 GW, 18 A); Kasey Colcombe (6 G, 1 PP, 1 GW, 16 A); Jack Gavett (4 G, 1 GW, 17 A)

Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings

2014-15 Regular Season: 8-12-2, 18 PTS, 74 GF, 95 GA

2014-15 Playoffs: Lost in Quarterfinals

2014-15 Three Stars: Jake Tepe (14 G, 2 PP, 2 SH ,1 GW, 13 A); Ryan Kingerski (12 G, 1 PP, 2 GW, 13 A); Antonio Misti (12 G, 1 PP, 12 A)

Pine-Richland Rams

2014-15 Regular Season: 8-13-1, 17 PTS, 68 GF, 81 GA

2014-15 Playoffs: Did not qualify

2014-15 Three Stars: Matt Cole (18 G, 2 PP, 1 SH, 2 GW, 14 A); Nate Carnovale (9 G, 2 PP, 1 SH, 1 GW, 15 A); Ben Meyer (6 G, 1 SH, 18 A)

That wraps up our Class AAA preview, but we still have three more to go, so check back next Monday as we delve into Class AA. Your home for the 2016 Penguins Cup Playoffs is the MSA Sports Network!

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High school roundup for Nov. 30, 2020: Chartiers Valley hockey rallies past North Hills
PIHL standings through Nov. 29, 2020
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High school roundup for Nov. 24, 2020: Teammates net hat tricks for Penn-Trafford

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