PIHL Penguins Cup Class AAA finals preview: Peters Township vs. North Allegheny
Monday, March 18, 2019 | 7:21 PM
PIHL Penguins Cup Class AAA Championship
Peters Township (16-3-1) vs. North Allegheny (16-4)
8:30 p.m. Tuesday at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, Cranberry
How they got here: Peters Township: def. Mt. Lebanon, 3-2, in double overtime in the semifinals and def. Canon-McMillan, 3-0, in the quarterfinals. North Allegheny: def. Bethel Park, 2-1, in double overtime in the semifinals and def. Seneca Valley, 3-2, in the quarterfinals
Goals for/against: Peters Township: 87/48; North Allegheny: 68/35
About Peters Township: Mark Lehman scored in double overtime to send Peters Township to the finals for the third year in a row. The Indians lost 4-2 to Seneca Valley in the championship last year, but won 5-2 over Central Catholic in the 2017 final. They have six Penguins Cup championships. Ryan Luppe and Torrey Schwartz had 25 points apiece to lead the Indians in the regular season. Schwartz and Jeremy Anthos have a goal and two assists each in the playoffs. Alex Wilbert had a .927 save percentage in goal for the Indians in the regular season and made 31 saves in the semifinals. The Indians have a combined record of 31-8-1 over the last two seasons and have won the last two Class AAA regular season championships. Peters Township had a minus-3 goal differential in first period in the regular season, but outscored opponents 70-32 in the final two periods.
About North Allegheny: Richard Karapandi made 53 saves in net, and Will Parreaguirre scored in double overtime to help North Allegheny survive and advance in the semifinals. North Allegheny split the season series with the Indians, winning 5-3 on Oct. 16 and losing 3-1 Jan. 7. The Tigers are in the final for the first time since 2016 when they lost 4-3 in overtime to Cathedral Prep. They are seeking their first title since 2013 and third overall. The Tigers have allowed the fewest goals in Class AAA. Karapandi had a .936 save percentage and a trio of shutouts in the regular season and has stopped 83 of the 86 shots he’s faced in the playoffs. The Tigers have held teams to three or fewer goals in all but two games. Aaron Miller led North Allegheny with a dozen goals and 19 points in the regular season. Miller has two goals and an assist in the playoffs.
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer