PIHL Penguins Cup Recaps – Tuesday, March 4th

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 | 11:06 PM


After a frantic start on Monday with no surprises but with two of the seven contests going into overtime, we had our first two lower seeds advance. While both Class AA and Class A saw the top four seeds advance to the Final Four next week, Class AAA wrapped up Round One with a #9-seed and a #10-seed moving on. Here are summaries from each of the high school hockey playoff games on Tuesday…all of which were heard here on the MSA Sports Network.

A special thanks to Greg Kuntz, Mike Azadian, Sean Meyers, Josh Rowntree, Adam Gusky and Adam Hoerner for their help on these recaps.

PIHL PENGUINS CUP CLASS AAA First Round:

Penn-Trafford Warriors 4 – Upper St. Clair Panthers 0 
Penn Trafford ousted Upper St Clair 4-0 in a Penguins Cup Class AAA first round battle marred by penalties and ejections at Center Ice Arena in Delmont. Jonah Graffius led the way for the No. 5 seed Warriors, as he tallied a goal and two assists. Jacob Miller added a pair of points for Penn Trafford (13-8), while Eric Phelps earned the shutout in net. The Warriors scored 4:10 into the contest when Miller beat USC netminder Tyler Finn. The No. 12 seed Panthers, playing their second game in as many nights, had a golden opportunity to tie or take the lead when Penn Trafford’s Andrew Power was assessed a major penalty and ejected for a hit that injured Upper St. Clair’s leading scorer, Austin Cassidy. The Panthers had a lengthy 5-on-3 advantage, but could not find the back of the net. Penn Trafford tallied three more times in the penalty-filled second period. Graffius finished a Miller pass to stake the Warriors to a two-goal lead early in the stanza, and Shane Riley added another from Graffius. Trailing 3-0, the Panthers (7-15) had a chance to trim their deficit late in the second on a four-minute power play, but Patrick Cortazzo netted a shorthanded goal for the Warriors with just 1:04 left in the period. Neither team lit the lamp in the third, but a pair of players were ejected for fighting with just under nine minutes remaining. Finn made a number of key stops, including multiple glove saves on Cassidy, to secure the shutout. With the win, Penn Trafford advances to the quarterfinals to face North Allegheny at Bladerunners in Warrendale on Thursday.

State College Little Lions 3 – Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings 1 
After skating to a 0-0 tie through the first 34 minutes, State College broke the ice with a Brendan Horgas slapper from Jared Karas less than 4 minutes into the 3rd period. Central Catholic tied the game with a Nicholas Tabaka power- play goal just over 4 minutes later. Tabaka’s goal was a put-back off of an Easton Alger shot that was initially kicked away by Lions goalie, Chris Rosselot. Antonio Misiti also picked up an assist for the Vikings on the Tabaka goal. Just over 2 minutes later, the Lions would take the lead for good on an Andrew Skipper slap shot that was deflected into the net by Christopher Rodgers. Dakota Campbell was also credited with an assist on the goal. State College sealed the deal with a short handed, empty net goal by Christopher Rodgers with less than 15 seconds to play. The final goal was set up by a neutral ice steal and pass by Jared Karas. With the win, the Lions advance to the round of 8 in the PIHL AAA Penguins Cup Playoffs Wednesday where they will face top-seed Bethel Park on MSA.

Seneca Valley Raiders 6 – Canon-McMillan Big Macs 1 
Seneca Valley (12-9-0) lost twice to Canon-McMillan (11-9-1) during the regular season – once by a slim 5-4 margin in November, and again by a not-so-narrow 10-2 count two weeks ago. They say it is tough to beat a team three times in the same season, though, and they were right this time around. The Raiders clearly did their film study heading into this one, striking early and taking control from the start en route to a 6-1 win at the Ice-O-Plex on Tuesday night. Andrew Gagnon grabbed a loose puck off a bad bounce and fired a wrist shot into the top corner for the game’s first goal just 32 seconds in. Chris Marziotto added a power play goal, and the eventual winner, off a one-timer with 9:58 to play in the first. From there, the Big Macs carried much of the play for a good long while, with James Oddi getting the #8 seed on the board with a power play one-timer of his own at 2:57 to play in the opening stanza. Canon-Mac continued to fire puck after puck at Tanner Pfeffer well into the second, but Seneca weathered the storm until Marziotto grabbed momentum back with another one-timer late in the second. Gagnon kept it rolling with the true nail in the coffin a mere 14 seconds into period three, but he was not done, completing the hat  trick with 5:56 to play. There was still an exclamation point, though, with Benjamin Jarrett tapping home a rebound with just 0.3 seconds on the clock. The #9 seed advances to the quarterfinals against #2 Peters Township back at the Ice-O-Plex on Thursday at 7:25 PM.

PIHL PENGUINS CUP CLASS AA Quarterfinals:

Armstrong River Hawks 7 – Latrobe Wildcats 3 
The Armstrong Riverhawks the number 3 seed in the PIHL AA Hockey playoffs dethrone the defending champion Latrobe Wildcats 7-3 in a wild penalty filled game at the Belmont Ice Complex in Kittaning. Christian Miller scored :35 seconds in to give the Riverhawks a 1-0 lead. Jacob Snyder made it 2-0 with a wrist shot from the right circle at 14:12.The second period would see 7 power plays as both teams got physical. Armstrong would score first to make it 3-0 as John Phelps scored a power play goal. Latrobe had a goal disallowed when River Hawk goalie Taylor Smouse was called for delay of game for dislodging the net. Latrobe’s Brendan Johns put the puck in the net, but no goal was called. There was no whistle and there was a delay as the Latrobe coaches and players demanded an explanation. Armstrong would get a short handed goal by Hunter Grafton to make it 4-0 at the 7:00 mark. Latrobe would get two power play goals before the end of the period to make it 4-2 after 2 periods. Adam Ferguson on a tip in, and Dan Johnson on a wrist shot. Armstrong would get  a goal early in the 3rd period after a Latrobe defensive giveaway to make it 5-2. The Wildcats Johns would score on the power play to make it 5-3. Then Armstrong would put it away with 2 power play goals, and hold off the Wildcats for the 7-3 win. Latrobe ends their season at 11-9-1 while Armstrong improves to 17-5-1 and will face Erie Cathedral Prep next week in the semi finals.

PIHL PENGUINS CUP CLASS A Quarterfinals:

Mars Fighting Planets 10 – Serra Catholic Eagles 0 
In the previous two meetings this season between the Mars Planets and the Serra Catholic Eagles, the Planets won both by a combined score of 20-2.  The two teams met again in the first round of the PIHL Class A Playoffs with the stakes being higher, but the character of the game was no different as Mars wasted no time getting on the board.  Just 1:21 in, Mike  McCann fired a shot from the point past Serra netminder Ian Ritchie to take the 1-0 lead.  That would turn out to be the game-winner, but just :25 later, Kyle Thomas scored for Mars to extend the lead to 2-0.  The Planets would score 4 more times before the end of the 1st period on 2 power play goals from Craig Mazzotta and even-strength goals from Beau Heakins and Hal Graves.  The Planets outshot the Eagles, 33-4, in that 1st period and 61-6 in the game.  Paul Maust’s power play goal at exactly the 10-minute mark of Period #2 put the Mercy Rule into effect, but even the rolling clock did not slow down the Planets’ offensive juggernaut as they would score 3 more times in the 3rd.  Those goals by Slater Hanna, Mazzotta (Hat Trick), and Charlie Osborne made the final score 10-0.  Mars (18-5) easily moves on to Round 2 of the Class A Penguins’ Cup Playoffs while Serra Catholic’s season ends emphatically at 5-17-1.

Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 5 – Deer Lakes Lancers 4 
Zach Uhlyar’s shorthanded goal at 4:05 of the third period lifted #3 Thomas Jefferson (16-5-2) to a 5-4 Class A Quarterfinal victory over #6 Deer Lakes (10-13-0) on Tuesday night at Bladerunners in Bethel Park. Uhlyars’s tally, his second of the game, came after Deer Lakes had over 3-straight minutes of a two-man advantage and gave the Jaguars a 4-3 lead. Brendan Mason would score his second goal of the game 1:33 later, which would prove to be the winning goal of the game. Uhlyar starter the scoring on his opening shift, firing a shot past Deer Lakes goalie Jonathan Land just ten seconds into the game. But the Lancers would respond at the 8:53 mark as Mitch Rupprecht would deflect a Ryan Carr shot by Jaguars goalie Nick Repepi. Thomas Jefferson would have the last laugh in the period though, as Mason would drive home his first goal of the night on a rebound of a Tommy Kimmick shot. Nick Tamburi boosted the Jaguars’ lead just 3:30 into the second period, banging home a rebound to put the Jaguars up 3-1. But Tommy Lisowski would respond with two goals in the period for Deer Lakes. The first came at the 4:39 mark on a wrist shot from the left circle as he went one-on-one with a defenseman. He followed that goal up with an evenly spectacular snipe at 15:26 on another wrist shot from the left circle, tying the game at 3-3 after two periods. The physical nature of play at the end of the second period carried over into the third, as Thomas Jefferson would take three straight penalties in a 1:17 span. Not only would the Jaguars kill all three penalties and all five Deer Lakes powerplays on the night, but Uhlyar would net the go-ahead, shorthanded goal on a tremendous breakaway, going five-hole on Lang. Mason’s goal just 1:33 seconds later would extend the Jaguars’ lead to 5-3. Rupprecht would score at the 8:50 mark, setting up a thrilling final eight minutes of the contest. But Thomas Jefferson would close the door and Repepi would make 47 saves on 51 shots in the game, sending the Jaguars into the PIHL Class A Penguins Cup Semifinals. The Jaguars will meet #2 Mars on Monday at Robert Morris University’s Island Sports Center. That game can be heard on MSA Sports.

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