PIHL Penguins Cup Semifinals Recaps for Monday, March 14th
Monday, March 14, 2011 | 12:00 AM
A pair of tripleheaders at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh will determine who will play for the PIHL Penguins Cup championship this upcoming weekend. Here are the recaps from the three Semifinals games, including a pair of top-seeds falling in both the Class AAA and Class A Semifinals Monday night.
Thanks to Josh Rowntree, Steve Nagler and Brandon Rebel for their help on these recaps.
PIHL PENGUINS CUP CLASS AAA SEMIFINALS:
Upper St. Clair Panthers 2 – Fox Chapel Foxes 0
Upper St. Clair surprised top-seeded Fox Chapel by combining stellar goaltending and aggressive play, moving on to the PIHL AAA Championship Game by a count of 2-0. The Panthers, despite being out-shot 34-24 in the game were able to take advantage of their opportunities. Scoring did not get started until the halfway point in the second period when, just after a Fox Chapel goal was disallowed, USC's Michael Sweeney would form a two-on-one with teammate Luke Stork. Stork would hit Sweeney with a great pass and he would register his first goal of the playoffs at the 8:01 mark. Play continued to go back-and-forth, with Fox Chapel being continually robbed by USC goalie Michael Abrose, who recorded 34 saves in the shutout. Then, at the 7:12 mark, USC would get some insurance on a shorthanded goal from Luke Stork. After the Panthers' Ryan Haleski would go to the box for an interference penalty, Stork would force a turnover in the offensive zone, carry the puck in and beat Fox Chapel netminder Tyler Fannie for his second goal of the playoffs, making it 2-0 USC. That was all the padding the Panthers needed, as they would lock down Fox Chapel, handing them their first shutout since February 24, 2008. The big story was the Foxes' inability to capitalize on the man advantage, having their powerplay go 0/6 on the night. Four-time Penguins Cup Champions Upper St. Clair improve to 15-6-1 and will face the winner of Canon-McMillan and Bethel Park on Sunday night at 9PM for a chance at their first Championship since 1990. Fox Chapel, after their tremendous 2010-2011 campaign following a season in which they went through the death of their head coach, Jim Damp and a three-win season, will see this season end at 19-3-0.
Upper St. Clair – 24, Fox Chapel – 34
1 – USC: Michael Ambrose (34 Saves, SO)
2 – USC: Luke Stork (G, A)
3 – USC: Michael Sweeney (G)
Play of Game:
Michael Sweeney's game winning goal, his first of the playoffs on an assist from Luke Stork after a no-goal call at the other end.
PIHL PENGUINS CUP CLASS AA SEMIFINALS:
Peters Township Indians 8