PIHL Penguins Cup Semifinals Recaps for Tuesday, March 15th

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 | 12:00 AM

Two defending champions in high school hockey have registered victories on Semifinals Tuesday while another has seen its hopes of more frozen gold come to an end at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Canon-McMillan is still alive in an effort to repeat as Class AAA champs after knocking out Bethel Park while two-time defending champion Mars took care of business against Westmont-Hilltop. Meanwhile, Latrobe's string of three consecutive Class AA crowns ends with an overtime loss to Bishop Canevin.

Thanks to Mike Azadian, Adam Hoerner and Sam Hall for their help on these recaps.


Canon-McMillan Big Macs 5 – Bethel Park Black Hawks 2

At Consol Energy Center in the PIHL semi final the Canon McMillan Big Macs will get the chance to defend their PIHL AAA Hockey title as they beat the Bethel Park Blackhawks by a score of 5-2. In the first period it was a defensive battle as both teams played a tight checking game early. Midway thru period one the Big Macs got on the board first with a goal by Brett Oldaker at 5:29, assisted by J.D. Oddi. Canon Mac had the better of play and had numerous odd man breaks late in the first stanza due to uncharacteristic Bethel Park defensive breakdowns. Blackhawks goalie Dillon Ondrako held tough stopping 8 of the 9 shots he faced, and the period ended at 1-0 Big Macs.Into the second period Oldaker put Canon Mac up 2-0 early with his second goal of the game at 1:17 Assists went to Andrew Topka, and Zach Volzer. On the play Ondrako misplayed the puck behind the net leading to the goal. The Blackhawks wouldn't back down as they surged for most of the 2nd period. While killing a penalty at 3:19 Bethel scored a shorthanded goal to cut the lead to 2-1 on a goal by Andrew Topka assisted by Zach Volzer. Bethel kept the pressure up, but Big Macs keeper Ryan Palonis stopped 15 of the 16 shots he would face in the period. The score would go to 3-1 for Canon Mac late in the period at 13:04 when Oldaker scored on the power play, his third goal of the game for the natural hat trick. He was assisted by Zach McKown and Jorden Valentine. The 3rd period started with the Blackhawks down two men and the Big Macs scored a power play goal early to go up 4-1 at 1:39. Alex Baskokov the star defenseman for Canon Mac scored with an assist from Anthony Tonkovich. Again the Blackhawks would have a chance to cut the lead and they did scoring on a five on three power play with a goal from Volzer at 4:22, he was assisted by Jacob Brown and Michael Shipley and the lead was cut to 4-2. The Blackhawks got a break as the Big Macs had a short handed breakaway goal called off sides. Bethel would kill a five on three penalty midway thru the frame and have two more power play chances late in the period,one a six on four with the goalie pulled, but the Big Macs defense held strong, and Palonis would come up with some big saves to preserve the lead and the Big Macs win. Canon Mac would tack on an empty net goal by Baskakov, his second goal of the game with :20 seconds left and Oldaker would get his fourth point adding an assist to cap off his tremendous night. The Big Macs would end up the night with two power play goals, the Blackhawks with one power play goal and one short handed as special teams played a big factor in the outcome. Bethel Park ends their season at 15-5-2, while Canon McMillan improves to 17-4-1 and will face Upper St Clair in the PIHL AAA championship game on Sunday March 20th at 9:00 PM.

Shots on Goal
Bethel Park 30 – Canon-McMillan 23

Management Science Associates Three Stars:
1. C-M: Brett Oldaker
2. C-M: Ryan Palonis
3. C-M: Alex Baskakov



Bishop Canevin Crusaders 2 – Latrobe Wildcats 1 in Overtime

During the regular season, Bishop Canevin (18-4-0) played two tight-checking games against Latrobe (16-4-1), out-shooting them both times, but lost 2-1 and 3-0 decisions. In Tuesday night's Penguins Cup Semifinal contest against the Wildcats, the style of play was similar, but this time the Crusaders got that last item turned in their favor, defeating the three-time state champions 2-1 in overtime. A scoreless first period saw Latrobe sophomore Shane Brudnok turn aside nine shots while his teammates mustered just two, but the game remained scoreless through the first 15 minutes. Canevin finally broke through at the 8:55 mark of period two, though, as freshman Randy Unger and senior Frank Vance sent junior Matt Walsh behind the defense down low, and he beat Brudnok on the backhand for a 1-0 lead. Latrobe senior Zach LaDuke was not ready to roll over just yet, though, weaving through defenders and beating senior Zack Daley with a similar backhand move to tie the score. Senior Alec Koluder and sophomore Josh Daley picked up assists at the 13:49 mark. It would stay 1-1 through the third and most of the first 10-minute overtime, but Unger came through with a great individual effort with 34.3 seconds left, working the puck in on Brudnok. It went skyward, and when it came down, Unger found it first, shoveling it in and sending the Crusaders to the 2011 championship game after falling short the previous three seasons. Waiting for the #2 seed will be #1 ranked Peters Township at 7:00 PM on Sunday night from the Consol Energy Center.

Shots On Goal:
Bishop Canevin 33 – Latrobe 20

Management Science Associates Three Stars:
1- Bishop Canevin : Zack Daley (19 Saves)
2- Latrobe : Shane Brudnok (31 Saves)
3- Bishop Canevin : Randy Unger (Game-winning Goal, Assist)



Mars Fighting Planets 4 – Westmont-Hilltop Hilltoppers 1

The Mars Planets will have the chance to win their third straight PIHL single A championship after allowing the initial goal in their semi-final match against the Westmont-Hilltop Hilltoppers and rattling off four straight to come away with a 4-1 win at Consol Energy Center Tuesday night. The Hilltoppers got off to a good start in the fourth minute of play as Corey Schafer scored a power play goal off a feed from Noah McQuillan. Mars though would answer with the next four goals of the contest. Nicholas BVlaney scored his first of two on the night at the 7:12 mark of period number one to tie the game at 1-1. That is how the first period would end, the Planets would get right back to work 3:12 into the second period as Robby Sigurdsson scored his first of two with a blast from the far point, a power play goal would stake Mars to a 2-1 lead. A little over two and half minutes later Robert Foley would score an unassisted goal on a breakaway to make it 3-1 Mars. Sigurdsson rounded out the scoring for the night with his 25th of the year at the 12:14 mark of the second after Westmont-Hilltop netminder Adam Ayre had made the initial save on a two on one break between Sigurdsson and teammate Ryan Magdinec Sigurdsson was able to find the rebound and tuck it into the far post on a wrap-around shot for the final margin of 4-1. Mars moves on to face the Hampton Talbots in the championship game here on the MSA Sports Network Sunday at 5:00.

Shots On Goal:
Westmont-Hilltop 35 – Mars 22

Management Science Associates Three Stars:
1- Mars : Nicholas Blaney (1 Goal, 1 Assist)
2- Mars : Tyler Stepke (34 Saves)
3- Mars : Robert Sigurdsson (2 Goals)

Tags: , , ,

More Hockey

Title contenders face off as PIHL girls division’s 2nd season begins
PIHL girls hockey season begins 2nd season
Pine Creek Journal notebook: Pine native Ty Voit lighting it up in Ontario Hockey League
Optimism abounds for Quaker Valley hockey after playoff season
Second-period surge helps LaSalle College beat Peters Township for Class 3A state hockey title