PIHL Player of the Week for Week ending March 1, 2020
Monday, March 2, 2020 | 10:03 PM
Chartiers Valley and North Hills met last Monday in a game featuring two PIHL teams that won’t be taking part in the Penguins Cup or Class B playoffs.
That’s largely because the Southwest Division in Class A was one of the better divisions in the league. Thomas Jefferson and South Park will be the representatives in the postseason. Chartiers Valley and North Hills couldn’t catch them in the standings.
But that didn’t stop a strong goaltending matchup and two teams from delivering in the season finale.
Chartiers Valley started Logan Marnik in goal, and North Hills countered with sophomore Tyler Manfred, who was the No. 2 this season behind junior Ethan Isaly.
Neither netminder disappointed, but it was Manfred picking up a win.
He stopped 40 shots in a 2-1 win for the Indians.
“Honestly, us not being able to make the playoffs didn’t have a factor on the game,” North Hills coach Kevin Pawlos said. “We knew it would be a tough game, and both teams wanted to play well for their outgoing seniors. Tyler was exceptional. He gave up a goal in the third that was kind of a fluke goal from the point on the penalty kill. He played well enough to get the shutout.”
Chartiers Valley scored with just over five minutes remaining in the third period.
Manfred made seven saves in the first period, 19 in the second and 15 in the third.
“Anytime you see good goaltending in our league, it’s fun to watch. It’s amazing how some of these kids are so athletic and look older than they are. [Marnik] played really well, too,” Pawlos said. “(Manfred) absorbed some pucks and the power-play goal like I said was a bit fluky. He didn’t get beat one on one. He didn’t allow big rebounds and is very aware of what the team needs.”
The win allowed Manfred to finish the season with a 6-2 record and a 2.83 goals against average.
Now the Indians look forward to a future and next year with two above-average goaltenders.
“We’re a bit log jammed at the goaltender position with him and Ethan, but that’s a good problem to have,” Pawlos said. “We had laid out the role to Tyler early in the year, and he accepted it and stepped up in some games we needed him to in. He was a great teammate all year.”
Pawlos said Manfred plays older than his age and is exciting to watch.
“You’ll never see him make an overly athletic save but that’s because he doesn’t have to,” said Pawlos. “He takes up a lot of net and, positionally, he is sound.”
Pawlos said he and his staff saw that no team is too big or too small for Manfred, which was the desire.
“We wanted him to face some adversity,” Pawlos said. “He showed us that he has a lot of talent, and he’s a guy that if I was on the team, I’d want to have on the team. We’re excited to have him and Ethan back.”
· Danny Stauffer (Pine-Richland) — Stauffer made 24 saves in a 2-1 win over North Allegheny on Monday before making 26 stops in an overtime win over Bethel Park on Thursday. Stuaffer and the Rams will battle Canon-McMillan in the Triple-A quarterfinals Tuesday.
· Tanner Cindrich and Eddie Nowicki (Baldwin) — The two goalies combined for a 30-save shutout in a 1-0 victory Monday over South Fayette. Cindrich made 11 stops and Nowicki the other 19.
· Danny Mitchell (Mars) — The Planets’ goaltender recorded a shutout and a second win this past week. Mitchell made 21 saves in a shutout over Moon on Monday before making 17 saves on 19 shots faced in the shoot-out win over Quaker Valley on Thursday.
· Matt Traczynski (Hempfield) — Another week, another time the Spartans’ standout forward makes this list. Traczynski scored four goals and had two assists in a 7-3 win over Hampton on Monday.
· Will Golgosky (Avonworth) — It was a two-goal, three-assist night for Golgosky in the 7-1 Lopes’ win against Wilmington.
· Tyler Stewart and Gio Palombo (Burrell) — The two standouts continued to put up numbers in a 10-3 win over McDowell on Monday night. Palombo had one goal and four assists, and Stewart scored four times and assisted on another goal in the victory.
· Hunter Harris (Neshannock) — Harris scored once and assisted on four goals in a 7-2 Lancers’ win over Central Valley on Thursday night.