PIHL Players of the Week: Dec. 8, 2019
Monday, December 9, 2019 | 11:43 PM
It’s not always easy to pick just one player of the week with all of the good performances logged in the PIHL each week. This past week was no different.
Couple a lot of good performances with three in a drubbing of Sewickley Academy by Norwin, 17-0, and sometimes you must make adjustments.
For the first time, the TribLIVE High School Sports Network will have co-PIHL Players of the Week. Coincidentally enough, the three selected this week are linemates for the Knights.
The three — all seniors, Mason Pivarnik, Jacob Dally and Logan Connelly — combined for 18 points in the victory. Dally had three goals and four assists, Connelly had three of each, and Pivarnik had two goals and assisted on three others.
“I think the whole team played pretty well. We probably took shorter shifts than normal to try and get some time and production for the rest of the lineup too,” Connelly said. “It was hard for them, I think, with only having eight or nine skaters. It would be for anyone.”
Of his line’s play, Connelly said the biggest reason for the success may be familiarity between the three, even with the talent between the teammates.
“We’ve been playing together for the last two years, and by now, we know basically where each other is going to be and how each plays,” Connelly said. “I think we’re all a bit different and that works well. If you have three of the same players on a line, that may not work out as well. We all bring something different.”
Connelly described Dally as a great playmaker, Pivarnik as fast with a great shot, and says while he doesn’t really know how to describe himself, thinks he finds himself in the “right place at the right time.”
With the win, the Knights moved to 7-1 with 14 points. They’ve scored 55 goals, which is the second-most in the classification to Thomas Jefferson.
Pivarnik scored the first goal from Connelly and Dally. Connelly the scored the fourth and fifth goals for the Knights, one of which was unassisted and the other by Dally and Devin Barrett. Dally scored the seventh and final goal of the first period for the Knights, on the power play and assisted by Pivarnik.
The line combined to score the team’s 10th goal, Dally scored the 13th, Pivarnik the 14th, and Connelly the final tally.
Eric Miscampbell had a 12-save shutout, and the three honorees this week were joined in the multi-point department by Ty Shigo (two goals, two assists), Sal Cerilli (one goal, two assists), Anthony Cavallaro (two goals), Aidan Rosko (two goals, two assists) and Jacob Meier (three assists).
On the season, the three linemates are the leading scorers for Norwin, and it’s not that close. All three have at least 25 points. The next-closest Knight has nine.
Dally has 10 goals and 18 assists, Pivarnik 11 goals and 15 helpers and Connelly 12 tallies and 13 apples. Each averages at least 3.12 points per contest.
For Dally, the 28 points are four shy of his total of 32 from last season, as he tallied 13 goals and 19 assists in a nine-win season for the Knights. Pivarnik had 18 goals and 11 assists last season and Connelly had 11 of each for 22 total points.
This past game was another good night in what has been a season of good ones for the Knights. Connelly said they’re taking it game by game and working toward their ultimate goal of winning a Penguins Cup.
“At the beginning of the year, we knew we wanted to make a run, and after a few games, we kind of realized we had a good chance,” Connelly said. “The whole team is all in.”
• Kyle Rohrich (Upper St. Clair), Matthew Overdorff (Hempfield), Josh Bailey (North Allegheny), Chase Bitz (Trinity) — The four shutouts this week belonged to these four netminders. Rohrich’s included 25 saves Monday in a Panthers win over Seneca Valley. Also Monday, Overdorff shut out Mars, making 17 saves in the Spartans’ victory. Bailey had 12 saves in a 7-0 Tigers’ win over Butler on Thursday, and Bitz had 17 saves as the Hillers bested McDowell, 8-0, Thursday night in Class B action.
• Danny Mitchell (Mars) — Mitchell made 28 saves in a 1-0 loss to Hempfield on Monday. That’s the same game that Matthew Overdorff recorded one of this week’s shutouts.
• Jake McGee (Hampton) — Already honored as Player of the Week once this season, McGee kept the roll going, as he stopped 38 shots and allowed just one goal in a 4-1 win against Meadville on Monday.
• Matt Lesnick (Avonworth) — It was a 30-save night in a 3-1 Lopes win for Lesnick on Monday, as Avonworth rode the good goaltending to a victory over Bishop Canevin.
• Chris McFayden (North Catholic) — Good goaltending was the theme of the week and this was nothing new for last week’s player of the week, as the Trojans’ netminder stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced Tuesday in a 5-1 win.
• Ryan McLinden (Bethel Park) — McLinden scored four times in a 6-5 Hawks’ victory over Central Catholic on Tuesday.
• Eddie Pazo (Thomas Jefferson) — To the surprise of no one following the Jaguars’ season so far, a skater had a big night. Pazo once again tallied five goals and also assisted on another in the Jags’ Thursday outing against Fox Chapel, a 9-2 win.
More High School Hockey• PIHL standings through March 7, 2021
• Balance of hockey power in South Hills shifts to Thomas Jefferson, Baldwin
• Gordon, McEnroe lead the way for Sewickley Academy hockey
• Shaler hockey shifts focus to development after missing playoffs
• Franklin Regional notebook: Dibert, Solomon have state title aspirations