PIHL Playoff Recaps for Monday, March 9th

Monday, March 9, 2015 | 11:03 PM

The curtain rose on the second week of the high school hockey playoffs with the first of three straight nights of Penguins Cup Semifinals action from the RMU Sports Complex with Class AA claiming the spotlight on Monday. Plus a pair of Quarterfinals contest in the PIHL Division II Playoffs. Here are the recaps from all four contests.

A special thanks goes out to Bob Orkwis, Josh Rowntree, Steve Nagler and Mike Azadian for their help on these recaps.


Erie Cathedral Prep Ramblers 8 – Bishop Canevin Crusaders 2 
Bishop Canevin defeated Erie Cathedral 1-0 in last year’s PIHL Class AA Championship Game at the Consol Energy Center. The Ramblers got a measure of revenge tonight at the Robert Morris University Island Sports Complex by defeating the Crusaders 8-2 to clinch a spot in the AA finals for the third time in four years. Both teams combined for six goals in a fast moving first period. Ben Eliason opened the scoring: 48 into the game converting a Jake Schlosser feed to give ECP a 1-0 lead. Bishop Canevin would answer back when Blaine Adams picked up a Ramblers turnover behind the net and fed the puck in front to Jacob Ondrejko who beat Jacob Kucharski for his 9th goal of the season to tie the score at 1-1. 4:00 later at (7:03) Cathedral Prep went back on top when defensemen Jack Kelly rifled a shot past Neko Borghini from the top of the left circle for his 14th goal of the year. Trevor Faulkner and Schlosser picked up assists and it was 2-1 Ramblers. It didn’t take Bishop Canevin long to tie the game. Senior Kaden Kelly picked up a rebound and slid the puck past Kucharski just: 20 later to tie the game at 2-2. As it turned out, that goal would be the last on the night for the Crusaders as Erie Cathedral Prep would net the next six tallies, including the final two of the first period. Nick Trageser scored his 5th goal of the season pushing a Doran Okon pass behind Borghini at (9:08) for the eventual game winner. Faulkner then scored on a great individual effort at (10:31). He eluded a check at his own blue line and sped flying up the right wing with speed. He stick handled his way in on Borghini and deposited his 17th goal of the season to give the Ramblers a 4-2 lead after the first period. After a scoreless second period, the Ramblers power play and senior forward Richard Vicary put the game out of reach. Vicary converted passed from Faulkner and Jack Kelly: 32 into the period to make it 5-2 Erie Cathedral Prep. Then 1:28 later Vicary struck again depositing a Jack Kelly rebound past Borghini to stake the Ramblers to a 6-2 lead. The Ramblers rounded out the scoring when Dillion Elliott scored his 6th goal of the season at (13:20) and Eliason capped of the game with his bookend goal and 21st of the season. Eliason picked up the puck at this own blue line and skated with speed down the left wing, After ducking inside a defenseman, Eliason stick handled around Borghini and found the net to make the final score 8-2. The Ramblers penalty kill was perfect on the game, killing off all 8 Crusaders power plays and Erie Cathedral Prep converted on 3 of 4 opportunities with the man advantage. The Ramblers spent almost eight minutes early in the third period but did not allow the Crusaders a power play goal. ECP has now won 13 consecutive games and the Ramblers improved to (19-2) on the season. The Penguin Cup Championship reign ends for Bishop Canevin as the Crusaders end the year with a (11-10) record. The Ramblers, the top seed in the AA tournament, will face Armstrong Saturday Afternoon at 5 O’ Clock at the Consol Energy Center in the first of three PIHL Championship games. The 3rd seeded River Hawks defeated Shaler 4-3 in overtime to reach the title game for the first time. The Ramblers will try to win their first Penguins Cup Title since capturing AA gold in 1997.

Score by Period:
Erie Cathedral Prep Ramblers: 4-0-4=8
Bishop Canevin Crusaders: 2-0-0=2

Erie Cathedral Prep: 27
Armstrong: 18

Bladerunners Scoring Summary:

First Period:
ECP: Ben Eliason (20) (Jacob Schlosser) 0:48
BC: Jacob Ondrejko (9) (Blaine Adams) 3:03
ECP:  Jack Kelly (14) (Schlosser, Trevor Faulkner) 7:03
BC: Kaden Kelly (6) (Jacob Melisko) 7:23
ECP: Nick Trageser (5) (Doran Okon, Stephen Ziegler) 9:08
ECP: Trevor Faulkner (17) (William Kelly) 10:31 (PPG)

Second Period:
No Scoring

Third Period:
ECP: Richard Vicary (18) (William Kelly, Faulkner) 0:32 (PPG)
ECP: Vicary (19) (William Kelly) 1:53 (PPG)
ECP: Dillion Elliott (6) (Jack Becker, Joe Sala) 13:20
ECP: Eliason(21) (Mitch Slubowski) 16:32

ECP: Jacob Kucharski: (18 Shots, 16 Saves) (8-0-0)
BC: Neko Borghini: (27 Shots, 19 Saves) (11-10-0)

Power Plays:
ECP (3-4)              Bishop Canevin (0-8)

Management Science Associates Three Stars:
1. Jack Kelly (ECP) (1G, 3A)
2. Richard Vicary (ECP) (2G)
3. Ben Eliason (ECP) (2G)

Mount Lebanon Ice Arena Play of the Game:
The Erie Cathedral Prep special teams were special in this contest. The Ramblers killed off all eight Bishop Canevin power play opportunities and ECP converted on 3 of its 4 chances in the contest. Between (2:03) of the third period until the (11:31) mark, the Ramblers were whistled for four consecutive penalties and even killed off a 5-on-3 disadvantage. The special teams made a huge contribution in the Ramblers 8-2 win over Bishop Canevin at the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center on Neville Island. That helped ECP advance to the PIHL Class AA Championship game for the third time in four seasons.

Armstrong River Hawks 4 – Shaler Titans 3 in Overtime
Jacob Snyder scored his second goal of the game at 2:59 of the first overtime, giving Armstrong (16-4-1) a 4-3 win over Shaler (17-4-0) in the PIHL Class AA Semifinals at Robert Morris University’s Island Sports Center on Monday night. Snyder’s unassuming goal came off of a faceoff draw that saw the puck drift into the slot. Snyder collected the puck, spun and fired a low shot towards the net that was never seen by Shaler goalie Vinny Evans. With the win, the RIver Hawks advance to the PIHL Class AA Championship, where they will meet Cathedral Prep (19-2-0) on Saturday at 5pm at CONSOL Energy Center. After a scoreless, tight-checking first period, the game would wildly open up midway through the second, as the teams combined for five goals in under eight minutes. Shaler’s Justin Yuiska would open the scoring at 6:14 on a rebound goal off a shot by Cole Stayduhar. However, Armstrong would answer with a pair of goals just 1:25 apart. Snyder would score his first on a wrist shot from the right circle, evening the game at 1-1. Moments later, Nick Long would collect a long rebound off of a shot by Donovan Wichowski and bury a shot behind Evans, giving the River Hawks their first lead at 2-1. But it was Shaler’s turn for a big response and a quick pair of goals just minutes later. At 13:16, Michawl Fuchs would even the game on a wrist shot from the slot, again drawing the game even, this time at 2-2. Just 37 seconds later, Alex Ficorilli would give the Titans a 3-2 lead on a wrist shot off of a rebound that threw Armstrong goalie Taylor Smouse off balance. The score would stay at 3-2 until the 12:56 mark of the third period, when David Contrael would tap home a puck thrown to the net by Class AA’s leading scorer Christian Miller, tying the game at 3-3 and sending the game to overtime. Snyder’s goal sends Armstrong to their first Championship Game appearance since Kittanning and Ford City merged before last season. Armstrong Central High School, a defunct program, won Class AAA in 1991. The River Hawks will face the top seed in Class AA in Cathedral Prep, which defeated defending Champion Bishop Canevin 8-2 earlier in the night. Armstrong won the only meeting of the two teams this season, a 5-3 victory on November 13. 

Score By Period:
A: 0-2-1-1=4
S: 0-3-0-0=3
Armstrong: 42
Shaler: 33
Bladerunners Scoring Summary:
1st Period:
No Scoring
2nd Period:
S: Justin Yuiska (Cole Stayduhar), 6:14
A: Jacob Snyder (Nick Long), 10:15
A: Nick Long (Donovan Wichowski), 11:35
S: Michael Fuchs (Austin Bionda), 13:16
S: Alex Ficorilli (Cole Stayduhar, Austin Martz), 13:53
3rd Period:
A: David Contrael (Christian Miller), 12:56
A: Jacob Snyder (2) (Zach Kutch), 2:59
A: Taylor Smouse (33 shots, 30 saves) (16-3-1)
S: Vinny Evans (42 shots, 38 saves) (16-4-0)
A: 0-for-3
S: 0-for-4
Management Science Associates Three Stars:
1. Jacob Snyder, Armstrong (2G)
2. Nick Long, Armstrong (G, A)
3. Cole Stayduhar, Shaler (2A)
Mount Lebanon Ice Arena Play of the Game:
Jacob Snyder’s game-winning goal at 2:59 of overtime, sending Armstrong to the AA Championship Game. His two goals were just his 6th and 7th markers of the season. 

PIHL DIVISION II Quarterfinals:

Meadville Bulldogs 3 – Blackhawk Cougars 1 
It was win and advance for the Meadville Bulldogs and one and done for the Blackhawk Cougars in the division 2 first round of the PIHL playoffs at the Meadville Rec Center as the Bulldogs win 3-1. They  advance to the semi finals next Monday March 16th at the Bladerunners in Warrendale. They play the winner of Harborcreek and Carrick. It was an even first period and both teams played well. Each team had scoring chances, but tight defense and strong goaltending took over and no one could dent the scoreboard. But the Cougars scored first as Tim Stahoviak went into the corner, threw the puck toward the net, and Bulldog goalkeeper Samuel Kineston let the puck go thru his crease and Devon Gabauer was there to tap it in at 15:02 to make it 1-0. Blackhawk outshot Meadville 12-10 in the first. The second period was all Meadviile as they beat the Cougers to the puck, out hit them and outshot them 17-5. They also scored twice. Bryan Ray scored on a wrist shot that beat Cory Steinle over the shoulder on the power play at 5:31 to tie it 1-1. Ray would score again unassisted at 11:46 after the Cougars gave the puck away in their end and the Bulldogs were in full control and led 2-1 after the second. Into period three and Blackawk had life and played much better, they could not score on the power play and missed on a Grant Rombold breakaway. They would end up 0-4 on the power play and Meadville 1-4. The Bulldogs put the game away late scoring to make it 3-1 as Trevor Johnson found a loose puck in front at 16:03 to put the game out of reach. Meadville out shot the Cougars 10-7 in the third and 37-24 on the game.

Beaver Bobcats 4 – Morgantown Mohawks 0 
The Beaver Bobcats broke open a close game with three 3rd period goals to go on and beat Morgantown in the PIHL Division 2 Quarterfinal round.  Beaver dominated the first period, outshooting the Mohawks 18-10, and got the lone goal of the period as Noah Schultz netted his 10th goal of the year at the 2:51 mark.  Morgantown would actually dominate the play and shots on goal differential in the middle period as they outshot the Bobcats 10-3.  But, even though Morgantown outshot Beaver, they struggled to generate quality scoring chances against Beaver goaltender Robbie Halvin.  Halvin stopped all 25 shots that he faced on the night.  The Bobcats got a pair of goals from Antoni Chirgott, his 19th and 20th on the year and got a beautiful goal from Andrew Begley as well in the final period.  Begley walked around a Mohawks defender en route to burying the puck just underneath the crossbar over the glove hand of Morgantown goalie Jacob Hough which gave the Bobcats a 3-0 lead at the time.  With the loss, Morgantown ends their season with a 9-11-1 record.  Beaver (13-8) now advances to the semi-finals and awaits the winner of the Indiana/Peters Township B game which will take place on Wednesday night at 7p at the S&T Bank Center.


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