PIHL Team of the Week for Oct. 28, 2019

Sunday, October 27, 2019 | 10:49 PM

Graduation hit a bunch of PIHL teams hard. Some lost more than others. Some have not missed a beat.

North Allegheny, the defending Class AAA champions, are 4-0 this season despite losing five defensemen, top point scorer in Aaron Miller and goalie Richie Karapandi to graduation.

The Tigers won both of their games this week, defeating Peters Township, 3-0, and Upper St. Clair, 5-4. Those wins earned North Allegheny TribLIVE High School Sports Network PIHL Team of the Week honors.

“It was no secret we lost the best goalie, five senior defensemen and more guys like Aaron that were really good,” North Allegheny coach Mike Bagnato said. “We had at least half the team still back, though. The good thing for us is our guys have been around, even the new guys who came up to practice, and this group has worked hard. Their effort is exceptional.”

Bagnato told his team the Peters Township game Tuesday would be a big test, and the Tigers responded well.

The Indians also were hit hard by graduation, but they had not lost a game until playing North Allegheny.

The Tigers scored in all three periods but were outshot 27-20. Tyler Lamark netted the winning goal 3 minutes, 40 seconds into the first period. Tyler Sippel and Will Parreaguirre also scored.

Tyler Boyles, playing in his first game, recorded a 27-save shutout. Boyles is in his first season with the team, and Bagnato said he missed the first few weeks with a concussion. Boyles plays amateur hockey but opted to play for North Allegheny this season.

“We played very strong in the Peters game. It was our best game yet,” Bagnato said. “When we play that team, it’s the big one. It’s the big test for us. We played well up and down the ice in all facets of the game.”

On Thursday, the Tigers clipped Upper St. Clair, the defending Class AA runner-up.

Boyles stopped 33 of 37 shots, and Lamark scored once and had two assists. Chris Hanlon, Tyler Putnam, Parreaguirre and Sippel scored for North Allegheny. Sippe scored the winner with six seconds left in the second period.

“It’s hard to come back after a game like the Peters game. I didn’t think our focus was as good against Upper St. Clair, and they’re really talented,” Bagnato said. “It was a very good hockey game that could’ve went either way, and we’re extremely happy it went our way.”

Bagnato said the Tigers need to improve every night and understand every game is going to be close.

“As good as we think we might be playing now, every team in the league is going to get better,” Bagnato said. “So we need to get better, too, and come playoff time, everyone steps it up even another notch. The teams that have the mentality of continuing to get better and improve themselves every way they can are the ones who end up near the top.”

The Tigers return to action Monday at Butler.

Honorable Mentions:

West Allegheny — The Indians won 11-2 over Armstrong, outshooting the RiverHawks, 50-24, on Monday.

Latrobe — The Icecats defeated Moon , 7-0, on Monday.

Ringgold — The defending D2 champions shut out Bishop Canevin, 8-0.

North Catholic — The Trojans continue to roll after coming back into the PIHL, beating Beaver, 7-0.

Kiski Area — It took a shootout, but the Cavaliers defeated Indiana 3-2.

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