PIHL Team of the Week — Oct. 21, 2019
Monday, October 21, 2019 | 11:10 AM
Three PIHL teams accomplished the feat of scoring 17 goals in a game during the 2018-19 season. All of them were in the same division in Class A.
Montour, last year’s Class A Penguins Cup champion, scored 17 goals in two games in a row last season, while Meadville and West Allegheny also hit the marker in their final regular-season games.
Fox Chapel became the first team to do it this season Tuesday, against a short-handed Wheeling Catholic team. The Foxes won 17-2, and are this week’s TribLive High School Sports Network PIHL Team of the Week.
“We did everything we needed to do to get an early lead and go from there. We played really well,” coach Cameron Raidna said. “I don’t think that night is indicative of how Wheeling Catholic’s season is going to go either. That’s a pretty good hockey team. We caught them on a night where they were missing some players.”
The Foxes scored five times in the first period, seven times in the second and, after the intermission, netted five more.
“We got off a couple goals, and we didn’t want to take our foot off the gas,” Raidna said. “A lot of it was keeping the puck deep and moving, and doing everything we needed to do so we didn’t develop any bad habits going into the next game.”
Think 17 goals is good? How about on 35 shots on goal?
“Their goalie was a player who was playing in net, I believe, so from what I understand, it was his first time, but he did a great job of staying in there,” Raidna said. “Most of it, though, was us doing what we had to do to exploit what they had missing, and that amount of goals on that amount of shots is obviously awesome. Our offense kept the puck deep, and capitalized on every opportunity we got.”
Ten different players scored at least one goal, while six had two-or-more goal efforts. Mason Heininger led the way with a hat trick. He was joined in the multi-goal department by Colby Zmenkowski, Quentin Miske, Reed Troutman, Andrew Rich and Gavin Gebhart.
Ryan Zatman, Danny Downey, Will McNamara and Ricky Downey scored once. Ten different players had at least one helper, as well.
In goal, Nash Wedner did his part, stopping 13 of the 15 shots he faced.
“One of the things we were hoping for going in was depth scoring from all of our lines so that was good to see,” Raidna said. “It gives everyone confidence and, for a lot of guys with us being young, it was their first goal or their first assist. That helps get the monkey off their backs too.”
Overall, it was a superb effort from a team that made the postseason last year but hasn’t won a playoff game in a while. It also served as Fox Chapel’s first win of the season.
“For us to get a win like that after the two losses is big for us and builds confidence,” Raidna said. “But we know that’s not going to be how we win every game, so we have to keep doing what we need to do.”
• Peters Township — It was another good result this week for this season’s first Team of the Week, as the Indians outshot Butler, 52-16, en route to a 5-0 victory Monday in Class AAA.
• Seneca Valley — The Raiders lost Aidan Campbell, one of the best goalies in the league over the last few years. Despite that, Seneca Valley is off to a 2-0 start, including a 5-0 win over Mt. Lebanon last week.
• Plum — The Mustangs are 2-0 in the Class AA Northeast Division. After a down year last year, it’s a good start for a team that, not too long ago, won a Penguins Cup. Plum defeated Armstrong in a chippy game, 4-1 last week.
• Mars — Quaker Valley has had a strong start through four games, but the Quakers fell to Mars, 4-0, as the Fightin’ Planets outshot the opponent 45-17 on goal.
• Thomas Jefferson — The Jaguars outshot South Park, 52-16, and defeated the Eagles, 7-1, last week.
• Greensburg Salem — The Lions defeated the same Wheeling Catholic team Fox Chapel beat, but by a 12-1 score.
• Latrobe — The Icecats defeated Hempfield, getting two five-plus-point performances and a 31-save shutout from their goalie in a 7-0 victory.
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