Pine-Richland hockey captures St. Margaret’s tournament title
Friday, September 21, 2018 | 8:09 PM
The PIHL season has not yet officially begun, but the Pine-Richland hockey team is off to a good start after defeating all comers en route to claiming a second consecutive championship victory at the preseason St. Margaret’s Tournament at Alpha Ice Complex in Harmarville.
The Rams went 5-0 at the tournament, culminating in a 7-3 title game win against North Allegheny. In those five contests, the team outscored opponents 35-11.
In addition to the Tigers, coach Jordan Yoklic’s squad knocked off familiar foes Central Catholic, Montour, Butler and Upper St. Clair.
“It was absolutely a great way to start the year. Obviously, there are a lot of good teams in that tournament. It’s a great preseason event, and we faced a lot of big tests. It’s nice to finish on top and get the boys going,” the first-year coach said.
“It was great to see the team improve as the tournament went on. Playing Central and North Allegheny, back-to-back, those were great opponents. Those two teams are really good, and it was nice to see us step up and keep the effort up.”
One of the standouts throughout the course of the tournament for the Rams was goalie Daniel Stauffer, who accrued a save percentage of .949 while playing in all five games.
Offensively, Yoklic described the Rams’ success as a team effort as 13 different players found the back of the net.
Nicholas Lindauer and Brandon Kashur tallied six goals and three assists apiece. Will Studt also scored six goals and added one assist.
Other high scorers at the tournament for Pine-Richland include Brian Phipps (4 goals, 1 assist) and Jared Eggert (1 goal, 8 assists).
“There’s no doubt about it, it was definitely a team effort. It starts with our goalies, and Danny was a big part of our success. It starts with him and kind of works its way out. We have a confident group of defensemen. We expect a lot from those guys and they delivered,” Yoklic said.
“From the first line down to the fourth line, we have confidence in everybody. We want to have good starts, and I think if we can have a good start to a hockey game and roll our four lines, we’ll be a tough matchup for anybody.”
The Rams’ PIHL season will begin at 9 p.m. Oct. 1 with a game against Penn-Trafford at Baierl Ice Complex.
Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.