Pine-Richland notebook: Brandon Saad finding good fit in St. Louis

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Sunday, April 3, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Former Pine-Richland standout Brandon Saad signed a five-year, $22.5 million dollar contract with the St. Louis Blues over the summer and has immediately found his new surroundings to his liking.

Saad had 19 goals and 19 assists in 62 games through the end of March. He had five goals and four assists on the power play.

The Blues are in position to make the playoffs with a month left in the season.

It’s been a good turnaround for Saad, who has already surpassed his goal total of 15 from last season in 44 games with Colorado.

“The style of play here helps me a lot,” Saad said earlier this season. “Having success on the power play has helped out too. For me, it’s about focusing on every game and bringing my best. When pucks are going in, obviously that feels good, but at the same time, I want to be a complete player.”

Saad, 29, has played with a combination of players but recently has found a home playing left wing on the top line with Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron.

He became a Pine-Richland legend when, as a freshman, he recorded a hat trick to lead the Rams to a 5-3 win over Bethel Park in the 2008 PIHL Class 3A Penguins Cup final.

Since then, he has carved out a 12-year pro career and won two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks in 2013 and ’15.

He’ll look to add a third this season and help the Blues hoist the cup for the second time in the past four years.

Roundball rosters

A trio of Pine-Richland boys basketball players will suit up in the Roundball Classic.

Luke Shanahan and Joey Dudkowski were selected to play on the Class 6A gold team, which will play Class 5A in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m. May 21.

Andy Swartout is on Class 6A silver, which plays Class 5A/City League at 8 p.m. May 20.

All Roundball Classic games will be played at Geneva College.

Shanahan and Dudkowski were first team All Section 1-6A, and Swartout was a second teamer.

Wood continues to rake

Pine-Richland grad Matt Wood is crushing the baseball for Penn State.

He has hit a team-best .375 through 21 games with the Nittany Lions with five doubles, two triples and four homers. He leads the team in all three extra base hit categories and has 19 RBIs.

His batting average is solidly in the top 10 in the Big Ten Conference.

In a 3-2 extra innings win over St. Bonaventure on march 30, Wood led off the bottom of the 10th with a single and later scored the winning run on a walk-off hit by Jay Harry.

Wood, a catcher, is MLB draft eligible this summer and is projected to be selected in the first 10 rounds.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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