Quaker Valley trio looking forward to PIHL All-Star Game

Saturday, January 18, 2020 | 12:18 AM

Quaker Valley’s hockey team continues to climb the PIHL Class AA standings.

With a handful of games left in the regular season, the Quakers (7-4-0-2) were atop the Northwest Division with 16 points. Josh Bemis, Max Quinn and Colin Rice have played key parts in the team’s surge. The trio was selected to play in the PIHL All-Star Game on Sunday at Robert Morris Island Sports Center.

“They definitely deserved it,” coach Kevin Quinn said. “It’s been a good year for all three.”

Bemis, a senior forward, leads Quaker Valley with 18 goals and 25 points.

“It’s pretty sweet. I think it’s awesome the PIHL does that, in general,” he said. “It’s cool to be recognized, but there are also a lot of players, not only on our team but on other teams, too, that you could put in the all-star game. It’s pretty cool to be included in it.”

Bemis is a repeat selection to the PIHL All-Star Game.

“Every coach would prefer more balance than we have. He has 18 goals in the league and leads us, by far. But I expect seniors with his skillset to score. When he scores, we have a good chance at winning,” Kevin Quinn said. “He puts a lot of pressure on himself to do that. Sometimes, he needs to put a little less pressure on himself, and we need to do more to help him out. He’s had a great year for us.”

Rice, a senior goaltender, has a 7-6 record with a 3.49 goals-against average.

“Since it’s my last year, it means a lot to be named to the all-star game,” he said. “I didn’t make it my first three years, and it was always a goal of mine to go. I am just very happy I got the nod this year.”

Rice has been a steadying influence between the pipes.

“These last two years have been his two years to start. He’s made massive improvements from last year to this year in his confidence and leadership,” Kevin Quinn said. “Without his play in a lot of these games, we’d be in much, much worse situations. He’s been our most valuable player for what he has done this year.”

Max Quinn, no relation to the coach, is second on the team with 14 points despite playing defense. In addition, it is the sophomore’s first season playing for the varsity.

“It’s pretty nice. I didn’t really expect it as a first-year player,” he said. “It’s nice that our coach allows me to jump up into an offensive style, and I don’t have to sit back on defense the whole time.”

Added Kevin Quinn: “We have loved having him this year. He is second on the team in points. He is on the power play, the penalty kill and plays a lot of minutes for us. He is a leader. He leads by example. He is a competitor. He has done really, really well in his first year with us.”

The Quakers hope to earn one of the division’s two playoff spots and return to the postseason. They lost to Hempfield, 8-5, in the first round last year.

“It’s cool to see we’re in first place. I wasn’t expecting that because we have such a young team,” Rice said. “It’s great to see these younger players really step up for us. I know the program will be in good hands in the future. They’ve exceeded expectations by a mile. I can’t say enough about the young group of players we have and how well they’ve been doing and how well they’ve listened. I am proud of them.”

Added Bemis: “The younger guys are really hard workers and anxious to learn and get better. They just want to improve. It’ll be a race to see who finishes first and second in the division for the playoffs. Hopefully, we can just hold onto first place. That’ll definitely help with seeding.”

Joe Sager is a freelance writer.


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