Top line driving Norwin hockey

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Sunday, January 12, 2020 | 9:33 AM


Norwin sports one of the PIHL Class A’s top lines.

Seniors Jake Dally, Mason Pivarnik and Logan Connelly have proven to be a force. The trio has produced 87 points this season. Dally (30 points), Pivarnik (30) and Connelly (27) rank among the PIHL’s scoring leaders.

“We’ve clicked the last two years. This year, we’re really clicking. We all assist each other, and we’re all able to find the back of the net,” Pivarnik said. “Teamwork is the name of the game. It’s not an individual game. I give a lot of credit to Jake and Logan: If not for them, I wouldn’t be putting up the numbers I am. We all assist each other, which is nice.”

Dally, a center, leads the team with 20 assists. He has 10 goals.

“It’s a great feeling scoring a goal, no matter who scores it,” Dally said. “We work really well together. We’ve been playing together for a few years. We’re really clicking now. It makes it hard on the other teams when they know they can’t focus on just one guy.”

Pivarnik, a right wing, has a team-best 14 goals. He has 16 assists.

“The top line being able to produce the numbers we do is really humbling,” he said. “We strive to be leaders for the team and show the younger guys what to do on and off the ice, as well.”

Connelly, a left wing, has 13 goals and 14 assists.

“We’ve been having a good year,” he said. “We’ve been scoring against everybody, too. It’s not just against the bad teams. No matter who we go against, we feel we can produce. Our line is nice because, even if you don’t play your best in a particular game, you have two other guys who are picking up your slack.”

The Knights’ top line played a part in the team’s 4-3 overtime win against Chartiers Valley — their first game since a 5-2 loss Dec. 16 to South Park.

“It was a great game,” Dally said. “We started out a little slow. We let in two sloppy goals, but the whole team battled back. It was a good team win.”

Dally set up Pivarnik for Norwin’s final two goals. The equalizer came late in the third, and the winner came at the start of overtime.

“That was awesome, especially with the overtime goal. Jake won the faceoff, and I went down on a breakaway. It was nice,” Pivarnik said. “I think that win was the biggest of the season. Coming off winter break, getting another one in the win column helps. Losing that game would have brought our confidence down. Being able to pull that win off will help to carry us for the rest of the season.”

The Knights heavily rely on their other forwards, too. Against the Colts, Logan Marsalko and Aidan Rosko also scored.

“That is very important,” Dally said. “When you go against the better teams, especially in the playoffs, the depth scoring is really what separates the great teams from the good teams.”

Only the top two teams in each division make the Penguins Cup playoffs. Norwin (9-2-0, 18 points) is in second place behind Bishop McCort (10-2-1, 21) in the Southeast standings but three points up on Greensburg Salem (7-3-1, 15).

“We can’t let up. We have to get as many points as we can,” Pivarnik said. “The standings are tight right now. We want to be able to pull out as many games as we’re able to.”

Connelly said: “Our goal is to get first place in the division and get to the Penguins Cup. It’s gotta be 100% (effort) from here on out for us.”

Joe Sager is a freelance writer.

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