Trib HSSN PIHL Player of the Week — Nov. 11, 2019

Sunday, November 10, 2019 | 5:55 PM

Thursday was another day at the office for this week’s TribLIVE High School Sports Network PIHL Player of the Week.

In seven games this season, South Park goalie Shane Peremba has allowed 10 goals and faced 206 shots on goal.

Do the math: That’s a .951 save percentage and a 1.41 goals-against average for the senior. He’s 6-1 in those seven games, with the only loss coming to Thomas Jefferson. Coach Dan Labarbera said he may have been the best player on the ice against the Jaguars despite allowing seven goals on 52 shots faced.

This week, it was another solid performance as Peremba allowed one goal in a 2-1 victory over Indiana.

“We knew from looking at what Indiana has done in the shots-on-goal department that we may need Shane to play big for us,” Labarbera said. “He did what he has done for us all season. He was our backstop. He is calm. He’s pretty much the definition of unflappable. He played great for us against Indiana. But I wouldn’t say we were surprised by that. He’s been great all year.”

The goal Peremba allowed was on an Indiana power play.

“With a team that has that kind of offensive firepower, you don’t want to put your team in the situation giving up a goal there, but you’re putting yourself behind the eight ball by taking a penalty,” Labarbera said. “It was a goal where they had the puck behind the net and were able to swing around tight. One of their guys was able to get a stick on it before our guys, and Shane couldn’t really see it. It was a good individual poke by the goal-scorer. Shane probably would tell you he could’ve had it. That’s just the kind of kid he is.”

Twice he’s faced more shots than the 35 he saw against Indiana: the aforementioned Thomas Jefferson contest and the first game of the season, a 2-1 win over Chartiers Valley in which Peremba stopped 36 of 37.

He has shutouts with 25, 18 and eight shots faced this season.

It’s that effort his teammates feed off, according to Labarbera.

“What he does gives the rest of the team confidence. We know, with what Shane does, if we score three or four goals, we’ve got a really good chance to win,” Labarbera said. “When he makes a big save, we cheer him on, but it is almost like we aren’t surprised he makes the big save.”

The success comes a lot from Peremba’s experience.

“This kid spends so much time on the ice between us and his amateur team, so all of that experience has developed his game,” Labarbera said. “He’s one of those players that will come up to me at practice and tell me to tell the forwards to crash the net. He’ll say, ‘I want to work on people coming into my crease. I want people to swing their sticks at my glove. I want to work on that stuff.’ He always wants to be better. It’s almost as if he is more competitive at practice than he is in some games.”

The senior has aspirations to play at the next level. His coach said putting up numbers isn’t all it will take.

“He continues to try and get better. He just works so hard,” Labarbera said.

“He’s also a fantastic leader. He’s a goalie, so he has a big mouth to him, but it’s a perfect blend of keeping the room loose but on gameday he’s all business,” Labarbera said. “He even had some people wanting to vote for him to be our captain.”

Peremba and the rest of the Eagles return to the ice Tuesday against North Catholic, which is unbeaten in Class A.

Puck drop is scheduled for 9:10 p.m. at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.

Honorable Mentions:

· Alex Keller (South Fayette) — Keller had the only six-point night of the week as he tallied four goals and two assists in a 10-7 win over Hampton on Monday.

· Josh Ferry (West Allegheny) — The goaltender posted a 32-save shutout of Plum in a 6-0 win.

· Nikita Zapolski (Bishop McCort) — Zapolski scored three goals and assisted on two others as Bishop McCort bested Sewickley Academy, 9-0, on Tuesday.

· Chris McFayden (North Catholic) — McFayden had 27 saves in a shutout of Beaver Tuesday, as the Trojans won 6-0.

· Cole McNair, Brendon Linderman (Greensburg Salem) — Both players scored three goals and had three assists in a 9-5 win over Freeport.

· Ian Norkevicus (Carrick) — In two games, Norkevicus combined for five goals and two assists as Carrick won both. Norkevicus scored four goals and assisted on one in an 8-1 win over Elizabeth Forward before having one goal and a helper in a 4-1 win against Connellsville.

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