Trib HSSN PIHL Player of the Week — Oct. 28, 2019

Sunday, October 27, 2019 | 10:25 PM

The PIHL lost plenty of elite goaltenders to graduation last year. Three of the four TribLIVE HSSN Goalies of the Year in their respective classifications graduated.

More than half of the goalies from last year’s All-PIHL teams are no longer in the league. Another is hurt.

Yet for the third time in four weeks, the TribLIVE High School Sports Network Player of the Week is a goalie. Goaltending has stolen the show early this season.

For the first time, however, the player of the week is a repeat from last season.

After his 54-save effort in a 3-1 win against Thomas Jefferson, Chartiers Valley junior Logan Marnik is this week’s honoree.

Marnik, in a lot of ways, stole the game.

“I was just tracking everything and seeing every single shot,” Marnik said. “I was controlling rebounds and putting them in the corner. Overall, I thought every part of my game fell into line.”

Marnik stole games last season as well, posting a .911 save percentage with more than 350 saves.

He made 39 or more saves six times, including a 46-save, four-goal-allowed outing in a postseason loss.

He said he enjoys facing more shots.

“I definitely play better when I face more shots,” he said.

Colts coach Paul Bonetti agreed: “I know he likes to see a lot of rubber. Even in practice he’ll know how many shots he had against him and how many he let in. … It’s very difficult to score on Logan when you’re not right in front of the net or in a high-percentage situation.”

In the game against Thomas Jefferson, Marnik made 15 saves in the first period, 21 in the second and 18 in the third.

The only goal he allowed came with 5 seconds to play in the second, and was on a play that Marnik made a save but, as a result, was out of position on the rebound, Bonetti said.

“We were scrambling in our end, and I’ll take the blame. I probably had some guys out there a little longer than I should have,” Bonetti said. “Logan was out of position but only because he had just made a save on the other side of the net.”

For Bonetti, the performance wasn’t that big of a surprise, and it came in a divisional game the Colts needed to win.

“I think Thomas Jefferson might be the best team in our classification, and Logan was dominant,” Bonetti said. “They had to get the perfect shot to score on him the other night. He made them work hard, and they did but for very little return on their investment. He was that good.”

Bonetti said while Marnik made the routine saves, he also was making the “insane, acrobatic saves,” too.

“We just try and capitalize on mistakes, and his play gives our guys confidence knowing he’s back there and is going to stop the puck,” Bonetti said. “If it wasn’t for him in that game against TJ, it might be a 9-3 game.”

Marnik and the Colts will return to the ice against Indiana at 9:10 p.m. Monday.

Honorable Mentions:

• Chad DeGroen (Ringgold), Chris McFayden (North Catholic) and Shane Peremba (South Park) — All three goalies posted shutouts with at least 15 saves. DeGroen made 15 stops in an 8-0 win against Bishop Canevin. McFayden made 19 saves in a 7-0 win against Beaver. Peremba stopped 25 shots in his 4-0 shutout of North Hills. Peremba added 30 saves in a 2-1 loss Freeport on Thursday. He allowed only one goal in that outing.

• Matt Traczynski (Hempfield) — In a win against Armstrong on Thursday, Traczynski scored three goals and added two assists for the Spartans.

• Eric Petika (Kiski) — Petika made 57 saves and allowed two goals in a shootout win over Indiana

• Nathan Todd (Ringgold) — A member of the reigning Open Division champs, Todd made an impact in the aforementioned 8-0 Rams win over Bishop Canevin. He scored four goals and assisted on two more.

• Dominic Dezort (North Catholic) — It was a five-point night for the forward. He scored twice and assisted on three other goals as the Trojans bested Beaver, 7-0

• Tyler Boyles (North Allegheny) — Boyles, in his first season with the Tigers, having played amateur hockey previously, had two good games in his first action after coming off a concussion. He had a 27-save shutout in a 3-0 win over Peters Township and, a few nights later, stopped 33 of 37 shots in a 5-4 win against Upper St. Clair.

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