Trib HSSN PIHL Player of the Week: Pine-Richland goalie Danny Stauffer

Sunday, March 24, 2019 | 10:28 PM

During the PIHL regular season, Pine-Richland junior goaltender Danny Stauffer led Double-A in goals-against average.

Ask him, and he will tell you it has a lot to do with the guys in front of him.

“I mean, really it’s the players in front of me,” Stauffer said in December on TribLIVE High School Sports Network’s PIHL Power Play Show. “All of my defensemen and everyone in front of me has been playing insane this year. They keep so much outside and make my job easier.”

Entering this past week, Stauffer didn’t have any gold medals. At the finish of the week, Stauffer and the Rams lifted two trophies; one for winning the PIHL Double-A Penguins Cup and one for winning the Pennsylvania Cup at the Double-A level.

Over the course of the two games, the junior made 58 stops, including finishing the week with a 24-save shutout of two-time defending state champion Downingtown East, helping Pine-Richland win its third Pennsylvania Cup Championship and first since 2007.

For his efforts, Stauffer is this week’s TribLIVE High School Sports Network PIHL Player of the Week.

“The D-core and Danny were incredible all season,” Pine-Richland coach Jordan Yoklic said.

Stauffer made 31 saves in the quarterfinals of the Penguins Cup Playoffs, 14 in the semifinals and the 34 in the title game.

“We can always trust Danny back there,” senior captain Will Studt said. “Even though we only have five defensemen they hold their own and Danny makes the big saves when he needs to.”

On Saturday, after Stauffer and the Rams had lifted the Penguins Cup on Monday night, the Rams played Downingtown East, the three-time defending Flyers Cup Champions in Double-A, and blanked the Cougars 3-0.

“My teammates played insane in front of me,” Stauffer said in the hallways of RMU Island Sports Center. “They locked down and made my job that much easier.”

His 24 saves included a couple of huge stops to maintain the lead in the third period on a pair of Downingtown East’s best chances.

About four minutes into the period, Stauffer stopped a slap shot from All-ICSHL defenseman Dan Stankiewicz. Later, Stauffer denied Ryan Prestayko, last year’s five-overtime hero in Downingtown East’s state-title victory over Armstrong, on a chance in tight that kept it a two-goal game.

The effort also included denying all of the Cougars’ chances on three power-play advantages.

Stauffer said the team-first mentality allowed the Rams to meet their goals.

“It’s amazing,” he said of the feeling after the state championship game. “Words can’t describe it. Just playing with these boys, having this situation and outcome is just amazing.”

Stauffer and his teammates will turn to the USA Hockey Nationals in Cleveland, which begin Thursday.

PIHL Honorable Mentions (Week Of March 18):

· North Allegheny forward Aaron Miller scored two goals, including the winner and the empty-net goal in the Triple-A Penguins Cup Championship against Peters Township on Tuesday. Miller then added a pair of goals in the Tigers’ 6-3 loss to LaSalle in Saturday’s Triple-A Pennsylvania Cup Championship game.

· Sticking with North Allegheny, Tigers goalie Richie Karapandi posted a 23-save shutout in the Tigers’ triumph in the Triple-A Penguins Cup Championship, and then posted another 39 saves in the state championship loss.

· Ritchy Froehlich Jr. had two goals and an assist in the Montour Spartans’ 6-3 win over South Fayette in the Single-A Penguins Cup Championship game Tuesday night.

· For Pine-Richland, Will Studt scored twice in the Penguins Cup win and once in the PA Cup victory.

· In Upper St. Clair’s Double-A championship loss, freshman Anthony Carone scored twice and had three assists, and senior Devin Rohrich had a goal and three assists.

· Finally, in Division 2’s championship game, Ringgold’s Noah Schroeder scored two goals, and goaltender Evan Cook stopped 33 Burrell opportunities to help the Rams win a championship.

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