TribHSSN PIHL player of the week for the week of Dec. 23, 2019

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Monday, December 23, 2019 | 10:57 PM


Danny Stauffer’s in-net success at Pine-Richland is well-documented.

Last season, as a junior, Stauffer was 18-0-1 in the regular season and 4-0 in the postseason, helping the Rams to championships in the Penguins Cup playoffs in Class AA and in the Pennsylvania Cup.

His .909 save percentage and 1.68 goals-against average were among the best in the league last season. He topped off his great season with a combined 58 saves in the two title games, which included a 24-save shutout in the PA Cup win over two-time defending champ Downingtown East.

He was the TribLIVE High School Sports Network’s PIHL Player of the Week for his efforts in those two games, and shortly after, he was named PIHL Power Play Show’s AA Goalie of the Year, an honor he ran away with.

Fast forward to the middle of this season, and the senior hasn’t missed a beat. He’s worked his way to the top, or near the top, of most of the AAA leaderboards. His seven wins are the most in the class. He’s got 224 saves, which is the fourth-most among goaltenders in the classification. His 1.71 GAA is the best among goalies with more than 150 shots faced. His .929 save percentage is the best in the class.

And now, he’s got his first shutout of the year, a 36-save blanking of Seneca Valley on Monday that earned him player of the week honors.

“The key is just a total defensive effort collectively. Obviously, we want to make Danny’s life as easy as possible back there,” said Rams head coach Jordan Yoklic. “If he can see the puck, he’s going to make the save. For whatever reason, if there’s an extra scoring chance and he has to make the tough save, he has the ability to do that too. We have all the confidence in him.”

Stauffer made seven saves in the first period, then 11 and 18 in the subsequent two periods to earn the shutout. That includes being perfect on five Raiders power-play chances.

It would appear Stauffer is heating up too. He’s allowed one goal or fewer in each of his last three games since allowing a season-worst four in a loss to Peters Township on Dec. 3.

“I’d be curious to see where the majority of shots were coming from. Seneca Valley is a hungry group and they were getting to the house, looking for those ugly goals and rebounds,” Yoklic said. “There were a couple where he had to use his athleticism, maybe go from post to post to make some big saves, and he was able to.”

Stauffer credits a lot of his success to the defensemen and players in front of him.

“I think his confidence is the main thing and it’s probably at an all-time high,” Yoklic said. “Seeing his routine before games hasn’t changed. He is in the game well before it starts.”

As a junior last season, Stauffer had a leadership role, as most goaltenders do. This year, he’s taken a step further, and Yoklic said Stauffer take pride in that.

“He’s a commited player and his commitment level and how he carries himself shows to other players, whether they’re a senior, a freshman or anything in between,” Yoklic said. “The way that he is prepared shows and it rubs off on everyone.”

Stauffer is the kind of player, Yoklic believes, that can play at the next level.

“He definitely has the interest level to play junior or in college in some capacity and he has the drive,” Yoklic said. “I’m not exactly sure what his plan is for after high school yet, but that’s a question I have for him after the season is over. I know there is interest from both sides, though.”

Stauffer and the rest of the Rams will look to keep rolling after the winter break, when they return to action Jan. 9 against Upper St. Clair.

Honorable Mention

Jack Hughes (Penn Trafford) — Hughes scored two goals and assisted on three others in a 9-4 Warriors’ win over Mars in Class AA action.

Greg Irons (Greater Latrobe) — The Icecats continued to shine in their 2-1 win over Armstrong in large part due to the play of netminder Irons. He made 29 saves in the victory.

Michael Mahoney (Meadville) — The Bulldogs forward had a five-point night in a 6-5 Meadville win over Shaler.

Ethan Isaly (North Hills) — The Indians goaltender was fantastic in a 2-1 overtime win over Fox Chapel on Tuesday night. Isaly made 32 saves.

Cameron Ropchock, Chase Evans (Bishop Canevin) — In a 6-3 win over Wilmington on Monday, Ropchock scored four goals, including the game winner. He scored four of the first five Crusader goals. Evans scored the other in that stretch, while also assisting on four goals.

Riley Mastowski (Neshannock) — The Lancers goalie was named the Class B Player of the Month by the PIHL last week and followed it up with a 36-save night in a 7-2 victory over Elizabeth Forward this past week.

Josh Ferry (West Allegheny) — Ferry made 28 saves in a 7-1 win over South Fayette.

Josh Bemis (Quaker Valley) — Bemis scored three times and assisted on two other Quaker goals in a 7-3 win against Hampton before factoring in on all three goals in a 3-2 win over West Allegheny on Thursday. That was a one-goal, two-helper night.

Brad Bujdos (Ringgold) — Bujdos scored five points in an 11-2 win over Trinity, notching three assists and scoring two goals.

Joshua Paulovich (Blackhawk) — Paulovich was exceptional in net despite four goals allowed in a Cougars’ win over Indiana on Thursday night. The netminder made 57 saves.

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