West Allegheny Works Overtime to Win PIHL AA Penguins Cup

Saturday, March 24, 2012 | 6:11 PM

Erie Cathedral Prep came into the PIHL Class AA Penguins Cup Championship red hot, as the Ramblers hadn’t lost a game since January. The only loss West Allegheny suffered since November 10th was at the hands of Cathedral Prep (5-0) on February 27th. The Indians were making their second appearance in the finals since 2010, when they were runner up to Latrobe. The Ramblers last captured the Penguins Cup in 1997. These two schools went back and forth in a great match for the AA title at the Consol Energy Center. It took some extra minutes to get the job down, but the wait was well worth it for West Allegheny as the Indians captured their first Penguins Cup.

The Ramblers struck first while Brett Torchio was in the penalty box for slashing. Josh Ordos skated down the left wing on a 2-on-1 break and shoveled a one-handed backhander between the legs of Jason Kumpfmiller to give Cathedral Prep a 1-0 lead. The goal was Odos’ 6th point of the PIHL Class AA playoffs. ECP was assessed a bench penalty at (9:49) of the first period and West Allegheny was able to tie the game with a special teams goal of their own. Matt Grebosky found Patrick Coburn beside the ECP net from the left wing boards. Coburn pushed the puck in front to teammate Jared DiSanti who wristed the puck past Trey Brown to make the score 1-1. Jonathan Levitt, who came into the championship game with 4 goals in 2 playoff games, gave West Allegheny its first lead late in the opening period. Levitt started the play entering the Ramblers zone with Coburn, and the line mates turned a perfect give and go into a 2-1 lead as Coburn’s return pass from the right wing gave Levitt an open cage and the sniper buried the shot with just (20:5) remaining.

Cathedral Prep struck again while shorthanded to tie the game at 2-2. Don Alexander was called for interference at the (10:00) mark of the second period. Coombs, the Ramblers captain, rambled down the right wing and was tripped off of his skates. From his knees, Coombs was able to find Zach Faulkner all alone in front of the net. The junior forward went forehand to backhand and beat Kumpfmiller through the five-hole for the tie. The shorthanded goals for Cathedral Prep should come as no surprise, as the Ramblers tallied twenty shorties during the regular season. But the Indians again had the answer; again late in a period and again it was West Allegheny’s Captain Jared DiSanti in the middle of an Indians goal. DiSanti came into the ECP zone on a 2-on-1 break, his pass found junior Mason Ervin alone of the left wing, Ervin’s wrist shot beat Brown short side and the Indians had a 3-2 lead after two periods of play. The goal gave Ervin 2 goals and 5 points in the playoffs.

Cathedral Prep used a great individual effort from sophomore Mitch Campbell to even the score at 3-3. Campbell, who had a hat trick in the Ramblers semi-final win over Chartiers Valley, took a pass from Alec Zaphiris and skated down the left wing. Campbell made a slick move around the defenseman to cut to his right, pulled the puck to his forehand and slid a shot under Kumpfmiller to tie the game at (5:08) of the 3rd period. The game remained tied and headed into overtime.

The golden goal for the Indians came at the (5:58) mark of overtime and it was set up by some great work by Levitt. The senior was denied in close around the Ramblers net and in the process Brown lost his goaltender stick. As Cathedral Prep tried to clear, Levitt was able to track down the puck on the left wing boards. He skated to the center point and found Grebosky in the right wing circle.  The sophomore forward snapped a wrist shot just inside the far post to beat Brown and give West Allegheny its first ever PIHL Penguins Cup. West Allegheny recorded all five shots on goal in the overtime period.

Erie Cathedral Prep, who just three years ago was able to field only a JV squad, finishes as the Class AA runner up with a record of (17-6-1). The victory improved West Allegheny’s season mark to (21-3). The PIHL Penguins Cup Champions have a quick turnaround time in their battle for state gold. The Indians will be back on the ice tomorrow at 5:00 to face The Flyers Cup AA Champions Council Rock South. The Pennsylvania Cup state championship will be held at Robert Morris University’s Island Sports Complex on Neville Island and you can hear all of the action on MSA Sports.

Score by Period:   
#4 -Erie Cathedral Prep: 1 – 1 – 1 – 0 = 3
#1 -West Allegheny:  2 – 1 – 0 – 1 = 4

Shots on Goal:   
#4 -Erie Cathedral Prep: 12 – 4 – 4 – 0 = 20
#1 -West Allegheny:   5 –  7 –  8 – 5 = 25

Bladerunners Scoring Summary:
1st Period:
ECP:  Josh Ordos – (Chris Coombs – Alec Zaphiris) 8:12 {SHG}
West A: Jared DiSanti – (Patrick Coburn – Matt Grebosky) 10:16 {PPG}
West A: Jonathan Levitt – (Coburn) 14:40
2nd Period:
ECP: Zach Faulkner (Coombs) 10:58 {SHG}
West A: Mason Ervin – (DiSanti) 14:07
3rd Period:
ECP: Mitch Campbell (Zaphiris) 5:08
West A: Grebosky (Levitt) 5:58

Erie Cathedral Prep – Trey Brown (25 Shots/21 Saves) 
West Allegheny – Jason Kumpfmiller (20 Shots/17 Saves)

Power Plays:
Erie Cathedral Prep (0-3)  West Allegheny (1-6)

Mount Lebanon Ice Arena Play of the Game:
What else, Matt Grebosky’s Penguins Cup clinching game winner in overtime set up by the great effort of Jonathan Levitt.

First Niagara Bank 3-Stars of the Game:
#1 – Jonathan Levitt – West Allegheny (Goal, Assist)
#2 –  Matt Grebosky – West Allegheny (GWG, Assist)
#3 – Alec Zaphiris= Erie Cathedral Prep (2 Assists)

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