West Chester Bayard Rustin tops Montour to claim Class A Pennsylvania Cup
By: Andrew John
Saturday, March 23, 2019 | 2:14 PM
After leading PIHL Class A in goals scored, Montour’s offense was held in check against West Chester Bayard Rustin Saturday in the Pennsylvania Cup Class A championship game.
WC Rustin showed its scoring prowess in an 11-3 victory over the Spartans (21-2) at RMU Island Sports Center.
WC Rustin captured its sixth straight state crown and seventh overall. WC has outscored opponents, 33-9, in those six state title games.
“It was a great season. But we came up one game short,” Montour coach Clay Shell said. “You have to give it to Rustin. They were very fast, skilled and disciplined. That’s just a very good team. There is no shame in losing to a team like them.”
The Knights were led by senior Matt Owens, who recorded four points, including a hat trick. Senior Nicholas Ferraro finished with five points on a goal and four assists.
Sophomore Michael Felsing led the Spartans with two assists.
WC Rustin showed its experience in a high-pressure game by immediately taking advantage of the Spartans in the first minute of the game.
Owens scored 45 seconds into the game for the Knights after Montour turned the puck over behind its own net.
“We watched film on them. We watched the Hershey game in the Flyers Cup. We saw those were the goals they were scoring. That was one of the big things we were talking about before the game,” Shell said.
“Then we come out and they score in the first 45 seconds. It was like ‘did we have this talk?’ ”
The Spartans seemed to settle in for the next couple of shifts, including a shot by junior Dustin Geregach from the point that hit the post. Montour had a chance on a 2-on-1 to tie the game, but the Spartans couldn’t capitalize on the chance.
Close to a minute later, WC Rustin sophomore Tommy Finley roofed one over Montour senior goalie Zachary O’Malley’s glove to give the Knights a 2-0 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first period. The Knights capitalized off a Montour turnover in the neutral zone.
On an ensuing power play, Montour had a golden opportunity to get on the board. However, Felsing’s rebound chance just missed the net as it grazed the outside of the cage, making spectators think the Spartans had a goal.
The Knights took a 4-0 lead after one with goals from senior Ian Strasinski and Owens.
WC Rustin extended its lead to 6-0 with goals from senior David Carney and Ferraro.
Montour finally got on the board when Felsing circled the Knights’ net and found sophomore Anthony Migliozzi in front for a score.
In the third period, Geregach scored on the power play right off the faceoff about a minute in to make it 6-2.
Owens scored his third goal on a shorthanded goal third minutes into the third to make 7-3.
Junior Thomas Gollob found the back of the net for the Spartans’ third goal with a shot from the slot.
The Knights scored the final four goals of the game.
The game was extra chippy as both teams combined for 102 penalty minutes — Montour 54, WC Rustin 48.
The Spartans made their first state championship appearance after defeating South Fayette, 6-3, in the PIHL Class A Penguins Cup championship Tuesday.
“It’s great for the program that we got here. You saw the turnout we had,” Shell said. “What was cool was that we had a lot of the younger players here. It builds the program for Montour. They got to see the skill, speed and good hockey is what this program is all about.”