What to watch for in Western Pa. high school sports on March 5, 2024: Peters Township starts title defense

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Tuesday, March 5, 2024 | 12:19 AM


The short but sweet PIHL Penguins Cup quarterfinals hit the second and final day with four more high school hockey playoff games.

Last year, Peters Township captured a second straight Penguins Cup 3A championship, the first repeat in the league’s highest classification in over two decades.

Now the Indians are set for a three-peat after finishing in a three-way tie for second place with Seneca Valley and North Allegheny, one point behind 3A regular season champion Pine-Richland.

If it can win its next three games, Peters Township (14-4-2) will be the first 3A team to win three straight PIHL Penguins Cup crowns since Bethel Park did it from 2000-02.

Coincientally, 2002 was the same year the Indians began a run of four straight Penguins Cup titles in Class 2A.

On Tuesday, Peters Township (14-4-2) will host rival Upper St. Clair (11-6-3) at the Printscape Arena at Southpointe at 7 p.m.

The teams split their regular season games with the Panthers winning in October, 3-0, while the Indians prevailed 7-2 last month.

Former champs collide in 2A

Two former PIHL Penguins Cup champions collide in a Class 2A quarterfinal Tuesday when North Catholic (13-5-2) faces Indiana (15-3-2) at the S&T Bank Arena in Indiana at 7:40 p.m.

For the Little Indians, their championship is relatively fresh. The captured the Class A title in 2021 in the first high school hockey postseason in two years.

Indiana also won the 2015 PIHL Division II crown.

However, it requires a good memory to recall the last ice hockey title captured by the Trojans.

North Catholic won the Class 3A Penguins Cup in 1981.

This is the third meeting of the year between these Gold Division rivals with the Trojans beating the Little Indians twice by scores of 4-3 in October and 4-0 in January.

Two D-2 quarters

Defending champion Ringgold (11-6-2) will open up its postseason title defense Tuesday when it hosts Neshannock (15-3-1) at the CFS Bank Events Center in Rostraver at 9 p.m.

Despite having the better record, the Lancers finished in third place in the D-2 Gold Division while the defending champion Rams were second in the Blue Division.

These schools have won the last four D-2 titles with the Rams winning in 2019 and 2023 and the Lancers going back-to-back in 2021-2022.

In their only meeting this year, Neshannock edged Ringgold back in October, 3-2.

The other PIHL Division II quarterfinal Tuesday pits Blue Division champion Carrick (13-4-2) against Deer Lakes (12-6-1) at the Ice Castle in Castle Shannon at 6:30 p.m.

The teams played only once this year on Halloween with the Cougars edging the Lancers, 5-3.

More High School Hockey

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2-time PIHL girls division goals leader Madyson Kirsch of Freeport has busy summer ahead
PIHL girls division’s 3rd season highlighted by more teams, close games
Upper St. Clair classmates provide heroics in 3rd PIHL girls championship game
New coach plans to carry on ‘winning mentality’ with Franklin Regional hockey