What to watch for in WPIAL sports on March 14, 2024: Penguins Cup semifinal week wraps up

Thursday, March 14, 2024 | 12:02 AM

The PIHL Penguins Cup Playoffs conclude their week-long final four games at the RMU Island Sports Complex on Neville Island and here on Trib HSSN.

The winners head to the championship game next week while the losers pack their gear until next season.

Thursday features the two Division II semifinals games.

Return for gold?

Neshannock captured back-to-back PIHL Division 2 championships in 2021-2022.

Now the Lancers hope to get back to the finals while the team they face in the final four is looking for a return trip to the title game as well.

In the first semifinal Thursday, Neshannock (16-3-1) will battle 2023 runner-up Bishop Canevin (19-1) at 6:45 p.m. on HSSN.

In the quarterfinals, Bishop Canevin destroyed Connellsville, 14-2, as Brian Kalanish scored five goals and Ryan Saginaw had three goals for the Crusaders.

The next night, Neshannock eliminated defending champion Ringgold, 5-2, as Giovanni Valentine scored twice for the Lancers.

First hoops, now hockey

Two weeks ago, they played for WPIAL gold at the Petersen Events Center as Deer Lakes edged Burrell to repeat as boys basketball champions.

Now the two schools located 12 miles from each other collide on the ice hockey rink with a spot in the D2 finals up for grabs.

In the second game of the semifinal doubleheader, rivals meet as Deer Lakes (13-6-1) battles Burrell (17-3) at 8:45 p.m. on Trib HSSN.

Burrell swept the regular season series against Deer Lakes.

The Bucs beat the Lancers in November, 7-4, and then took the second game in January, 7-3.

In the quarterfinals last week, Deer Lakes shut down Carrick, 5-1. Zachary Nacey scored two goals and goaltender Aaron Haney stopped 19 of 20 shots he faced for the Lancers.

The previous night saw Burrell roll past Morgantown, 8-2, as Jared Wall and Tyler Danko each scored a pair of goals for the Bucs.

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