What to watch in high school sports on March 21, 2022: PIHL titles up for grabs

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Sunday, March 20, 2022 | 9:58 PM


Welcome to the PIHL Penguins Cup Championships.

Four games over two days will decide the 2022 high school hockey champions.

All four games will take place at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry and can be watched on Trib HSSN at 6:45 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.

3A surprise

The top two seeds in the PIHL Class 3A Penguins Cup playoffs were knocked out in the semifinals, including defending champion and top-seeded North Allegheny.

So now the stage is set as No. 3 Peters Township faces off against No. 5 Seneca Valley in the first game Monday.

Before NA began its two-year run on top in Class 3A in 2019 (there was no champion crowned in 2020), Seneca Valley and Peters Township were the two previous champions.

The Raiders won the cup in 2018 while the Indians skated to gold in 2017.

Seneca Valley hopes to win a second high school hockey title while Peters Township tries to capture a seventh PIHL crown.

The Indians won both head-to-head meetings between the two this season, beating the Raiders, 9-4, in November and 4-2 less than a month later in December.

Chase Stauffer and Ben Kovac have led Peters Township with three goals each in their two playoff wins while Indians goaltender Noaln Hilbert has stopped all but two shots in the postseason.

For Seneca Valley, Shane Kozlina and Andrew Davis each have scored two playoff goals while Raiders netminder Jonathan Nichols has stopped 55 of 57 shots on goal.

Class A bigger surprise

A No. 3 vs. No. 5 championship matchup in Class 3A is a bit of a surprise, but it pales in comparison to a No. 4 vs. a No. 7 in the finals.

That’s the case for the Penguins Cup Class A championship game at 8:45 p.m. Monday.

Both Norwin and McDowell come to Cranberry in search of a first PIHL Penguins Cup title.

McDowell hopes to join Cathedral Prep and Meadville as the third school to win a PIHL championship north of Interstate 80.

The only meeting of the year between the two teams happened back in November with Norwin winning 6-3.

Norwin needed overtime to upset top-seeded Fox Chapel in the semifinals. The Knights have been led by Mario Cavallaro and Alex Thomas, who have scored two goals each in two wins.

Kurt Johnson has led the Trojans with three goals in two postseason wins.

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