Pittsburgh Hockey Digest


2019-20 PIHL Season Preview: AAA

In August, we sent out questionnaires to the coaches in the PIHL. Between the questionnaire and watching games during the St. Margaret and Greensburg-Salem tournaments we were able to get enough information from over half of the associations to make a legitimate assessment of the associations. Only associations viewed and returned emails receive previews.



Bethel Park
The Black Hawks are coming into the regular season as the latest St. Margaret Tournament Champions, defeating Pine-Richland in the semifinals and Canon-McMillan in the finals to take the 2019 crown. Bethel Park was unprepared for the tournament, as McVay’s squad didn’t have a practice prior to playing in the tournament. Goaltender Luke Duda, brothers Ryan and Luke McLinden and a large returning cast lead the team into the regular season.
Home Rink: Spencer Family YMCA, Bethel Park

The Golden Tornado head into the season with a new head coach in Mavrik Goepfert, and a new outlook on the season. Shootout wins over Franklin Regional and Armstrong gave the squad something to work with in the St. Margaret Tournament. Seniors Ben Thrash, Troy and Trey Gilliland, Blake Sinicki lead the squad and Esmark Stars Connor Strobel returns in net.
Home Rink: Frozen Pond Arena, Valencia

A few years in the bottom half of the AAA circuit allowed the group to mature, and the trial-by-fire allowed the team to mature as a whole. Led by all-star goaltender Mario Eafrati, the Big Macs are poised to break out. Josh Hrip has the skill to lead the league in scoring, and a support cast that includes Christian Trottier, Logan Ford and Anthony Abbott proved that they were back, finishing as the runner-up in a very competitive St. Margaret field. Ryan Lamberger takes over behind the bench for the upstart squad.
Home Rink: Printscape Arena at Southpointe, Canonsburg

Cathedral Prep
The Ramblers will rely on experience, as a dozen seniors will dress up for head coach Alexander Luddy. Jake Kruszewski lead the class in scoring last season and is prime to be in the conversation again, and Evan Sala leads the defense into the campaign. Seth Faulkner, Devon Dovichow and Cole Wisniewski will battle for time in goal this upcoming season.
Home Rink: Mercyhurst Ice Center, Erie

Central Catholic
A new look for the Vikings this year has Bill Connelly’s squad ready for the regular season. A veteran defense boasts Dayne Martin, Max Ciganik, Dominic Veltri and Ethan Iacco. Michael Sewecke and CJ Simione are joined by Cleveland Barons u16 F Nico Castracani. Central Catholic will lean on a freshman in net, as Jakob Dold is slated to get the bulk of the workload.
Home Rink: Alpha Ice Complex, Harmar Township

Mt. Lebanon
Home Rink: Mt. Lebanon Ice Center, Mt. Lebanon

North Allegheny
The defending AAA champions bring back important parts of their secondary scoring from last season, as Tyler Lamark, Tyler Putnam, Will Parreaguirre, Vince Abel, Colin O’Neill and Chris Hanlon return. The question mark is going to be on the back end and in net, where youth will be on display for Mike Bagnato’s Tigers. Josh Bailey and Tyler Boyles look to compete in net and if the St. Margaret tournament was any indication, Bailey has the advantage when it comes to starting time.
Home Rink: Baierl Ice Complex

Peters Township
Home Rink: Printscape Arena at Southpointe, Canonsburg

Jordan Yoklic’s squad had one of the larger turnovers in the PIHL, graduating seventeen starting seniors in 2019, and will rely on a strong JV call up in the 2019-20 season. The Rams will be led by captain Joe Folmer, Jack Carnovale and Jack Tyndall. Richard Wild, Charlie Mill and standout netminder Danny Stauffer are a few more holdovers from the AA Pennsylvania State Champions.
Home Rink: Baierl Ice Complex, Warrendale

Seneca Valley
Another young squad, the Raiders are a team in transition. Goaltender Robert Halyama will join Tyler Tappe, Austin Albert, Adam and Cole Hoffman among other returning players. The 2018 AAA Penguins Cup champions are in a transition year, but have received praise from their peers and coaches.
Home Rink: Baierl Ice Complex, Warrendale

Upper St. Clair
The Panthers asked to join the senior circuit in the upcoming season, and for good reason. A dynamic squad, Upper St. Clair returns Devin Rorhrich, Sam Sweet, Colton Shiry and goaltender Kyle Rohrich. Stand-out defender in Zach Hardy turned heads during the St. Margaret Tournament. Breakout freshman Anthony Carone leaves the squad to play for the Penguins Elite.
Home Rink: Ice Castle Arena, Castle Shannon

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