Pittsburgh Hockey Digest


Chatham: Both the Men and Women get back into the win column to start the new year

Cougars Michael Thamert, and Jennie Piotrzkowski who both had big weekends

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — The Lady Cougars earned a weekend split with the Trine Thunder from Indiana. The Cougars lost a closely contested game 5-2 on Friday and were able to come out on the positive end with a 3-2 win on Saturday.

In game one, head coach Jessica Newstrom turned to the Freshman netminder Theresa Schreck who was making her second straight start and playing in her third straight game. Trine would get on the board half way through the opening frame as Theresa DiMaggio got one past Schreck giving the Thunder a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

The second period started with Cougars gaining momentum as they found themselves on the powerplay. Although the powerplay has struggled this season, the Cougars found pay dirt when Jillian Rowland used a screen in front to wrist one past the Trine netminder tying the game at one. Kristina Block picked up an assist in her first game back from injury. The tie would be short lived as just 48 seconds later Emily Moore scored a powerplay goal for the Thunder giving them a 2-1 lead they would carry into the third.

Chatham came out quickly in the third period and tied the game with Dahea Chung’s first goal of the season, Michelle Jones and Holly Ackerman had the assists. Both teams traded chances in the next five minutes before Kirsten Vandenheuvel was able to put the Thunder back in front for good. The Cougars had the edge in the final half of the third period but could not find the back the net. Trine would score two goals in the final three minutes with one into an empty net resulting in the 5-2 final.

In Saturday’s game, Chatham started strong as they turned to Junior Devon Strachan in goal. After having a great start to the season Strachan had struggled lately. It took the Cougars just over 10 minutes to get on the score sheet as the Cougars third line did it again, this time when senior Michelle Jones found the back of the net for her third of the season with assists from Ackerman and Chung. Shortly after the first goal, the Cougars found themselves on the powerplay and would get their second powerplay goal of the weekend as the senior Jill Rowland got her team leading seventh of the season with a shot from the point giving the Cougars a 2-0 lead at the break.

The Cougars continued to push the pace in the second as they registered 19 shots on Trine’s goaltender Molly Scarborough. The Cougar’s effort paid off when the Cougars went back on the powerplay and would make Trine pay. First-year Jennie Piotrzkowski picked the puck up in the high slot and buried it behind Scarborough for her first collegiate goal.  The Cougars would take a 3-0 lead into the final intermission with Strachan stopping all 21 shots she faced.

In the third period, the pace of play shifted as Trine threw everything they could at the junior netminder Strachan. She was up to the task until the 8:28 mark when Thresa DiMaggio scored her second of the weekend cutting the lead to 3-1. That goal got the Trine going as about five minutes later the Thunder cut the lead to one when Eryn Isaacson scored her second of the weekend. Strachan denied all of Trine’s opportunities from that point, making 42 saves for the entire game. With the win Chatham’s record stands at 4-11 while Trine Thunder’s record is 6-5-1.

The Cougars will return to UCHC play when they travel to Stevenson, Maryland to take on the 4-8-1 Stevenson Mustangs. With playoff implications at stake, Friday’s game will begin at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s at 3 p.m.

RICHLAND TWP., Pa — The Chatham men were able to stay out of the loss column over the weekend when they took on the Anna Maria AMCATS at the Frozen Pond winning Friday 7-5 and earning a 2-2 tie on Saturday.

On Friday, Chatham turned to sophomore netminder Matt Calas who played in his fourth straight contest. Chatham was able to get on the scoreboard halfway through the first as Michael Thamert came streaking down the left wing and got a shot past AMCATS goaltender Patrick McGuane. Just 57 seconds later, the Cougars increased their lead when Brett Reed won an offensive zone faceoff back to Derek Schrank who would wrist one to the net. Bethel Park native Jason Bauer was able to jam it in for his first collegiate goal. The AMCATS would get one back before the horn as Patrick Manning banked one off the post and in making it 2-1 at the break.

Thamert would score on a powerplay 1:43 into the second period for his second goal of the game. The Cougars continued to push and 2:31 later, Greensburg native Clay Plyler found the back of the net as his pass ricocheted off the goal and into the net. The Cougars did not stop there as they found themselves back on the powerplay. At the 9:30 mark, Chad Bell’s shot deflected to Thamert on the backdoor and he blasted it in the empty cage giving him both a hat trick and his fifth goal of the season. That would end McGaune’s night as he would be replaced by Brendan Boncore after surrendering 5 goals on 18 shots. The goalie change gave the AMCATS life as they were able to cut the Cougars lead with a powerplay goal from Aleksandr Makarov making it 5-2. However, the Cougars answered before the horn sounded as Cory King got it past Boncore making it 6-2 at the break.

The Cougars struggled in the third giving up a powerplay goal to Nick Kukuris just 1:51 into the period cutting the lead to three. Kukuris would not stop there as he would score the AMCATS only non-powerplay goal making it 6-4 with 4:13 remaining. The AMCATS continued to have the Cougars on their heels and would score their fourth powerplay goal of the game with 1:02 left in the game to make things tense. The AMCATS would pull their goalie but Chatham would answer as Eric Hildebrand flipped the puck to a streaking Plyler who scored his team leading seventh goal. The seven goals for the Cougars set a record for most goals scored in a single game in program history.

On Saturday afternoon, the Cougars offense was not as effective, but the goaltending was stellar on both sides as McMurray’s Brain Baker would make the start for Chatham. The teams played a scoreless first as Boncore stopped all 12 shots the Cougars threw at him while Baker went nine for nine in the save department. It stayed that way until Chatham’s Cory King scored his second of the weekend with just 4:31 remaining. Assisting on King’s goal was Tristan Simm and Clay Plyler. The Cougars thought they would take a 1-0 lead into the break, but the AMCATS had other thoughts as David Tmej would tie the game at one with 2:09 left in the period.

As the third period began, the Cougars once again found themselves on the penalty kill, and their weekend struggles in that area continued as Sam Cyr-Ledoux would beat Baker giving his team a 2-1 lead just three minutes in.  Chris Lutz would find the back of the net for his seventh of the season tying it at two. Neither team would score in the final 7:54 and the game would head to overtime. Both teams traded chances, but neither goalie budged and the game would end in a 2-2 tie. Chatham outshot Anna Maria 46-31. With the win and the tie, Chatham has an overall record of 4-9-1 in their second season of play.

The Cougars will make up a pair of games postponed earlier this season. Starting on Thursday, the Cougars will take on the Fredonia Blue Devils in a non-conference match up starting at 7:10 p.m. at the Frozen Pond. Fredonia, which has a 10-2-2 overall record, defeated the Cougars 7-3 on October 26 in a game played in New York. The Cougars then return to action on Sunday to take on Neumann in a conference match up a 12 p.m. start, also at the Frozen Pond. Following their most recent game on January 5, Neuman’s record is 0-12-2.

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