NEVILLE TWP., PA. — Colby Bilski scored a natural hat-trick in the second period and Nick Stock registered four points as the Thomas Jefferson Jaguars defeated the Penn-Trafford Warriors 6-2 at the Robert Morris Island Sports Center on Tuesday night.
The Jaguars made the finals in Class-A in the Covid shortened 2020 postseason and bowed to eventual State Champion Baldwin in Class-2A in the semi-finals in 2021 and are chasing their first Penguins Cup since 2000. Head Coach John Zeiler was on that team.
“It’s a dream,” Zeiler said. “Being asked to come back this year, this season and to be a part of TJ Hockey, I get chills thinking about it.”
BILSKI TIMES THREE
Jaguars Senior Captain Bilski’s hat trick was unique in style, as he scored a short-handed goal, a power-play goal and an even strength goal consecutively.
Bilski couldn’t recall scoring a natural hat-trick in his time playing hockey, and echoing his coaches sentiments, and was seemingly impressed.
“I don’t know, I’ve played a lot of hockey. Especially in a playoff format, that’s pretty cool”
— Mitch (@PHD_Mitch) March 16, 2022
Pavel Sidun opened up the scoring a mere 39 seconds into the first, sneaking through the Warriors defense and firing a wrist shot over the shoulder of starter Jackson Kerrigan. Thomas Jefferson began a physical assault on Penn-Trafford, and the Warriors looked every bit of shell-shocked early. They regained confidence late and Josh Goldberg’s individual effort on a seemingly sleepy Jaguars defensive core allowed Penn-Trafford to tie the game at the 15:39 mark of the opening frame.
Thomas Jefferson woke up in the middle stanza, matching the Penn-Trafford momentum shift and reversing ten-fold on the Warriors, led by a phenomenal back-hand snapshot in front by Stock at 3:45 before Bilski began his assault on the scoreboard over a five-minutes with a short-handed goal at 6:54, a power-play goal at 9:12 and a 5-on-5 goal at 11:54.
Bennett Dupilka gave the Warriors hope late before Andrew Oliver closed out the scoring in the third with an empty netter.
Billy Siemon of Thomas-Jefferson stopped 10-of-12 shots, while Kerrigan had 32 saves.
Thomas Jefferson plays the winner of South Fayette – Franklin Regional in the Class-2A Penguins Cup Final next Tuesday at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry. Face-off is scheduled for 6:30pm.