CASTLE SHANNON, Pa. — The Baldwin Highlanders used strong defense and shutdown goaltending from both Eddie Nowicki and Tanner Cindrich to take down the South Fayette Lions 1-0 Monday night at Ice Castle Arena.
After a scoreless first period which featured only a single penalty – a hooking to South Fayette Forward Jack Yoos and a slashing your teammate Aidan McConnell – there wasn’t much to write home about for the Lions or the Highlanders. McConnell’s penalty came with 40 seconds remaining in the period, but Baldwin was still unable to take advantage of the extra man. It wasn’t until after the penalty had expired that James Dulya broke the scoreless tie to give the Highlanders a 1-0 lead 2:14 into the second period.
From there, the silence resumed. It was clear that Baldwin had the advantage in puck possession, but South Fayette goaltender Brandon Timmins stayed strong in net. Even a Matthew Swider penalty for cross checking wasn’t enough for Baldwin to get another puck past Timmins.
The third period, identical to the first two, featured just three minor penalties, but no goals. The last penalty to South Fayette was called on Tristan Cribben for tripping as Baldwin Forward Dom Trimbur went for the empty net goal. The goal was waived off and Tanner Cindrich, having started the second period in relief of Eddie Nowicki, shut the door to secure the 1-0 lead for the Highlanders.
Nowicki saved all 19 shots he faced through the first two periods and Cindrich pitched an 11-save shutout to end the game. The Baldwin Highlanders will host the winner of the Class-2A Northwest division in the first round of the playoffs the week of March 2.
South Fayette goaltender Brandon Timmins stopped 20 of 21 in the loss. The Lions are eliminated from postseason play.
MAJOR FOCUS: Baldwin shuts out South Fayette, defeats Lions 1-0
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