CASTLE SHANNON, PA. — Mitchell Geizner scored the the go-ahead goal, an empty netter and added three assists as Upper St. Clair defeated North Allegheny 5-2 at Ice Castle Arena on Tuesday night.
The Panthers opened the scoring as Brady Buonomo found the back of the net behind starter Josh Bailey at 8:52 but the early lead was quickly erased by Tigers forward Austin Peterson just :31 later. Zach Fairfull restored the Upper St. Clair lead at 12:51 of the first stanza.
The teams skated to a stalemate in the second before a physical third period ensued.
Geinzer struck at 2:22 with a shot on the power-play, giving the Panthers their first two-goal lead of the contest. Trey Gallo found the back of the net at 6:52 to breathe life into the Tigers, but a Colin Ruffner goal at the 11:30 mark gave Upper St. Clair the insurance they needed to pull off the victory. Geinzer added an empty-net goal to take the scoring lead in Class-3A.
Jake Fisher started for the Panthers and stopped 30-of-32 in the victory while Josh Bailey was 28-of-32 on the day for the Tigers.
With the top four seeds locked down in Class-3A the North Allegheny Tigers were fighting for position, finding themselves in a three-way tie with Peters Township and Pine-Richland for the No. 2 seed. The Indians pulled out a late victory over Cathedral Prep leaving Pine-Richland and North Allegheny two points behind Peters Township for the time being.
The Tigers play the Rams on Monday.
North Allegheny closes out their season next week with games against Pine-Richland (March 22, Baierl Galaxy at 9:00 p.m.) and Mt. Lebanon (Mt. Lebanon Rec, March 25, 9:10 p.m.). Upper St. Clair heads to the Robert Morris Island Sports Center for a showdown with Seneca Valley on the Olympic rink on March 25 at 6:30 p.m. before closing out their season against Peters Township on March 29 at 7:00 p.m. at Ice Castle.