Pittsburgh Hockey Digest


In the Rink: PIHL Week 3

Chartiers Valley captain Trevor Stevenson finishes his check against Wheeling Catholic's James LaHood. -- ED MAJOR II

Here is our continuing coverage of Week 3 of the 2018-19 PIHL season, brought to you by Brian Mitchell, Ed Major II and the rest of the Pittsburgh Hockey Digest Staff.


CECIL TWP., Pa. — Matt Gajtka had the call from Printscape Arena for PHD’s Facebook Live broadcast.


It was a tight one in PIHL Class-AAA, but North Allegheny pulled it out. The Tigers won, 5-3 as Dylan Watkins his the empty net with 50 seconds left. After North Allegheny built a 4-1 lead through two periods, Peters Township pulled within one on goals from Dylan McElhinney and Mark Lehman, but couldn’t finish the comeback. Goaltender Richard Karapandi made 28 saves and had an excellent game for NA, which moved to 3-0 on the season and into first place.

Our next broadcast will be audio only from Baierl in Warrendale, where Peters Township will take on Seneca Valley next Monday night in a Penguins Cup rematch. Matt Gajtka will be on the mic once again for the 9 p.m. faceoff.


DELMONT, Pa. — Brian Mitchell and Jared Todhunter had coverage at Center Ice Arena.


In a wild matchup with multiple lead changes, Trent Lunden’s hat-trick goal with :48 seconds remaining in regulation as the Panthers handed Hampton their second loss of the season 8-7.

Lunden opened the scoring at 11:44 of the first, bested only :39 seconds later by Justin Adamski. In what became standard procedure, Kevin Cakanac regained Franklin Regional’s lead a mere :21 seconds after Adamski tied things up.

Adamski and Michael Orban gave Hampton a 4-3 lead in the second, with, you guessed it, :56 seconds between tallies, but Lunden and Joseph Scherpereel gave the Panthers a 5-4 lead with back-to-back goals. Orban scored his second of the contest to close out the period and head to the break tied at five.

Orban completed his hat-trick at the 3:36 mark of the third to give the Talbots the lead, but within 2:41 ceded the lead as Cakanac and Scherpereel lit the lamp to give the Panthers a 6-5 lead Hampton tied things up at 9:56 when Matthew Commendatore beat Jake McGee. Scherpereel finished his own hat-trick :49 seconds later, with Commendatore tying things up 1:18 later. Lunden was able to take Oldrich Virag’s shot off of a face-off win and knock home the rebound home.



Matthew Traczynski scored a hat trick, including a pair of goals in the decisive third period, as Hempfield pulled away from Penn-Trafford, 7-4.

Traczynski started the scoring with an even strength goal at 5:34 of the first period and the teams traded goals from there.

Jack Hughes had a pair of goals for Penn-Trafford, including a shorthanded marker 54 seconds into the final frame that tied things at 3-3. Hempfield regained the lead on Nicholas Lippa’s goal, but Gavin Patrick tied things again at 8:03. Hughes assisted on Patrick’s tally, giving him three points on the night.

Traczynski then scored an even strength goal at 13:15 of the third to give the Spartans the lead for good. Caden Spehar added on under a minute later and Traczynksi capped of his hat trick and the scoring with a power play goal at 15:31 of the third.

Christian Konieczka had a goal and two assists for the Spartans. Jared Gerger scored a first-period goal before he was given a boarding major and a game misconduct late in the first.

Hempfield’s Sean Lanager stopped 32 of 36 in goal for the win while Braiden O’Conner made 28 stops in the loss for Penn-Trafford.

The Spartans improved to 3-0 and gained sole control of first place in the PIHL Class-AA South/East Conference while Penn-Trafford fell to 1-2. Hempfield will host Upper St. Clair next Monday while the Warriors will play Franklin Regional.


MT. LEBANON, Pa. — Ed Major II had a double-header at the Mt. Lebanon Ice Center on Monday night.


The Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils were looking for their first win of the season and the Raiders of Seneca Valley looked to start their season 3-0. It was clear why Seneca Valley had won their first two games of the season, as they possessed the puck early in the offensive zone, peppering Mt. Lebanon goaltender Bradley Weaver all throughout the first two period. The Blue Devils showed some life of their own late in the second, but were unable to find the back of the net as they took the Raiders to a scoreless intermission. In the third, Seneca Valley broke the tie with just over five minutes to play. 14 seconds later, Blue Devils forward Wyatt George knotted it at one and added another with 19 seconds to go to secure the 2-1 Mt. Lebanon victory for Weaver’s first win between the pipes this season.


Wheeling Central Catholic came into Mt. Lebanon Ice Center looking for their first win of the season, outscored 17-2 in their first two games.  The Chartiers Valley Colts were also seeking their first win after losing on opening night to rival South Fayette, 4-0. Even while playing with a 9-skater roster, the Maroon Knights held their own against the Colts for most of the first two periods. The scoreless tie was broken first by Char Valley on a shot by Trevor Stevenson, and only because it bounced up off of Wheeling goaltender Jacob Laurine’s shoulder. A minute and a half into the second, Matthew Storar extended the lead to two goals before Mason Smith of Wheeling Catholic cuts the deficit in half a few minutes later. Midway through the second, Clay Slyder tied the game at two goals apiece, but the Knights were unable to pull ahead. Three unanswered goals by the Colts gave Chartiers Valley the 5-2 victory.

More images from the Franklin Regional – Hampton game from new contributor Jared Todhunter:

More images from the Penn-Trafford – Hempfield game:

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