NEVILLE TWP.,Pa- For the first time since 2017, the Indiana Indians reached the finals of the Penguins Cup with a hard fought 4-2 victory over the Kiski Area Cavaliers. Goals Ethan Angello and Korbin Wilson less than three minutes apart broke open a 2-2 tie midway through the third period and helped send the Indians through to face the winner of the North Catholic/Thomas Jefferson contest that followed. Ben Nettleton and Korbin Wilson led the way offensively for the Indians with three points each including two goals for Nettleton. Meanwhile, Seamus O’Connor stopped 12 of 14 shots in the win.
Angello’s game winning goal came at 12:15 of the third period as he shot quickly from a faceoff win, beating Kiski goaltender Eric Petika, while Wilson tapped in a puck from the side just moments later for the insurance marker.
Cavaliers Kept at Bay
The Indians were able to keep the high powered Kiski attack at bay, dangerous pucks out while net O’Connor turned aside a few golden opportunities and kept rebounds to a minimum. Aiden Sites got the Cavaliers off and running with an unassisted tally as his team had the better of the play early on. However, the Indians remained patient and got to their game. Nettleton put home the first of his two goals when he found himself alone on Petika and put the moves on, allowing him to simply place the puck into a wide open cage. Nettleton added his second at 5:33 of the second frame to give his team the lead.
“They have some amazing offensive talent and we just had to shut down a couple of those players,” Indiana head coach Jordan Haines said. “We had to shadow guys and it took character guys to do that. We’re a fast team and we play a fast game.
Ethan George tied it up for the Cavaliers less than three minutes later, and from that point on, the Indians kept putting pucks at Petika while keeping Kiski from developing any sustained pressure.
Getting Past the Wall
For the Indians, getting pucks past Petika had been a tough go in recent memory. However, the Indians were an opportunistic bunch on Thursday night and had been well prepared on what they needed to do to get pucks behind him.
“We’ve seen him for the past three or four years now and he’s been tough every time,” Haines added. “And that’s what we worked on in our last three practices was working in tight because he’s going to make that first save and you’ve got to get him moving side to side.”