CASTLE SHANNON, Pa. — Matt Gentile was the hero for North Allegheny as his shootout goal in the 13th round gave the Tigers (13-5-2) a 3-2 victory Monday over Mt. Lebanon (9-9-2) at Ice Castle Arena.
After Kyle Holmes tied the game for North Allegheny 2-2 with just under five minutes to play, goaltender Josh Bailey shut the door on the Blue Devils to force overtime. However, the three minutes of 3-on-3 hockey were not enough to settle the score.
After the first two shooters for North Allegheny failed to convert in the shootout, Brady Conrardy put the puck over the blocker of Bailey. Not to be outdone, the Tigers’ leading scorer, Connor Chi, snuck a puck under the blocker of Mt. Lebanon goaltender Austin Martin, extending the shootout. Gentile was the 13th shooter for North Allegheny and finally got another shot past Martin. Bailey shut the door on Teddy Pettko to secure the 3-2 victory and the No. 4 seed in the Class-3A playoffs. The Tigers will face No. 5 Seneca Valley.
Matt Irvin opened the scoring for North Allegheny with a 5-on-3 power play goal just over 13 minutes in. Aidan Weaver tied the game for Mt. Lebanon with just under a minute and a half to play in the second period before Ryan Patrick gave the Blue Devils their first lead of the game at 6:19 of the third. After Holmes tied the game 2-2 for North Allegheny, he and Mt. Lebanon’s Henry Supp were each ejected with two minutes to play for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Despite earning a point in the contest, Mt. Lebanon remains tied in points percentage with Upper St. Clair (9-9-1). The Panthers will most likely finish the season with only 19 games played after their Monday contest against Peters Township was canceled. Since Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair split their two regular season meetings, Upper St. Clair wins the penalty minutes tiebreaker. The Panthers held a 160 to 166 advantage prior to Monday’s MTL-NA matchup, in which Mt. Lebanon amassed four minor penalties and a game misconduct when Supp was ejected.
Mt. Lebanon will be the No. 7 seed and will face No. 2 Canon-McMillan, whose 4-3 loss to Seneca Valley Monday pushed them below Peters Township, who took the No. 1 seed by virtue of a higher points percentage.
Barring a rescheduled Peters Township-Upper St. Clair game, the final seedings for the Class-3A playoffs are as follows:
No. 1 Peters Township (15-4) vs. No. 8 Bethel Park (7-11-2)
No. 4 North Allegheny (13-5-2) vs. No. 5 Seneca Valley (13-6-1)
No. 2 Canon-McMillan (15-4-1) vs. No. 7 Mt. Lebanon (9-9-2)
No. 3 Pine-Richland (14-6) vs. No. 6 Upper St. Clair (9-9-1)
MAJOR FOCUS: NORTH ALLEGHENY OUTLASTS MT. LEBANON IN SHOOTOUT