Harmar Typ., Pa. — The Penn Trafford Warriors secured their first playoff appearance in six years, using a five-goal second period and a Xavier Solomon hat trick to defeat the Shaler Titans, 6-1, Thursday night at Alpha Ice Complex.
Josh Goldberg set the tone early, scoring just 32 seconds into the game to give Penn-Trafford a 1-0 lead. While the teams ended the first period tied 1-1, thanks to Shaler’s Tyler Garasich, the Titans couldn’t contain the Warriors in the second.
Solomon scored his first of the game just 17 seconds into the period, followed by Ben Chen less than two minutes late. Solomon earned his hat trick by scoring his second and third goals sandwiched around one by Bryce Kropczynski to secure the 6-1 victory.
Jackson Kerrigan started in net for Penn Trafford and finished the night stopping 17 of 18 shots.
Shane Ciganik and Ryan Bragg split time between the pipes for Shaler. Bragg stopped 18 of 23 shots while Ciganik finished the night stopping 12 of 13 shots.
Despite finishing second in the Class-2A Northeast division, Shaler finished the season with a 5-12-1 record and missed the playoffs. Tre Junker led the team in points with 22 in 16 games.
Penn-Trafford clinched the No. 8 seed in the Class-2A playoffs and will face No. 1 Baldwin (17-1) on Monday, Apr. 5, 2021. The time and location will be announced by the PIHL at a later date. Baldwin defeated Penn-Trafford in their only regular season matchup, 4-1, on Feb. 4 at Center Ice Arena.
TODHUNTER’S TAKES: PENN-TRAFFORD CLINCHES PLAYOFF BERTH