Pittsburgh Hockey Digest

PIHL

Preview: PIHL Double-A semifinals

Photo: courtesy Glenn Himes

Pine-Richland won the only regular season matchup 4-3 in a shootout on Feb. 7 at Kirk S. Nevin Arena

Pine-Richland: Defeated Hempfield Area 8-4 on Monday at Baierl Ice Complex.

Why I like Pine-Richland: The Rams keep rolling along, as experience and depth lead a squad that only lost a single game all season (to Hampton, in a shootout) and a young support group have everything to gain – and lose.

Greater Latrobe: The Wildcats defeated the aforementioned Talbots 4-1 Monday at Kirk S. Nevin Arena.

Why I like Greater Latrobe: Alexander Walker has been on fire down the stretch, and Gage Handwork showed why he is still one of the top netminders in AA. The Wildcats also led the contest against Pine-Richland late, only to lose in a tightly-contested seven-round shootout. Josh Werner’s squad showed that they can hang with the Rams.

 

Upper St. Clair swept Franklin Regional 4-3 in OT on Oct. 1 at Center Ice Arena and 7-6 on Jan. 7 at Ice Castle

Upper St. Clair: The Panthers defeated Baldwin 6-2 on Monday at Ice Castle Arena.

Why I like Upper St. Clair: After exercising their dementors in the Fighting Highlanders, the Panthers have an added boost heading into the contest with Franklin Regional. Anthony Carone registered four points against Baldwin, and Kyle Rohrich stopped 31-of-33 in the matchup. The two wins against Franklin Regional came in close, high scoring games, so that plays into USC’s forte.

Franklin Regional: The Panthers defeated No. 2 Mars 2-1 on Monday at Baierl Ice Complex.

Why I like Franklin Regional: The first game against Upper St. Clair: 4-3 loss in a shootout, where Franklin-Regional scored 2 goals in the third to tie it up, and Soltesz stopped 38-of-41. The second? a 7-6 loss where Franklin Regional led 6-4 at the end of two, and in the end Soltesz stopped 38-of-45. These two teams can ring it up on the scoreboard, and Franklin Regional can flip the script on Upper St. Clair with a couple of lucky bounces.

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