Here is our continuing coverage of Week 10 of the 2018-19 PIHL season, brought to you by Ed Major II, Jared Todhunter, and the rest of the Pittsburgh Hockey Digest Staff.
MONDAY, DEC. 3
MT. LEBANON, Pa. — Ed Major returned to the south hills for a Class-A doubleheader at Mt. Lebanon Ice Center.
WESTMONT HILLTOP 4, SOUTH FAYETTE 5 (SO)
The South Fayette Lions (8-1) looked to hold onto their South division lead against the Westmont Hilltop Hilltoppers (5-3-2), who sit tied with the Norwin Knights in the East division. While it was not easy for them to do so, the Lions came away with the victory they needed, 5-4, in a shootout.
South Fayette came out of the gate fast, putting up three quick goals in the first period past Hilltoppers goaltender Darren Replogle. Ethan Szymanski opened the scoring just over a minute while Ian Kumar added to the lead a few minutes later. Szymanski netted his second of the game on a power play with under two minutes to play in the period to give the Lions their three goal lead.
Westmont Hilltop responded in the second period with three goals of their own. Matthias Noll opened the scoring for the Hilltoppers on their first power play opportunity of the game. Aiden Rice and Hunter Partsch added even-strength goals on either side of the midway point of the period to tie the game.
The teams traded blows again in the third period, with the Lions’ William Bishop giving his team the lead early. Westmont Hilltop’s Corbin Ragno tied the game, 4-4, with 1:40 to play to force overtime. After a scoreless overtime which was as much a goalie clinic as regulation was a scoring clinic, the teams went into a shootout. Lions goaltender Bruce Hardman was excellent, making three saves in the shootout to allow his team to take the 5-4 victory. Hardman finished by saving 35 out of 39 shots. His opponent in goal, Darren Replogle, saved 21 out of 24 shots.
NORWIN 3, CHARTIERS VALLEY 5
The Chartiers Valley Colts (3-5) hoped a win against East division leader Norwin (6-3) would turn their season around from the less than stellar start they had experienced during the first half of the 2018-19 campaign. Although it remains to be seen how their second half will play out, it started off on a victorious note with their 5-3 victory over the Norwin Knights.
Similar to what their division partner South Fayette had done in the first game of the night, the Colts jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, stunning a visiting Norwin crowd that appeared to think it would be an easy victory for the Knights. The second and third goals were power play goals, as the Colts went 2 for 6 on those opportunities. Slowly, though, Norwin began climbing back, eventually putting in the tying goal – or so they thought. The referee had ruled offiside by the Knights and the goal was brought back with the faceoff just outside the offensive zone. Char Valley extended their lead to 4-2 just over midway through the third period on a goal by Matthew Storar. Norwin eventually got that third goal by Jacob Dally, but the Colts added more insurance by Ryan Kantner to seal the 5-3 victory.
Norwin goaltender Daniel Soltysiak saved 30 of 35 shots; his counterpart for Char Valley, Logan Marnik, saved 45 out of 48 shots.
CRANBERRY TWP., Pa. — Jared Todhunter took in a doubleheader at Baierl Ice Complex on Monday.
BUTLER 1, NORTH ALLEGHENY 3
The North Allegheny Tigers came into their contest against the Butler sitting atop the PIHL Triple-A standings with a record of 8-1. Meanwhile, the Golden Tornadoes were closer to the bottom than the top, at 2-4-2 on the season. In net for North Allegheny was Richard Karapandi who is 6-0 and leads Triple-A with a .963 save percentage. Butler saw service from Connor Strobel, who is 2-1-1 and coming off of a shutout versus Pittsburgh Central Catholic last week.
The first period saw the Tiger’s powerplay go 1 for 3, with Dylan Watkin finding the back of the net at 15:05. While the first was slow to start, both teams went noticeably harder in the second. There were a total of seven penalties (holding, 2 goaltender interference and 4 cross-checking) and 24 shots on goal with none getting past the goaltenders.
At 7:18 of the third period, Jerome Oliver tied it for the Golden Tornadoes with his third powerplay goal of the season. The scoring ended the same way it began as Dylan Watkin netted both the tie-breaker and the insurance goal in the final three minutes (both unassisted) for the hat trick and the Tigers win. Both goaltenders had solid performances with Karapandi stopping 21 of 22 and Strobel saving 29 of 32. Butler ended the night going 1 for 4 on the powerplay while North Allegheny went 1 for 7. Both teams will be back at the Baierl Ice Complex next week as North Allegheny hosts Cathedral Prep and Butler visits Seneca Valley.
UPPER ST. CLAIR 3, PINE-RICHLAND 8
Two Double-A divisional leaders squared off for the second half of the double header at Baierl on Monday night. The Pine-Richland Rams (9-0) lead the Northwest and the Upper Saint Clair Panthers (6-1-2) lead the Southeast. Daniel Stauffer (1.32 GAA, 0.927 SV%) got the start in goal for Pine-Richland, while the Panthers looked to Kyle Rohrich (4.84 GAA, 0.850 SV%) to start between the pipes.
Pine-Richland got on the board first as Jordan Rosenbaum scored just 50 seconds into the contest. Both teams had trouble getting the puck through traffic and onto net. The Rams had 6 shots on goal versus the Panthers’ 5 shots on goal. Upper Saint Clair’s Anthony Carone took advantage of a penalty shot to tie the game at one late in the first and the Panthers took the lead at 4:17 of the second period off the stick of Quinn Giacobbe.
That lead did not last long as the Rams scored two quick goals midway through the period from William Studt and Nicholas Lindauer. Lindauer got his second goal of the night at 11:15 in the second to move the Rams’ advantage to two goals. Despite being outscored 3 to 1 in the second period, Upper Saint Clair outshot the Rams 17-9.
The first half of the third period saw more penalties for the Rams but the Panthers could not connect, going 0 for 4. The Rams got their second powerplay goal of the night at 10:37 in the third by Brandon Kashur. The Panthers did not go away as Anthony Carone recorded his second goal of the game and ninth of the season at 11:22. Pine-Richland answered with one of their own at 12:30 when Jack Tyndall let a slapshot loose from the point. Youri Prokesch extended the lead 11 seconds later and Ian Volt was the seventh Ram to score, netting one at 16:35. While the total shots on goal count was close between the teams, Stauffer ended up stopping 28 of 31, over Rohrich’s 21 of 29, to help the Rams stay undefeated. Both teams go into next week with games at Ice Castle Arena when the Rams visit the Baldwin Highlanders and Upper Saint Clair hosts the Moon Tigers.