The second season will begin for high school hockey in the region on Monday, as 38 teams will being their quest for a Penguins Cup championship.
Here’s the schedule of games for Monday and the bracket implications of each of them. Pittsburgh Hockey Digest will have full postgame coverage all postseason long.
In class Triple-A, there is just one game on Monday, as all eight postseason squads advanced straight to the quarterfinals. No. 2 Seneca Valley will host Bethel Park, with the winner getting an extra two days’ worth of rest before learning their opponent in the bottom half of the bracket.
The two teams split their season series, with the Black Hawks winning 2-1 in overtime at Seneca Valley and the Raiders taking home a 3-1 victory at Bethel Park.
The rest of the Triple-A bracket starts play on Thursday.
The Double-A bracket features two play-in games, and both will be contested on Monday.
First up, the Mars Planets will travel to Center Ice Arena to take on the Franklin Regional Panthers.
Franklin, the defending Penguins Cup champs in Single-A, earned home ice by finishing the season with two wins over its final three games — all against playoff teams. The Panthers blanked the Planets, 3-0 in the only meeting this season. The winner will move on to face Armstrong on Thursday.
In the other pigtail, Shaler will hope to keep rolling after a 5-4 win over Penn-Trafford in last week’s qualifier. Meanwhile, the Quakers haven’t played since Feb. 19, and it’s taken a long time to get the bad taste of a 7-0 pounding at the hands of the Hampton Talbots out of their mouths. The winner heads to Latrobe on Thursday.
In class Single-A, three play-in round games will be contested on Monday. Up first, Chartiers Valley will host South Fayette at Mt. Lebanon Rec Center, the home rink of both squads. The winner of that game will move on to face No. 3 Thomas Jefferson.
The Colts won the lone matchup between the squad this season, a 5-2 victory back in November. It’s been a while since the Colts were tested. They played just one playoff team in their final five games and went 3-2 in that stretch.
Later, South Park will visit Westmont Hilltop in Johnstown. The Hilltoppers won the first meeting, 4-2 in January. But home ice hasn’t so friendly to Westy. The Hilltoppers are 5-6 on home ice this year. Forward Aliaksei Kosterau finished second in the division in scoring.
Finally, Sewickley Academy will host Fox Chapel at RMU Island Sports Center. It’s a matchup of big-time goal scorers as Foxes star Chase Villani (30) and Panthers sniper Michael Hertzberg (25) were among the Single-A leaders.
The Division 2 bracket will get rolling on Monday, as well, with three games taking place.
The Trinity Hillers will visit the Ringgold Rams at Rostraver Ice Garden. The winner of that game will face the winner of the Burrell-Kennedy Catholic matchup taking place later on Monday at Pittsburgh Ice Arena.
Top-ranked Moon will host eighth-seeded Central Valley. The winner of that game will wait until Tuesday to find out their opponent, when Elizabeth Forward visits Connellsville.