Pittsburgh Hockey Digest

PIHL

2019-20 PIHL Season Preview: Class-B

In August, I sent out a questionnaire to the coaches in the PIHL. Between the questionnaire and watching games during the St. Margaret and Greensburg-Salem tournaments we were able to get enough information from over half of the associations to make a legitimate assessment of the associations. Only associations viewed and returned emails receive previews.

PREVIEWS: Class-B – Class-A Class-AAClass-AAA – PREDICTIONS

TOP FOUR TEAMS FROM EACH DIVISIONS QUALIFY FOR THE POSTSEASON

NORTH

Neshannock
The Lancers return the entirety of their bottom nine from the 2018-19 season, as well as their entire defensive core. Mark Multari has big plans for the class, as the majority of the players have been under his tutelage for the better part of a decade. TJ Rice averaged over a point-per-game, while Teddy Saad, Brayden Morgan and Santino Multari were just shy of the mark. Senior Michael Delahanty joins Andrew Bovo and Johnathan Kulp in the crease to replace three-time All-Star Carsen Burkhart.
Home Rink: Hess Ice Arena, New Castle

Central Valley
The Warriors return a strong core for the upcoming season led by goaltender Roberto Wilhelm. Joining the netminder are skaters Christian Bohan, Garrett Patton, Anthony Santilli, Neil Domico and Derek Scott. The Warriors are led by Rich Lundy once again this season.
Home Rink: Brady’s Run, Beaver

Burrell

Fred Neal takes over as coach of the 2019 National Champion runner-up, and is joined by former Bucs player Jonathan Schueler and Luke Kopchack. Returning from that team for their senior year are Cole Vazzana and Giovanni Palombo. Offensive threat Jonas Sopko returns, as well as Logan Schoepf, Christan Driscoll, Carson Kaczmarek, and Preston Rice. Austin Schueler takes over in the crease for exiting senior Drew Burkett. Changes abound for the Bucs, and it will be a tougher road to the finals this year.
Home Rink: Pittsburgh Ice Arena, New Kensington

Avonworth
Home Rink: Baierl Ice Complex, Warrendale

McDowell
Home Rink: Mercyhust Ice Center, Harborcreek Township

Wilmington
Home Rink: Hess Ice Arena, New Castle

SOUTH

Bishop Canevin
The Crusaders return a majority of their roster from the previous season, as Nick Layden graduated only two and Evan Victor left to focus on the Pittsburgh Vengeance. Cameron Ropchock and Chase Evans are going to be relied upon to lead a strong skating core, as Adam Serakowski and Zach Hartlep look to fight for time in the crease.
Home Rink: Ice Castle Arena, Castle Shannon

Ringgold
The Rams are poised to return to the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in March, returning the majority of their Division-2 championship squad from the 2019 run. Brad Bujdos, Justin Day, Evan Eberlin, Nathan Todd and Ryan Marek are amongst those who return. The big question mark is in goal, as the departure of Evan Cook opens up the door for JV goaltenders Chad DeGrone and Buddy Mease. Injuries have plagued Rick Kalinowski’s squad in the preseason, taking out a few of his defensive starters.
Home Rink: Rostraver Ice Garden, Rostraver Township

Trinity
The Hillers come into the season the deepest they’ve been in years, adding seven bodies to a lineup that graduated only one- bringing back 10-of-11. Goaltender Jon Chopp returns to the crease, and captain Ty Kress will once again be joined by alternates Garrett Gellner and Dax Kress. All-Star Jack Hritsko return for another season. Depth was an issue for Trinity last season, and that has been filled this offseason.
Home Rink: Printscape Arena at Southpointe

Carrick
Home Rink: Ice Castle, Castle Shannon

Connellsville
Home Rink: The Ice Mine, Connellsville

Elizabeth-Forward
Home Rink: Rostraver Ice Garden, Rostraver Township

Morgantown
Home Rink: Morgantown Ice Arena, Morgantown WV

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