Pittsburgh Hockey Digest

PIHL

Upper St. Clair beats Franklin Regional in overtime thriller

The goaltenders in the audience might want to look away.

Upper St. Clair got an overtime goal from Quinn Giacobbe to beat Franklin Regional, 9-8, on Wednesday in the PIHL Penguins Cup Class-AA semifinal at RMU Island Sports Center.

The goal was Giacobbe’s fourth of the night and he also added two assists for the most impressive offensive performance in a night full of scoring.

His teammate Devin Rohrich had two goals and two assists while Olrdich Virag scored four goals in a losing effort for Franklin Regional. A total of 19 players recorded at least one point.

Mathieu Silva scored for Franklin with 29 seconds to play in regulation to force overtime, continuing the back-and-forth nature of the scoring, which started just moments into the game.

Giacobbe scored 11 seconds into the game. Virag tied it at 3:20 of the first, Rohrich pushed Upper St. Clair ahead at 7:16 of the first, but Virag drew Franklin level once again before the end of the first frame.

He scored again to complete the hat trick and give Franklin its first lead at 2:57 of the second, but he then took a boarding penalty carried a 10-minute misconduct. Colton Shiry scored on the power play for Upper St. Clair, but with even with Virag on the bench, Jacob Rettger and Trent Lunden scored to push a two-goal advantage.

Giacobbe answered at 13:18 of the second for his second goal, and Chase Wucher scored 48 seconds into the third to tie the game once again at 5-5.

Unleashed, Virag scored his fourth at 1:55 of the third, but back-toback goals by Joseph Pulit and Rohrich gave USC the lead.

Zachary Abdallah tied things back up at 7:41 of the third, but Giacobbe brought the hats from the other side of the rink at 13:57 to give USC the lead once again, setting up Silva’s last-minute, game-tying goal.

Upper St. Clair will face Pine-Richland in the PIHL Class-AA Penguins Cup final at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Mar. 18 at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township.

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