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MONROEVILLE - Plum coach Stu Relnick is busy these days trying to keep his Mustangs focused on the Division race. He doesn't like this position, he loves it ! A year ago the Mustangs were fighting the demons of the basement and rallied in the second half of the season to come up short on a playoff bid. Plum was off and running in the first period as Joe LaGrotteria took a Robbie Tunon pass and beat Eric Laska upstairs on the glove side to give Plum a 1-0 lead with 3:26 left. Butler tied the game less than a minute later on a rebound at 2:28. In the second, Butler took the lead as John Bernot tipped a shot from the point past BJ Schreib. Coach Steve Monteleone's club played a physical period matching the Mustangs hit for hit. Maybe the Tornadoes where to involved and a mental error cost the young squad as a misplayed puck found its way on to Plum's John Kalichuk's stick from right in front and he beat Laska to tie the game at 2-2. Then Plum regained the lead with just 2:51 remaining as Sergio Somma gathered a rebound and made no mistake. The third period was all Plum as Ian Beitler, Phillip Mains and Travis Senchur cashed in early in the third to coast Plum to a 6-2 win. The win helps keep the Mustangs in a tie for first place with Gateway.
NEVILLE ISLAND - North Hills coach Jimmy Black and Mt Lebanon Paul Taibi have a rivalry back to Black's days at Pine Richland and Taibi's at Bethel Park. So familiarity in coaching style on both ends was evident and the battle to keep pace with Bethel Park continues in the PIHL South Division. If you are going to beat Mt Lebanon, you must get the lead and that theory was gone at the 12:27 as Bill Leckenby (son and nephew of star players for the South Hills Catholic 1979 State AA Champions), scored to give the Blue Devils the lead. Mt Lebo's big gun Jason Schulz extended the lead to 2-0 with 5:20 remaining in the first. Mike Colligan had a great chance to make it a three goal lead but was stopped on a great save by Casey Dudt-Mulzet with just :07 left in the opening frame. Mt Lebanon and North Hills then engaged in some end to end action with both teams trying to get that big goal. Colligan, considered by many one of the best two way players in the PIHL, stripped the puck from an Indian defenseman and was in alone and beat Dudt Mulzet upstairs and Mt Lebanon was now on top 3-0. North Hills pressured the Blue Devils toward the end of the second and almost scored as the puck lay on the goal line, but Colin Sebastian scooped it up to preserve the advantage. Shots through two periods were even at 14-14. The third period of this contest was a different story as North Hills kept Mt Lebo penned up in its own end and outshoot them 16-2. Sebastian was terrific with great stickwork and controlling rebounds to earn the shutout and a big 3-0 win.
CASTLE SHANNON - Canevin's Thomas Henderson Memorial is now in its sixth year and the tournament has witnessed some great champions including last year when Bethel Park defeated Malvern Prep and in 1999 when Malvern Prep defeated Erie Cathedral Prep. Gilmour Academy extended its tournament record to a perfect 2-0 with an impressive 7-0 victory over a scrappy Harborcreek club. Charlie Petretti had the hat trick and added two assists, while linemate David Corvi tallied two goals and 3 assists. Charles Long notched the shutout for Gilmour. Canevin won its second straight with a 8-4 victory over Malvern Prep as Justin Holzer scored a hat trick, while teammates Rick Nolte and Jordan Goff added a pair of goals. The Crusaders, who have struggled during their PIHL regular season have looked like a new with new life in the Henderson, even with the adversity of injuries and suspensions limiting Canevin to two lines.
Penguins Cup Class A Final Serra Catholic 3 Bishop McCort 0 ***GAME SUMMARIES*** Penguins Cup Class AA Final Peters Township 4 Indiana 2 ***GAME SUMMARIES*** Penguins Cup Class AAA Final - 9:00 PM Bethel Park 3 Mt Lebanon 1 ***GAME SUMMARIES***