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MONROEVILLE - Latrobe coach Ron Makoski is looking for consistency in his maturing Latrobe team, which is atop the PIHL East Division. Meanwhile, Woodland Hills has competed very well since its opening night beating at the hands of powerhouse Pine Richland, with a win and a recent tough loss to North Catholic. Latrobe scored in pairs with two in the first, two in the second and another pair in the third to defeat the Wolverines 6-0. Aaron LaPresti scored two goals to lead the attack, while Matt Makoski, Josh Fajt, Kevin Lace and Joe Daw chipped in goals. Matt Bloom and Josh Gross (SOFPOLH) shared the shutout as Latrobe outshot the Wolverines 35-19. Special mention to Tim Gribbin, the Woody High goaltender, who made several nice stops between the pipes.
MONROEVILLE - Bethel Park coach Jim McVay probably felt a little like Bill Murray in the movie Ground Hog day. And he and his Bethel Park players didn't feel it well let's just say they aren't for real. Time = December 2000 Location = the Golden Mile Ice Center Scene of Bethel Park's only regular season loss dating back to February 2000 .... a late bad bounce find's Gateway player's stick and Hawks lose only game in 2000-2001 3-2 This game would be a lot different though...it couldn't happen again ...could it ! Plum's Travis Senchur finds a loose puck off a shot from the point and beats Delbert Joo and gives the Mustangs a 1-0 lead, which they take to the locker room. I do not know what McVay said to his Hawks during the ice cut, because Bethel came out with fire in their eyes and threw a barrage of shots at BJ Schreib. The shots came in bunches for BP in the 2nd, but Plum held onto the 1-0 lead, only managing its first shot at the 10:28 mark. Then its was a wake up call for all, as Lee Volensky, on as innocent a play as you'll ever see, threw the puck out to the front of the net and banked it off a Mustang defender, which trickled past Schreib and all the sudden the Hawks were tied at 1-1. Finally, a Golden Mile bounce for Bethel Park. Bethel then went on the power play, this time it was Brandon Hanley, first on a one-timer from Tom Starkey at 4:40 and the second on a wrist shot from the top of the circle and the Hawks capitalized on the shooting gallery in the 2nd and built a 3-1 lead outshooting Plum 21-2 in the period. Onto the third and the Bethel smothering defense closed the door on Plum and a victory for the two-time defending state champs. BP outshot Plum 35-8 on the evening.
CASTLE SHANNON - The Carrick Cougars had a great season in 2000-2001 making the playoffs in its first season in Class AA. Meanwhile, tonights opponent was the # 1 ranked Peters Twp Indians, who came in with a perfect record, a ton of depth and good balance across three lines. Cougar goaltender Greg Haduch found out quickly within the first five minutes of the game as the Indians pelted Haduch, who was equal to the challenge with some spectacular saves to keep the game scoreless. Finally, Mike Papciak found Matt Clackson parked alone in front of the Carrick goal, who made no mistake and gave PT a 1-0 lead at 8:24. Then it was younger brother freshman Chris Clackson showed great poise as he shielded of a Cougar defender and flipped a backhander past Haduch to make it 2-0. Carrick mounted its only offense of the evening as Brian Micklovich's wrist shot beat Tim Hirsch to cut the lead to 2-1. Peters outshot Carrick 18-3 in the 1st period. A mark of a great team is that it gets stronger as the game grows and has the killer instinct to put a wounded duck away. The Indians dominated the second period in an onslaught that yielded 26 shots on Haduch, who continued to sparkle. Peter's Corey Bovalana and Jordan Torok built the lead to 4-1 as PT enjoyed a 44-7 shot advantage through the second. Any hope Carrick had in the third was quickly erased as a pair of Christians, Minella and Hanson, closed out the scoring for Peters, who won impressively 6-1. The shots in the third period were 18-2, giving the Indians a 62-9 advantage on the evening.
INDIANA - Two of the 2001 PIHL AA Division champions squared off at the Indiana Ice Center in a rematch of an early season battle won by South Park, who went on the reach the Penguin Cup Semi-Finals. Indiana coach Ron Hellen knew that this Thanksgiving eve game would be huge in the AA playoff picture in March. The first period was sloppy as both teams mounted very little offense. In a harmless two on two sitution South Park's Matt Slogan tried to move a pass cross-ice, the puck glance off a Indiana defenseman's skate and behind Mike Lady to give South Park the opening goal. The period featured some fine goaltending by the Eagles Ian Episcopo, who thwarted several Indian chances. On to the second and while the Eagles maintain a 1-0 lead, Episcipo continued warding off a lot of Indiana opportunities. Then South Park made a mistake, as Corey Schaffer caught the Eagle defenseman pinching, he poked the puck past him and it was off to the races and beat Episcipo and the game was tied at 1-1. Then Bryan Schlemmer scored a goal to give Indiana the lead back on a shorthanded tally with 1:16 remaining. Coach Ron Hellen had rolled the dice by using four forwards to kill of the penalty. The Eagles made Indiana pay for the gamble and tied the game at 2-2 on a powerful snap shot by Justin Juha with just 11 seconds remaining in the 2nd. Early in the third period, both teams had odd man breaks but could not capitalize. Then, a little over half way through the period, Indiana's Aaron Smith made a nifty play forcing the puck off of the stick of the South Park defenseman and right onto the stick of Schlemmer, who whistled a wrist shot past Episcopo to give the Indians the lead 3-2. At the 1:16 mark, impressive freshman Casey Haines took a pinpoint pass from captain Nicko Speilman, and Casey made no mistake burying a wrist shot upstairs to seal the victory for Indiana in front of a festive crowd of over 600 at the 'House of King Samuel'. Indiana outshot South Park 33-21 on the night.
Click to see the CC Invitational Schedule and Results of all games played ! Semi-Finals Central Catholic 8 Upper St Clair 3 Bethel Park 3 Mt Lebanon 1 Final Bethel Park 2 Central Catholic 1 Congratulations to the Bethel Park Blackhawks - 2001 Central Catholic Invitational Champions !