Two No. 1 seeds fall, another advances in PIHL semifinals

Dan Scifo is covering the PIHL Playoffs this week at the CONSOL Energy Center… the week culminates with the Penguins Cup Championship games this Sunday.

(Ed’s note: We have long wanted to make FTP a source of information for hockey around the world and at all levels and we continue towards that goal today… Dan Scifo, FTP Contributor and Assistant Sports Editor of the Latrobe Bulletin, is spending his week covering the PIHL High School Hockey playoffs… here is his first recap column on those playoffs for FTP. – Metz)

By Dan Scifo
From the Point Contributor

Two No. 1 seeds went down, while another cruised to an easy victory during three Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League Penguin Cup semifinal games played Monday night at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Hampton upset top-seeded Kittanning in Class A, while Upper St. Clair knocked off Fox Chapel in Class AAA. Peters Township, the only top seed to survive, routed Chartiers Valley in Class AA.

All three teams advance to their respective Penguins Cup championship games Sunday night at Consol Energy Center.

Tonight’s semifinal games feature Mars and Westmont Hilltop (5 p.m.) in Class A; Bishop Canevin and Greater Latrobe (7 p.m.) in Class AA; and Canon-McMillan against Bethel Park in the 9 p.m. Class AAA contest. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students.

Class A
Hampton 6, Kittanning 2

Hampton’s Ian Wood and Zach Kosick both scored two goals to help Hampton, a No. 6 seed, upset top-ranked Kittanning.

But the game will likely be remembered, not for an upset, but more for the fireworks that ensued in the final five minutes of the third period where both teams combined for 218 penalty minutes. The melee featured 16 10-minute misconducts and seven five-minute fighting majors.

Among those included Kittanning goaltender Cam Langham, who was assessed two fighting majors and four 10-minute misconduct penalties as the Wildcats, who didn’t have a backup goaltender, were forced to play the final 2:20 with an empty net.

That status of several Hampton players are in question for the PIHL Class A championship on Sunday as league rule states a game misconduct results in an automatic suspension for the next game.

The game, itself, wasn’t in too much doubt as Hampton scored three first-period goals and another in the second to race out to an early lead.

Wood, Joe Vita, and Zach Homitz staked Hampton to a 3-0 lead after a period and Wood scored his second on the power play to make it 4-0. Jake Enders put Kittanning on the board late in the second, but Kosick answered five minutes into the third to make it 5-1. Kosick and Hunter Grafton scored late to set the final.

Class AA
Peters Township 8, Chartiers Valley 1

Top-seeded Peters Township struggled out of the gate, but cruised to an 8-1 semifinal-round victory over No. 4 Chartiers Valley.

Penalties to Alex Dagnal, followed by a tripping and hooking minor on Ben Zalewski gave Chartiers Valley an early two-man advantage less than three minutes into the game, but the Colts couldn’t capitalize. Peters Township took over from there as Cole Snyder and Taylor Cox scored two goals apiece to lead the Indians to their 13th straight victory.

Snyder and Cox had four of the Indians’ first five goals as Peters Township held a 6-1 lead after two periods.

Davan Groom, Mike Glicksman, Ben Dachille, and Ben Zalewski also scored for Peters Township, while Evan Mitchell contributed three assists.

Bryan Waldon scored the lone goal for Chartiers Valley, which won seven straight heading into the semifinals.

Peters Township held a 49-16 shots advantage as goaltender Woody Shell made 15 saves for the victory.

Class AAA
Upper St. Clair 2, Fox Chapel 0

Michael Ambrose helped Upper St. Clair shock top-seeded Fox Chapel Monday night.

Ambrose stopped all 34 shots he faced, earning the shutout and sending No. 4 Upper St. Clair to the PIHL Class AAA championship game.

Fox Chapel held a 34-24 edge in shots, but Ambrose closed the door. He also turned away the Fox Chapel power play as the Foxes, who had five opportunities through two periods, went 0-for-6 with the man advantage.

Michael Sweeney tallied the game-winner at 8:01 of the second period, just moments after a Fox Chapel goal was disallowed. Luke Stork, who assisted on the game-winner, added a short-handed
insurance goal at 7:12 of the third.

** In addition to his work here at FTP, Dan Scifo is the Assistant Sports Editor for the Latrobe Bulletin.