PIHL High School Notebook: Recapping the Pennsylvania Cup championships

Back in 1977, the artist known as Meat Loaf reminded all of us on Top 40 radio that “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad.” That certainly was the case last weekend for the PIHL in the Pennsylvania Cup games at the Ice Works in Aston, PA.

In the Class A game, the Flyers Cup winner, the West Chester East Vikings, managed to outscore the Quaker Valley Quakers, winners of the Penguins Cup, 6-5. The tide turned in the Class AA game, when the Latrobe Wildcats, winners of the Penguins Cup, took down the Parkland Trojans, 4-1. Then, in the Class AAA game, the Penguins Cup champions, the North Allegheny Tigers defeated the LaSalle College Explorers 6-2. Here is one last look back at those three Pennsylvania Cup Finals.

CLASS A: The Quaker Valley Quakers, 25-0-0 vs the West Chester East Vikings, 23-2-0 at 11 a.m.

The Road To Aston: The Quakers downed Mars 5-1 in the Penguins Cup final on Wednesday, March 20 at Consol Energy Center, while the Vikings beat Springfield (Delco), 7-3 in the Flyers Cup championship on Monday, March 18.

The defending champion Quakers saw their 46-game winning streak come to an end, despite a valiant attempt to come back in the third period against the West Chester East Vikings. Trailing the Vikings 5-1 after two periods, the Quakers found the back of the net four times in the third period, but it was not enough as West Chester East’s Jesse Abarca scored a short-handed goal at 6:49 of the third period to keep the Pennsylvanis Class A Cup in the eastern half of the state with a 6-5 final.

Vikings Volleys: Senior forwards Zach Higgins and Jesse Abarca each had two goals for West Chester East. – The Vikings out shot the Quakers 31-24 during the game. Junior goaltender Tyler Percival was 19-of-24 between the pipes. – West Chester East’s victory snapped a three game win streak by the Penguins Cup champions over the Flyers Cup champions in the Class A division. – The Vikings finished the season with a record of 24-2-0.

Quaker Quests: Junior forward Jimmy Perkins had two goals in the game for Quaker Valley. Perkins had 33 goals during the regular season, and his 59 points tied him with sophmore forward Adam Pilewicz for the team lead. – Besides being the defending champion in Class A going in to last Saturday, Quaker Valley also won the Pennsylvania Cup back in 2006. – The Quakers finished the 2012-2013 season with a record of 25-1-0. Dating back to last season, Quaker Valley had won 33 consecutive PIHL games, and had been unbeaten in their past 46 before losing to the Vikings.

CLASS AA: The Latrobe Wildcats, 19-3-0 vs the Parkland Trojans 20-1-1, at 1:30 p.m.

The Road To Aston: The Wildcats shut out Pine-Richland, 5-0 in the Penguins Cup final on Wednesday, March 20 at Consol Energy Center, while the Trojans were unbeaten against Pennsylvania competition all season. However, Parkland lost its most recent game, 6-3, to Cherokee in the EPIHA’s Flyers Cup championship game on Tuesday, March 19. The Cherokee Chiefs are based in southern New Jersey, and thus ineligible for the Pennsylvania Cup.

After a scoreless first period, Latrobe had fallen behind Parkland, 1-0 at 6:34 of the second period. It was time for the Wildcats to get down to business with two unanswered goals of their own in the second period, and then, two more in the third period against Trojans’ senior goaltender Robert Stock. Latrobe won their fourth Pennsylvania Cup in six years, and have maintained a perfect record in state title games with their 4-1 victory.

Trojans Tidbits: Junior defenseman Ryan Dumbach scored the short-handed goal unassisted for Parkland. – It was the schools first appearance in the Pennsylvania Cup Class AA game. – The Trojans had a total of nine shots on Latrobe senior goaltender Shane Brudnok. – Parkland finished the season with a record of 20-2-1.

Wildcats Claws: Latrobe put up 41 shots against the Trojans. – Freshman forward Dalton Hunter had two of the four goals for the Wildcats. – Latrobe won Pennsylvania Cup championships in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Senior forward Josh Singley, senior defenseman Rob Vasinko, and Brudnok were the lone remaining players from the final of those three championship runs. – The Wildcats finished the season with a record of 20-3-0.

CLASS AAA: The North Allegheny Tigers, 18-4-2 vs the LaSalle College Explorers, 22-3-1 at 4 p.m.

The Road To Aston: The Tigers shut out Peters Township 2-0 in the Penguins Cup title game on Wednesday, March 20 at Consol Energy Center, while the Explorers beat Holy Ghost Prep, 5-2, in the Flyers Cup championship on Thursday, March 14.

North Allegheny was down 2-0 to LaSalle going in to the second period, when senior forward Joseph Griffin put up a natural hat trick on the scoreboard to give the Tigers the lead for good. Griffin’s third tally came with just 53.9 seconds left on the clock in the second period. North Allegheny added three more goals in the third period, including Griffin’s empty-netter for his fourth of the contest at the 16:25 mark.

Explorers Points: Senior forwards Brendan Jaquay and Nicholas Master scored the two goals in the first period for LaSalle. – The Explorers were the defending state champions going in to the weekend, and have won the past three Flyers Cups, and five of the past six in the EIPHA. – The school defeated Bethel Park, 6-2 in the championship game last season, but had lost to Upper St. Clair, 4-3 in 2011. – The Explorers finished the season with a record of 22-4-1.

Tigers Tails: Forwards Dominic Zangaro and Mathew Fantaski also scored in the third period for North Allegheny. Fantaski’s was an empty-netter at the 15:28 mark. – Junior goaltender Bradford Thornburgh went 35-of-37 between the pipes. Thornburgh’s goals-against-average was 1.98 during the regular season. – It was the Tigers second trip to the state title game. North Allegheny defeated Holy Ghost Prep, 6-3 in 2007. – The Tigers finished the season 19-4-2.

Topics: High School Hockey, Pennsylvania Cup, PIHL

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