PT ices State College; advances to PIHL finals
For the third time in three years, Peters Township (19-4) will compete for the Penguins Cup. The Indians advanced to the PIHL Class AAA championship match set for 9 p.m. March 20 at the Consol Energy Center after they blanked State College, 3-0, in a semifinal clash at the RMU Island Sports Center.
“It’s good to be there,” said PT head coach Rick Tingle. He added, “and, this was the perfect kind of game to go into Consol with.”
He noted the Indians’ 7-3 triumph over Central Catholic in the quarterfinals. “Our last game was not a real good, gut-wrenching, low-goal scoring game that you want in a playoff or will help you in a final.”
Indeed for PT’s opponent in the PIHL final will be battle-tested. The Indians play the winner of the other semifinal clash between North Allegheny and Bethel Park for the championships.
Of the BP-NA clash, Tingle said that it would be fun to watch but both were good. “Both are real good, well-coached teams that are defensive juggernauts. Either one would be tough.”
PT proved tough enough against State College. After a scoreless first period, the Indians edged ahead on an unassisted goal by Keenan Witmer at 2:35 of the second stanza.
“We wouldn’t have planned on it,” said Tingle of getting the game-winning goal from the junior forward. Tingle noted, however, it was a pleasant “surprise.”
Alexander Debolt surprised the Little Lions (16-8) with his early, third-period strike. Adam Alavi and Trevor Recktenwald assisted the goal at 13:54. Reckentwald, off an assist from Alavi, scored an empty-net goal at 16:14.
PT fired off 25 shots on goal against Zachary Woytowich while Brian Baker turned back all 15 shots he faced for the Indians.
“Brian had the kind of game he needed to have at this time,” Tingle said. “But, we haven’t seen his best yet.”