NA blanks PT in PHIL final

Published Mar 21, 2013 at 10:30 am (Updated Mar 21, 2013 at 10:30 am)

The Pittsburgh Penguins may be able to sustain a winning streak when they play on their home ice at the Consol Energy Center but the Peters Township Indians, sadly, cannot.

One day after the Pens stretched their victories to 10 straight by beating the Washington Capitals, 2-1, North Allegheny snapped the Indians’ 15-game winning streak and dashed their dreams for a Penguins Cup and a berth in the state hockey championship game this Saturday in Philadelphia.

A 2-0 shutout proved the same disappointing result for the Indians as their last two trips to the CEG. Last year, Peters Township succumbed to Bethel Park, 2-1, in the PIHL Class AAA championship contest. Two years ago, Bishop Canevin beat the Indians, 4-1, in the Class AA final.

“It’s impossible to get it out of our memory,” Peters Township coach Rick Tingle said. “That’s the worst part about this whole thing. Bad way to end the year once, let alone three times. It’s tough.”

While the Tigers improved to 18-4-2 and prepared to play LaSalle, a 5-2 winner over Holy Ghost Prep in the Flyers Cup finals, at 4 p.m. at the Ice Works Skating Complex in Ashton, the Indians wrapped up the year at 19-5 overall.

“We had a great season,” Tingle said. “Couldn’t put any pucks in the net.”

Indeed, the Indians hit the pipes twice in the first two periods but the game remained scoreless until Joe Griffin struck for two, third-period goals.

Off an assist from Harry Kramer, Griffin scored a short-handed goal at 5:10 of the third period. Griffin iced the contest at 13:39, scoring a second time for his 23rd goal of the season. Matthew Fantaski assisted.

Brad Thornburgh excelled in the nets for the Tigers, who led the league defensively having allowed only 37 goals during the regular season. Thornburgh stopped 20 shots.

PT netminder Brian Baker faced 25 shots.

The Indians were not without their opportunities. Leading scorer Trevor Recktenwald as well as Alex DeBolt had strong scoring chances turned back by Thornburgh.

“Their goalie played a great game,” Tingle said. “He made the save when he needed to.

“We needed to be ahead of those guys. Soon as they got a goal, that was all they needed. We had to open up and just couldn’t get it in.”

The Indians loss four players from their team to graduation including Recktenwald, DeBolt, Bradley Tylenda and Matthew Kmonk.

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