Dagnal leads PT to titlePublished Mar 18, 2014 at 1:36 am (Updated Mar 18, 2014 at 1:36 am)
Peters Township defeated Bethel Park, 4-2, and captured the PIHL Class AAA championship title. Jonathan Dagnal scored a hat trick for the Indians, who now advance to the state finals set for March 22 at Penn State.
William 'Tre' Lowe attempts to stop a shot by Jonathan Dagnal (No. 87) but the puck slips past the Bethel Park goalie. Dagnal scored a hat trick as Peters Township defeated the Blackhawks, 4-2, and captured the PIHL Class AAA title in the Penguins Cup championships held at the Consol Energy Center.
Jonathan Dagnal celebrates with Samuel Barnes (No. 17) after scoring the first goal for Peters Township in the PIHL Class AAA Penguins Cup championship game against Bethel Park.
For the past three years, something was missing from Peters Township High School hockey. A Penguins Cup championship.
Jonathan Dagnal knew exactly how the Indians could attain one. He’d play for the team.
In his first season of varsity hockey, the senior scored a hat trick and led Peters Township to victory, 4-2, over Bethel Park in the PIHL Class AAA final March 17 at the Consol Energy Center. The triumph gave the Indians their first championship since 2005.
“I wanted to play and do my best,” explained Dagnal. “I felt I could help out. Help the team get the W,” he added.
Dagnal, who does play amateur hockey, did more than help the Indians. He scored three times, including an empty-netter that iced the outcome with under five seconds to play. He lifted Peters into a lead it would not relinquish three minutes into the game. His second tally came at the 12:51 mark in the third period and afforded the Indians a comfortable, 3-1, edge.
Dagnal, however, took little credit for the scores. He acknowledged the assists from Carter Ekberg and Sam Barnes on two of his tallies as well as good breaks.
“It feels great and I felt I played a good game,” he said but added, “the bounces went out way and we put them in.”
The Hawks on the other hand got no bounces. While they put 45 shots on goal, Brian Baker proved a brick barrier in the nets.
BP managed two tallies both by Jake Worcester with 1:08 to play in the second stanza and with 22 seconds to play. Tyler Kruszewski garnered two assists while Christian Siak was credited with one on the plays.
“Baker played a great game,” said BP head coach Jim McVay. “Give him credit. He played very well.”
Adam Alavi also played well. He registered Peters Township’s second tally at 10:02 of the second period. Chad Wyatt and Zachery Gielarowski assisted.
The victory alleviated the tension on the Indians, who had been to the finals four of the past five years and hadn’t registered a triumph until this season.
“I’m speechless,” Baker said. “I can’t even describe how happy I am right now, especially with this group of guys.”
“It’s been disappointing that we’ve come up short every year,” added Dagnal.
Not anymore. This time it was BP that came up short despite a valiant effort.
“All you can do in life is do your best and if you do that and lose, you can hold your head high,” said McVay. “We gave a good effort. They have been here four years in a row. But this was tough. This was a tough game.”
While it is not the last game for the Hawks (19-4), they will be competing in the national championships, the Indians will be competing for the state title at 4 p.m. March 22. They will face off against La Salle, the Flyers Cup champion, for the Pennsylvania Cup at Penn State’s Pegula Ice Arena.
Canevin wins, too
Bishop Canevin will join the Indians, who improved to 19-4 overall, in Happy Valley. The Crusaders blanked Erie Cathedral Prep, 1-0, in the Class AA championship game and will play for their first Pennsylvania Cup since 2011.
Thomas Krivak netted the gamewinner when his wrist shot deflected off a defender’s stick and over the goalie’s shoulder into the net at 3:45 of the first frame. Blaine Adams was awarded an assist.
In recording the shutout in goal, Nikita Meskin recorded 19 saves. The Crusaders put 21 shots on goal against Grant Kennedy.