PIHL Semifinal Update: Kiski Area punches ticket to championship

The Cavaliers will meet Fox Chapel in the Class A final while Greensburg Salem, Latrobe and Norwin are eliminated

Thu Mar 16, 2023 - 12:31AM

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Last Updated: Thu Mar 16, 2023 - 10:51AM

Kiski Area 3 Greensburg Salem 1 (Class A Semifinal)

Ethan George provided all of the offense for Kiski Area, as his hat trick carried the Cavaliers to a 3-1 victory against Greensburg Salem in the PIHL Class AA semifinals at the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center on Neville Island.

George tallied at even strength in the first period, on the power play in the second stanza, and capped his stellar night with an empty netter in the third to secure Kiski Area’s spot in the Penguins Cup Championship. The Cavaliers, the fourth seed from the Blue Division, will battle Fox Chapel Area, the top seed from the Blue Division, at 8:45 p.m. Monday at the UPMC Lemieux Complex in Cranberry.

George opened with scoring on a breakaway with less than three minutes left in the first. His second goal, assisted by Kyle Guido, staked the Cavs to a 2-0 edge midway through the second period.

Greensburg Salem’s top scorer, Owen Tutich, gave the Golden Lions life with 3:28 left in the third, as his power play marker pulled GS within one. George sealed the victory with 13 seconds left, however, as he completed the hat trick with GS goalie Tristan Gonzales pulled.

Evin Brice earned the win between the pipes for the Cavaliers, as he recorded 21 stops.

In the defeat, Gonzales registered 13 saves for the Golden Lions, who were the second seed from the Blue Division.

Kiski Area is in pursuit of its first Penguins Cup title in program history.

Fox Chapel Area 7 Norwin 3 (Class A Semifinal)

Last year, Norwin handed Fox Chapel Area its only two losses of the season, the second of which came in the PIHL Penguins Cup semifinals. The Foxes gained their vengeance on Wednesday night, though, as they bounced Norwin 7-3 in the Class A semifinals at the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center on Neville Island.

Fox Chapel, the top seed from the Blue Division, scored the first three goals of the contest, and then sealed the outcome by tacking on four more goals in the third period. As a result, Fox Chapel Area will play Kiski Area in the Penguins Cup Championship at 8:45 p.m. Monday at the UPMC Lemieux Complex in Cranberry.

After a couple of one-goal wins against West Allegheny and McDowell in the first two playoff rounds, Norwin, the third seed from the Blue Division, was denied the chance to repeat as Penguins Cup champions.

The Foxes scored the only goal of the opening period, as Sam Smith cashed in on the power play with 3:05 left in the frame.

Fox Chapel added to its lead early in the second frame, as Liam Wiseman scored the first of his three goals, and Alex Macek followed shortly thereafter to push the FC advantage to 3-0. The Knights responded, though, as top scorer Alex Thomas lit the lamp, and Dominik Constantino netted a power play marker two minutes later to trim the deficit to 3-2.

Mason Heininger scored less than two minutes into the third for the Foxes, and Wiseman netted his second tally to restore the three-goal edge. Thomas kept Norwin within striking distance with his second unassisted goal, this time on the man advantage. Wiseman completed the hat trick by striking shorthanded, and Heininger put the exclamation point on the win by adding an empty netter in the final minute of play.

Wiseman and Heininger each posted three-point efforts for Fox Chapel, while Macek had a goal and an assist, and Joe Rattner earned the win in net with 16 saves.

In the defeat, Thomas posted the only multi-point effort for the Knights, while goalie Owen Burmeister registered 17 stops.

South Fayette 4 Greater Latrobe 1 (Class AA Semifinal)

After its season seemingly had ended last week, Greater Latrobe cherished the second opportunity it was granted via a retroactive forfeit win against Bishop McCort in the quarterfinals. The Wildcats were unable to parlay the new life into a victory, however, as South Fayette claimed a 4-1 win Tuesday in the PIHL Class AA semifinals at the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center on Neville Island.

After Greater Latrobe opened the scoring in the second period, the second-seeded Lions scored four unanswered goals, securing their spot in the Penguins Cup Championship. South Fayette will face No. 1 seed Armstrong next Tuesday at 6:15 at the UPMC Lemieux Complex in Cranberry.

Jacob Hannah staked the No. 6 Wildcats to a 1-0 edge 5:32 into the middle period, assisted by Fletcher Harvey and Nik Manolakos. Wes Schwarzmiller deadlocked the score less than four minutes later, though, and Trevor Dalessandro gave South Fayette its first lead just 17 seconds before the second period intermission.

That same duo struck again in the third for the Lions, as Dalessandro scored an insurance marker on the power play near the halfway point of the stanza, and Schwarzmiller capped the scoring with an empty-net tally with three minutes left in the contest.

Allen Schraeder earned the victory in net for South Fayette, making 23 saves.

Conversely, JM Krajc was saddled with the loss for GL, as he made 28 stops.