Last Updated: Tue Feb 21, 2023 - 2:32AM
Franklin Regional scored 10 unanswered goals, including five by senior Matt Knizner, to stun Greater Latrobe 10-1 at the Palmer Imaging Arena in Delmont on Monday.
The Panthers improved to 10-8-1, with 21 points. Meanwhile, the Wildcats fell to 11-7-1, remaining on 23 points. Both teams have already clinched playoff spots in Class AA.
Despite the final margin, the Wildcats held a first-period lead, as Fletcher Harvey opened the scoring with his team-leading 16th goal of the campaign.
That advantage was short lived, though, as Knizner, the Panthers’ leading scorer, cashed in on a power play to make it 1-1. He struck again later in the frame, as the Wildcats committed a defensive-zone turnover, and Knizner scored from the slot to put the Panthers ahead 2-1.
Knizner completed the natural hat trick approximately six minutes into the second stanza, as Timothy Brickner forced a turnover behind the GL net, and his pass found Knizner in the slot for a one-timer.
The Panthers added to their lead with four more goals in the frame, as Brickner, Luke Lavrich, Jack Falkner, and Knizner pushed the advantage to 7-1.
Knizner capped his incredible performance early in the third period, scoring his fifth goal of the contest, which enacted the running clock. Liam Copeland and Max Williams also tallied for the Panthers to account for the final score.
In addition to Knizner’s heroics, Lavrich compiled a goal and two helpers, and Brett Bowser and Maxwell Rutkowski each posted three assists. Nolan Shilling earned the win in net, recording 20 saves.
Greater Latrobe starting goalie JM Krajc yielded five goals, while Connor Keddie also allowed five goals in relief. The Wildcats played without leading scorer Peyton Myers.
Both teams will conclude the regular season at the Kirk Nevin Arena in Greensburg next Monday, as Greater Latrobe will host South Fayette, while Franklin Regional will battle Hempfield Area.