Last Updated: Tue Nov 21, 2023 - 12:16AM
A dominant second period carried Hempfield Area to a 3-2 win against host Norwin on Monday at the Palmer Imaging Arena in Delmont.
With their win, the Spartans improved to 4-3-0, and with eight points, moved into fifth place in the PIHL Class AA. The Knights, conversely, dropped to 4-3-1, and with nine points, they remain in fourth in the classification.
The Spartans opened the scoring less than two minutes into the contest, as Alex Smillie netted his first goal of the campaign, scoring from the edge of the right circle. Norwin responded near the midway point of the stanza, though, as Mitch Soltysiak finished from the slot after a rebound.
The middle period was controlled by Hempfield Area, as the Spartans outshot the Knights 16-4, and scored twice in a span of 36 seconds. First, Nick Eberhardt cashed in on the power play on a shot from the point to put the Spartans back in the lead, and then Mats Martz extended the edge by scoring on a rebound after his initial shot was blocked.
The Spartans held that 3-1 lead for almost the entire third period, but Norwin scored with 7.1 seconds left when Hempfield Area’s clearing attempt ricocheted off Cal Costantino into the net.
In addition to the goals from Smillie, Eberhardt, and Martz, the Spartans received assists courtesy of Max Short, JJ Williams, Nino Dipietro, and Jonny Holtzman. Evan Saltzgiver earned the win in net, making 15 saves.
Norwin, which played without prolific scorer Alex Thomas, was led by Dom Costantino, who dished out two assists, while Zayn Zeravica and Aaron Varrati also picked up helpers. Owen Burmeister registered 36 stops in the setback.
Hempfield Area returns to the ice on Dec. 5 on the road against Bishop McCort, while Norwin plays against host Greater Latrobe on Nov. 30.