Last Updated: Mon Dec 26, 2022 - 1:00AM
Despite missing six regulars from their lineup on Thursday, the Greater Latrobe Wildcats scored six unanswered goals to claim a 7-2 victory against Hempfield Area at the Kirk Nevin Arena in Greensburg.
With the victory, the Wildcats improve to 7-4-1, and with 15 points, moved into third place in Class AA. The Spartans, conversely, fall to 5-4-1, and are tied for sixth with 11 points.
Greater Latrobe opened the scoring more than a dozen minutes into the contest courtesy of an unlikely source. Defenseman Jack Beddick received a pass in the slot from Peyton Myers, and ripped a shot past Hempfield Area goalie Blaise Becker for his first goal of the season.
The Spartans responded with two quick tallies, however, as Alex Smilie deposited a rebound on the powerplay, and Caden Horton netted a goal to put Hempfield Area ahead.
That lead lasted just 23 seconds, though, as Myers followed a shot by Noah Guidos, and flipped in the rebound on the backhand to deadlock the score at two after the opening frame.
Greater Latrobe took command in the second period, as JD Robinson carried the puck into the zone on a 2-on-1 and whistled a wrister past Becker to put the Wildcats back in front. Fletcher Harvey extended the GL lead less than a minute later, and Robinson capped the stellar period for the Wildcats with a powerplay goal to make it 5-2.
The Wildcats sealed the outcome in the third, as Harvey netted his second goal of the night on a breakaway, and Nik Guidos scored his first goal of the campaign.
Robinson, Harvey, and Myers each posted three-point efforts to lead the way, while Jacob Hannah tallied a pair of helpers. JM Krajc recorded 28 saves in net to earn the victory, while Greater Latrobe also thwarted a pair of 5-on-3 powerplays for the Spartans.
Hempfield Area was paced by Nick Bruno, the leading scorer in Class AA, who dished out two assists. Becker took the loss, allowing five goals on 15 shots, while Chase Sankey allowed two goals while making six saves.
Both teams will return to action after New Year’s, as Greater Latrobe will travel to play Mars Area on Jan. 2, while the Spartans will host Penn-Trafford on Jan. 5.