Quaker Valley uses Lottes of scoring in PIHL playoff win
Quaker Valley used a whole lotta Lottes to earn a spot in the PIHL Class A Penguins Cup Championship for the first time in four years.
Senior Jayson and sophomore Ryan Lottes combined for five points during the Quakers' 7-1 win over Kittanning in the semifinals on Monday evening at Robert Morris University's Island Sports Center. Both belonged to a power-play unit that scored during four of six man-advantage opportunities and propelled top-seeded Quaker Valley (19-1-1) to the finals, where it'll meet Mars at 1 p.m. Saturday at Consol Energy Center.
"It's a good unit, and we have a number of different ways to attack you, so we want to get those opportunities, but you don't get them without working hard to draw penalties," said Quaker Valley coach Kevin Quinn, whose team had almost twice as many power-play goals (41) as any other Class A squad during the regular season. "It's been a strategy all year to work hard, draw penalties and then score on the power play."
Less than eight minutes into the game, Jayson Lottes, positioned in front of the crease, scored the first of his three power-play goals when he redirected a shot taken by Ryan Lottes at the point.
About five and a half minutes into the second period, Jayson Lottes gathered a loose puck in the slot and zipped a shot by Kittanning goaltender Cameron Langham to put Quaker Valley ahead, 2-0. Ryan Lottes again earned the assist.
"I know our power play is good, and we were hoping to put it to use in this game, but I had no idea I was going to get the three," Jayson Lottes said. "I think we worked the puck around well. Got their penalty killers running around. And then we had traffic in front of the net, and I put it in whenever I could."
After facing just six shots in the first period, Langham barely had time to breathe in the final two frames. He finished with 43 saves.
Quaker Valley goaltender Doug Revak, meanwhile, turned away 16 shots.
Ryan Dickson scored the first of his two goals during a five-on-three advantage midway through the second period. Dickson and Jayson Lottes found the back of the net again during a four-goal third period for the Quakers.
Kittanning's Mike Kelly ended the shutout when he scored on a rush four minutes into the final period.
"We just got outplayed (this time)," Kittanning assistant Joel Kellner said; coach Jamie King missed the game due to a business trip. "They came out with their A-game, and we came out totally flat."
Kittanning (14-6-1) lost in the semifinals for a third consecutive season. Quaker Valley will head to the finals for the fourth time in seven years. The Quakers won titles in 2006 and 2008.
"When we were in middle school, we always watched the varsity team go to Mellon every year and try to win states every year," Jayson Lottes said. "And then the last three years, we've gotten to the playoffs but haven't been able to get all the way, so it feels really good to come back and hopefully add to the tradition."
Mars 4, Hampton 3 (OT) — Teammates mobbed Mars' Max Master just after he snapped a game-deciding goal from the left circle to end Monday's PIHL Class A semifinal at Robert Morris University's Island Sports Complex.
Master has given the No. 2 seed Planets (19-2) a chance to win their fourth consecutive Class A title. Mars will meet top-seeded Quaker Valley (19-1-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Consol Energy Center in the Penguins Cup Championship.
Mars almost squandered a shot at defending its championships last night, as No. 3 seed Hampton (13-5-2) battled back from a two-goal deficit in the third period. Joe Vita scored with 10:28 left in the game to make the score, 3-2, and Luke Leya's power-play goal two minutes later tied the game.
Zach Kosick put Hampton ahead, 1-0, early in the first period, but Austin Heakins answered with a goal for Mars one minute later.
Heakins finished with a team-high three points. Robert Foley and Ian Houk-Graves also scored for Mars, and Christian Knapp made 23 saves in net.
Cam Radna had 12 saves for Hampton, and Vita earned two assists in addition to his goal.