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Pfeffer solid between the pipes for SV

| Saturday, March 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
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Seneca Valley goalie Tanner Pfeffer had eight of his team's 14 wins this season.

Although the Seneca Valley ice hockey team didn't make it all the way to the Penguins Cup Finals, a return to the PIHL playoffs was a welcomed trip after a pair of disappointing seasons.

A big reason for the turnaround was goalie Tanner Pfeffer and his stout work between the pipes. Pfeffer tallied eight of the Raiders' 14 wins this season and boasted a .909 save percentage in 751 minutes.

“It was definitely great to put Seneca Valley back on the map,” Pfeffer said. “We will lose only four or five seniors, so we should have a huge season next year.

“Just being fourth in Triple-A is a big leap from last year and is a credit to the team.”

Teammate Luke Reed said Pfeffer was a big reason the Raiders returned to the forefront in Triple-A hockey.

“He is able to make the second and third save if need be,” Reed said. “In the past, not every goalie could do that.”

Pfeffer will be back for the Raiders next season, along with a young group of talent that matured this season. Thanks to a new head coach in Anthony Raco, a breath of fresh air lifted the Raiders.

“He is super nice, and he knows so much about hockey,” Pfeffer said. “He is always teaching us new stuff, and he pushes you.”

Pfeffer said his game improved this season because he was more consistent.

“I tried to stay confident and shake off goals,” he said. “As the goalie, you have to realize you can't control everything and if a goal gets by, you can't worry about it. You have to just take each shot as it is.”

Reed added that having Pfeffer behind him allowed the forwards to take some more chances and gamble. If things don't work out, they were confident Pfeffer wouldn't fold against odd-man rushes.

“In the back of my mind, I can go a little harder knowing Tanner is back there and is going to make the stop,” Reed said.

Reed said it is no accident his goalie is so talented.

“His preparation is top notch,” Reed said. “Before a game, he's got his headphones on and is not talking to anyone. ... He is bouncing a ball off the wall and catching it to improve his hand-eye coordination.”

Pfeffer won't rest on his successful hockey season; he is an attacker for the Seneca Valley lacrosse team this spring.

“The sports are similar being they are both played with a stick, but it is different going from stopping goals to scoring goals,” Pfeffer said.

Pfeffer will be an integral part of the lacrosse team that lost 12 seniors from a championship team from last year.

“We will still be very competitive and hope to go back-to-back,” he said.

Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jeclark@tribweb.com.

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