UPG hockey team wins CHE tournament title, heads to nationals
College Football Videos
As the No. 1 seed, the Pitt-Greensburg hockey team went into the College Hockey East tournament with a target on its back.
But after beating Carnegie Mellon and CCAC on consecutive nights, the Bobcats came out of the CHE tournament the same way they entered it — on top of the heap.
Pitt-Greensburg notched an 11-5 victory over CCAC late last month in the CHE championship game and will compete in the Collegiate Ice Hockey Association's national playoffs March 13-15 in Newark, Ohio.
The Bobcats will take on Medaille College from Buffalo, N.Y., in the first round of the CIHA tournament on Thursday. Game time is 2:10 p.m.
Pitt-Greensburg entered this week No. 6 in the nation in the CIHA according to MyHockeyRankings.com. Medaille is the No. 10 team in the nation, according to the website. MyHockeyRankings.com bases its team ratings on a formula that includes points, goal differential and strength of schedule.
Bobcats coach Tim Baldwin expected the CHE title to boost his team's standing in the top 10 heading into the CIHA tournament, but the updated rankings were not available at press time.
No matter their ranking, Baldwin and his players have already begun preparing for their shot at the national championship.
“We're already working toward the best possible outcome,” Baldwin said. “The guys are excited, but they know what needs to be done.
“We want to walk out of there with the national title.”
The Bobcats own a 21-6 record and have been lighting up the scoreboard all season. In addition to pouring in 11 goals against CCAC in the CHE title game, they nearly netted double figures in their opening game, a 9-7 win against Carnegie Mellon.
Despite the team's offensive prowess, it may have been Pitt-Greensburg's defensive work that clinched the CHE championship during the third period of the CCAC matchup.
The Bobcats killed off a 5-on-3 CCAC power play midway through the third period that energized the bench and propelled the team to victory. Even their coach was swept up in the excitement as the seconds ticked off the short-handed situation.
“The guys stayed together and did what they needed to do,” Baldwin said. “They came out of that penalty kill and played at another level.
“After that, I can't even tell you what happened. The guys drove to the net and played aggressive.”
The Pitt-Greensburg offense was paced by a seven-point night from Nico Vecchio. In addition to netting a hat trick against CCAC, Vecchio also dished out four assists.
Dan Merz scored a pair of goals for the Bobcats and notched three assists. Ryan Joyce also scored twice and had an assist to his credit in the game.
Kevin Ritchart is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Paced by QB’s epic half, St. Vincent rolls past Thiel
- IUP receiver charged in robbery; another player accused of assault
- W&J, Thomas More meet in battle of ranked PAC leaders
- Cal (Pa.) puts together dominant 2nd half, edges Seton Hill
- Determination pays off for Ringgold’s Greaves at W&J
- Vulcans to host Seton Hill