Norwin graduates boost Pitt-Greensburg hockey team
College Football Videos
Norwin graduates Anthony Maraodi, Dan Merz and Nico Vecchio don't always skate together for the Pitt-Greensburg hockey team. But when the Bobcats need a spark, coach Tim Baldwin puts the three together in the hopes of creating one.
More often than not, it works.
Maraodi, Merz and Vecchio finished the season as the top three scorers for Pitt-Greensburg (21-6), which recently won its first College Hockey East championship and will compete this weekend in the Collegiate Ice Hockey Association's national playoffs in Newark, Ohio.
“It's nice to get out there together because we all know each other and know how each other plays,” Merz said. “That chemistry definitely helps when we're in a pinch and need a goal or a big play or something like that.”
The Norwin ties run deep at Pitt-Greensburg, which is in the midst of the longest postseason run in program history. Defenseman Dan DeMarchi, another Norwin graduate, also plays for Pitt-Greensburg. Baldwin lives in Irwin.
“They've been wonderful this year,” Baldwin said. “Everyone across the board has stepped up to the plate and done what they had to do. Having Norwin boys on the team has definitely made a difference.”
While Maraodi, Merz and Vecchio are the team's top scorers, DeMarchi is a shutdown defenseman.
“He's a great defenseman,” Baldwin said. “He's not necessarily the quickest one out there, but he makes the play every time.”
After losing in overtime of the CHE championship game last season, Pitt-Greensburg had a more successful experience in 2013-14.
Playing a schedule that included nonconference games against the likes of Robert Morris and the University of Pittsburgh, the Bobcats finished 19-6 in the regular season and outscored opponents, 247-103. Pitt-Greensburg then defeated Carnegie Mellon, 9-7, in the first round of the CHE playoffs and Community College of Allegheny County, 11-5, in the championship game.
“It was a lot of fun for everyone,” said Merz, a freshman. “A lot of the guys on the team have been there for years now, and they've been really close to winning it the past couple years. It was nice to win it for them. This being my first year, it was really nice to get it, and hopefully we can get it a few more times.”
The Bobcats will open the CIHA playoffs at 2:10 p.m. Thursday with a game against Medaille College. Although offense remains the team's specialty — Pitt-Greensburg is averaging nearly 10 goals a game — Merz said the players are focusing more on defense in the days leading up to the game.
The team is taking a businesslike approach to the game but is hoping to have fun as well, Merz said.
“We obviously want to win, but we obviously want to have fun when we're going, too,” Merz said. “That's been the main thing with our team this year: We have fun everywhere we go. It's going to be hard keeping the fun down in order to get down to business and get to the national championship.”
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.
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.
- Former California teammates may soon be college rivals
- College football notebook: Date moved up for Pitt-Penn State game
- 2 polls rank W&J football team in Top 25