Westmoreland Pee Wee hockey coach knows importance of playing a role
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Jake Andolina, a 20-year Pennsylvania State Trooper, works to make sure the residents of the Keystone State are protected and safe.
He also has made his mark as an actor in recent years, landing roles in movies with stars such as Hillary Swank, Russell Crowe, Katherine Heigl and Denzel Washington.
Andolina knows that the actors and actresses in a movie, no matter how big or small the part, have important roles to play, and each has to perform that role to the best of his ability if the production is to be successful.
That is the same focus he tries to impart to his hockey players as the head coach of the Westmoreland Pee Wee A Major Black team.
The team members are taking that team concept, accepting their roles and translating them into a strong season, both in and out of the Pittsburgh Amateur Hockey League.
“We're playing great hockey, and the team has really jelled,” Andolina said.
Six players from last year's Pee Wee A Major Black squad returned to the team this season and meshed with players who moved up from other Pee Wee teams in the organization and a few players from outside the organization.
The team returned to PAHL competition the weekend of Dec. 1 and scored a 5-2 win over North Pittsburgh and a 7-2 victory over South Hills.
Westmoreland improved its record to 7-2 through nine games and is among the division leaders.
“Every team in the division is playing pretty competitively,” Andolina said. “We lost both our games by only one goal, and we rebounded nicely from both. That's a mark of a good team that it can do that.”
One of the losses was a 4-3 setback to Butler Valley on Nov. 17. That Butler Valley squad was 6-0 after the games of Dec. 1 and 2.
Andolina said his team is looking forward to a rematch on Jan. 6 at Kirk S. Nevin Arena in Greensburg.
“The kids have some good wins and are a confident bunch,” Andolina said.
“All the lines are clicking. We have some guys who are really burying the puck, and the defense and goaltender, Gage Handwork, are looking strong and really coming together.”
Westmoreland captured second at the Pittsburgh Thanksgiving Classic at BladeRunners in Bethel Park over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The team went 2-1 in preliminary-round games against a trio of Canadian teams.
The Eagles scored a one-goal win over a New Jersey team in the semifinals, but they suffered a loss in the finals to the Glanbrook Rangers from Canada.
Glanbrook also was the team that got the best of Westmoreland in the preliminary round.
“Our regular season carried over into the tournament,” Andolina said. “We got the silver instead of the gold, but they got medals and a nice plaque.”
Andolina said the team will play in a tournament in Johnstown on Presidents' Day weekend in February and will host a tournament in March.
Garison Andolina and Jared Gerger are the co-captains, while Lucas Bates, Bryce Hegedus, Zach Kubitz and Brantley Miller are assistant captains.
Gerger led the team in scoring with 15 goals and 13 assists after the games of Dec. 1 and 2.
Hegedus was second with 10 goals and seven assists, while Derrick Halula, on the same line with Gerger and Hegedus, is the third-leading scorer with six goals and three assists.
Miller (five goals and one assist), Andolina (one goal, seven assists), Noah Mazur (seven assists) and Logan Kaczynski (one goal, five assists) also have contributed on offense.
“We made some adjustments to start the season and got the lines together,” Andolina said. “We met the challenges and are now playing great.”
Michael Love is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
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.
- LaBar: Best next opponent for Brock Lesnar
- At least one dead in Beaver County fire
- Pirates rout Cardinals to keep things interesting in NL Central
- Rossi: Baseball needs a new schedule
- Munhall councilman who assaulted colleague won’t be charged
- South Allegheny begins year with upgrades, contract uncertainty
- Penn State Greater Allegheny welcomes return of bus route to campus
- Armstrong River Hawks make their debut
- Ford City Express may be back on track by Christmas
- Steelers remain confident in defense
- ‘Stand Down’ aims to lift up needy in Armstrong, Clarion counties