North Pittsburgh girls hockey squad cruises through first-half schedule
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Before the start of the 2012-13 season, North Pittsburgh girls 14U head coach John Mudrany told his players he had two expectations for them.
He wanted his hockey players to be the hardest working in practice and in games and to have fun playing the game.
“I think they really took that seriously,” he said.
“We have as much fun dancing as we do skating, and that attitude helps them remember that it is a game, and our fun is the reward for the hard work.
“North Pittsburgh has had fun so far this season, and the hard work produced a 9-0 record in the Girls 14U division of the Pittsburgh Amateur Hockey League through the end of December.
In those nine games, the Wildcats outscored their opponents, 54-3.
“We're lucky to have a group that can play at a pretty high pace,” Mudrany said.
“A lot of these girls have played together for a while. We found out that some of the other organizations aren't as deep and have had trouble keeping up with us for three periods. That's a tribute to our hard work and dedication in practice.
“North Pittsburgh faced rival Indiana for the first time Dec. 22, and the Wildcats scored a 5-1 victory. Indiana came into that game 8-1 and had scored 41 goals over its first nine games.
A 4-1 advantage in the first period put North Pittsburgh on its way.
“I don't think they were ready for the pace that we play,” Mudrany said.
“They were a little overwhelmed, especially in the first half of that game. We kept coming at them shift after shift. No one took a shift off.
“They were really looking forward to that game. We kept an eye on Indiana while we were playing the other teams. They wanted to come out and show what they could do. It was our biggest game of the year so far, and they played their best game.
“North Pittsburgh and Indiana were scheduled to meet again this past Saturday, and the teams will play two additional times before the end of the 16-game regular season Feb. 16.
“The girls set a goal at the beginning of the year that they wanted to win the banner,” Mudrany said.
“We lost the championship last year to Morgantown, and that left a pretty sour taste in their mouths. They wanted to come back and finish what they started last year.
“It's easy to have some challenges in the locker room, especially with girls at that age. But they really get along and are there for each other. Some players have become the top scorers, but they get excited for some other players to score.”
In addition to their quests in PAHL play, North Pittsburgh ventured out to play two tournaments, including a Tier II preseason event in Cleveland in September.
“It was good for us to play at a little higher pace,” Mudrany said.
“We got to face some Canadian teams and some teams from western and upstate New York where hockey is a little deeper.
“Mudrany said a Thanksgiving Tier II tournament, hosted by Pens Elite, gave his team an idea of how much they improved from the preseason.
“We didn't win any games, but we played at a much different pace (than the preseason tournament), and it was a good challenge for our girls,” Mudrany said.
“They didn't get down on themselves in those games. Even though the score wasn't in our favor, they continued to put in the hard work. It was a good experience for them even though the results weren't what we hoped for.”
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.
- Officials identify man, woman killed in apparent Oakland murder-suicide
- LaBar: WWE not backing down from controversy
- Stat dropoff, road struggles have Penguins seeking consistency
- Rossi: In Super city, everything but football matters
- LCB, Duquesne University police recover rare bourbon in illegal sale
- Beloved North Side gardener gets new truck, paid for by her neighbors
- Overnight snow delaying schools in western Pennsylvania
- Driver leaps from sliding truck just before it topples down hillside in Fawn
- Pa. Treasurer McCord resigns without explanation, to leave Feb. 12
- Kennametal plans plant closings, job cuts in fallout from oil and gas decline
- Hotel Monaco creative director: Whimsical decor requires open mind