Plum alumni from three decades take to ice for annual game
James Borriello still is in high school. The sophomore goaltender on the Plum varsity ice hockey team will graduate from Plum High School in 2015.
But for one night, he focused his gaze across the ice at another goaltender 18 years his senior and stared down some of the top goal scorers in the history of Plum Hockey.
Borriello got a chance to suit up for Plum's annual alumni event on Dec. 27 at Pittsburgh Ice Arena in New Kensington.
With goaltenders sometimes at more of a premium for alumni events, he was in the mix.
Mike Denholm — a 1997 Plum graduate, a father of two, and a senior goaltender on the Mustangs' 1996-97 section championship team — said it always is fun to come back and play in these events.
Denholm, a veteran of more than a dozen alumni games, suited up for the first time in three years.
His children Mike Jr., 2, and Marley, 4, watch dad on the ice.
“They wanted to watch me play,” Denholm said.
“This might be my last one, but we'll see how I feel. The game gets faster as I get older. It was tough. I hadn't played in three years.”
Denholm took the ice with high school classmate Sergio Leone. They and 1993 graduate Mike Reilly were the senior members of the alumni game.
Reilly was an eighth-grade member of Plum's JV team in 1989 when the Plum varsity squad won state championship.
He has played in every alumni game since he graduated from high school. He also coached Plum hockey freshman and JV teams, most recently from 2003 to 2010.
“It's always nice to get on the ice and see who comes back,” Reilly said. “It's nice seeing the young kids.”
Sixteen players suited up for the game, and the game was three 12-minute periods with a running clock
Ten goals were scored, and an impromptu shootout session capped the evening on the ice.
“It's nice to see all the graduates who come back,” said Dom Borriello, president of the Plum hockey organization.
“Some of these graduates go back before my time with Plum hockey. I was talking to (Mike Denholm), and he told me he had to get his equipment out of storage. It's great to see everyone come back and support the program. They enjoy it, and we enjoy having them back.”
Nick Sciulli, a senior on this year's Plum team, also played in the alumni game, and he got a chance to skate with his older brother Anthony, a 2008 graduate.
Brothers Cody Harris (2008) and P.J. Harris (2004) also came back to play.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.