Norwin faring well against tough schedule
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Just like in its quarterfinal last year, Norwin's hockey team fell to Canon-McMillan last week. The similarities end there.
Three goals for the Big Macs in the final 2:38 of the second period broke open a tie game, as Canon-McMillan continued its hot start to the season with an 8-5 win at Center Ice Arena last Thursday.
Norwin (3-2-0) got a hat trick from Dan Merz, who entered this week as the leading scorer in Class AAA, and goals by Dante Youhon and Marc Swankler in the losing effort, which was a stark contrast to the way the Knights were bowled over by the Big Macs (3-1-0) in last year's playoffs, 9-2.
“The outcome aside, I couldn't have been more pleased with our team,” Norwin coach James Reith said. “We fell behind kind of quick, but we battled back to make it 3-3 in the second. We even came back to make it 6-5, but time just ran out on us.
“The game (against Canon-McMillan) last year, you never had a complete sense that we were in that game. They took it away from us early. This game, you could tell from the chatter on the bench that it was a different situation.”
The Knights did cut the lead to 6-5 with 11:10 remaining on Merz's second power-play goal of the period, which was assisted by Robert Romeo. Norwin hung around for a few more minutes before Carmen Dalesandro completed his hat trick and provided an insurance goal for the Big Macs with 8:56 to play.
Chad Albert stopped 22 of 29 shots for the Knights, while the Big Macs' final goal was scored into an empty net in the final minute of play.
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for Norwin, which on Nov. 12 defeated Shaler, 7-3, after beating defending Penguins Cup champion Bethel Park, 3-2, on Nov. 8.
With two strong games, including one win, against perennial powerhouse programs such as Canon-Mac and Bethel Park, the Knights are off to an ideal start to their season.
“We went into those games with a lot of confidence,” Reith said. “We felt Bethel Park was a big game. They have all those championship banners there for a reason. We knew we had to make good decisions with the puck, and when you do that against the top teams like we have, it builds confidence.”
Norwin's final two games of the month will further test the Knights. The team was scheduled to host unbeaten Seneca Valley on Monday, after this edition's deadline, and then return from Thanksgiving break with a home game at 6:15 p.m. on Nov. 30 against Peters Township, last year's losing finalist in Class AAA.
“I like that we're starting the season like this and facing these challenges,” Reith said. “Already this season, we've had to come back, we've had to play with a lead, and all against top teams. When you go through that as a player, as a coach or as a team, it gives you something to draw from.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.