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TJ's Uhlyar, Bowers, Ringling, Ripepi land PIHL all-star selections

| Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Four members of the Thomas Jefferson varsity hockey team have been selected to play in the PIHL all-star showcase to be held Feb. 10 at RMU's Island Sports Center.

All four will play for the Class A Southwest Conference all-star squad, which will skate against a squad of Class A Northeast Conference all-stars.

The Thomas Jefferson selections are Zach Uhlyar, a junior forward; Matt Bowers, a senior forward; Kevin Ringling, a junior defenseman; and Nick Ripepi, a junior goaltender.

TJ's Tommy Kimmick, a sophomore forward, also was named as an alternate for the Southwest Conference.

“The team has been playing some very good hockey this season,” Bill Crousey, Thomas Jefferson's head coach, said. “We have been competing on a nightly basis, and have been getting contributions from many players. This has allowed us to have a chance in every game this season.

“If we can continue to improve and avoid injuries, we have the opportunity to have a very successful season.”

Uhlyar, the Jaguars' team captain, has ranked among the PHIL Class A leading scorers all season. He is the team leader in goals (24), power-play goals (5), assists (21) and points (45).

“Zac's biggest strength is his ability to see the ice, which has allowed him to be one of the top scorers in the league,” Crousey said. “He also does a great job leading the team.”

Bowers, an assistant captain, has connected for 14 goals, including three shorthanded goals, and eight assists.

“Matt is one of the most physical wingers in the league, with a nice touch around the net,” Crousey said. “He is a great two-way player; he plays every shift with passion.”

Kimmick is the Jaguars' second-leading scorer with 20 goals, including four game-winning goals, and 12 assists. He also owns three power-play goals and three shorthanded goals.

Ripepi and Ringling have led the team's defense, and have sparked Thomas Jefferson to a 9-5 overall record.

“Kevin is a punishing defenseman with good puck moving skills,” Crousey said. “He possesses a very hard shot, and has the ability to play many minutes.”

Ripepi has allowed 53 goals in 14 games (4.10 goals-against average), and has posted two shutouts.

“Nick is a very mobile goalie that has used that ability to lead the league in wins,” Crousey said. “He has worked very hard to get this point. This is only his third year of playing goalie. His focus and confidence is rising with each game.

“He is one of the biggest reasons for the team's impovement.”

Ringling, an assistant captain, has contributed two goals and 10 assists from his defensive position.

The Jaguars have won three games in a row since early January, skating past South Park by scores of 7-2 and 8-0, and Serra Catholic, 6-3.

The local squad is slated play at Greensburg Central Catholic tonight, Thursday, at Kirk Nevin Arena.

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or rfisher@tribweb.com.

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