Gators start stretch run with game against Cathedral Prep
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Gateway varsity ice hockey team has seven games left in the regular season.
The Gators are battling to be one of the 10 teams to qualify for the PIHL Class AA playoffs, and a win Friday against Erie Cathedral Prep at Center Ice Arena in Delmont will go a long way towards achieving that goal.
“We're very excited,” Gateway head coach Gene Perhac said. “We broke down our schedule, and if we keep playing the way we know we can, we can beat everyone on the schedule. We just need to stay focused. We have some big games left. We don't want to just settle for that last spot.”
Gateway is 4-8 overall after 12 games, and its eight points currently puts it just on the outside of the playoffs.
Two teams right in the hunt with the Gators in the chase for the playoffs — Plum (4-7-1) and West Allegheny (4-7-2) — play each other Thursday. The Mustangs and Indians have nine and 10 points, respectively.
Perhac said a couple of close losses — including a 3-2 overtime setback to Moon on Dec. 17, and a two-goal loss to North Hills in November — were frustrating. Moon (6-4-2) and North Hills (7-5-0) each have 14 points.
“We should've put those in the win column,” Perhac said.
“The guys are starting to come together and understand the system and what I want them to do.”
Gateway and Cathedral Prep will drop the puck at 8:15 p.m. The Ramblers have 16 points, and they are coming off an 8-6 home victory over Chartiers Valley on Jan. 14.
“The last two times we played Prep, it was up there,” Perhac said. “Now they have the long trip. Last year, we had them on the ropes. It was a close game. They got some late goals, and we kind of wore down. It's a long day, no matter who has to travel. With everyone back, we should be able to do well.”
Gateway was without six players for its game against Greater Latrobe on Jan. 14, and the Wildcats exploited the advantage for a 9-2 victory.
Latrobe (9-1-0) has 18 points heading into its game with Montour (0-12-0) on Thursday.
The Wildcats had a 1-0 lead after the first period but exploded for six goals in the second.
Brothers Brandon and Zach Dusch each missed the game because of illness, while leading scorer Taylor Siwik, as well as Vaso Obrknez and Ryan Taylor, served one-game suspensions after receiving game misconduct penalties at the Penguins Pond game against West Allegheny on Jan. 7.
Mark D'Andrea suffered a collar bone injury against West Allegheny, and Perhac said the injury could keep him out anywhere from three to eight weeks.
“It was tough. We had kids playing out of position (against Latrobe),” Perhac said.
“We were running only three defensemen and six forwards. Matt Whelen, our backup goaltender, was our sixth forward. We were playing well, but the second period just got out of hand. We got tired and were getting out of position. Things went a lot better in the third period.”
Seniors Jonathan Kasper and Cam Cacolice each scored a goal in the third period as Gateway avoided the shutout.
Junior Brenden Hamilton and freshman William McAllister assisted on the goals.
Perhac said everyone who missed the Latrobe game, with the exception of D'Andrea, will be back in the lineup against Cathedral Prep.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at email@example.com.
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.
- Deer Lakes’ Rupprecht scoring goals in bunches
- High school roundup: Deer Lakes’ Rupprecht scores 10 goals in win
- Gateway, Franklin Regional hockey teams renew rivalry