Penn-Trafford surprises Knights for season split
By Matt Grubba
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 2:10 p.m.
Once again, a rivalry game proved that the records mean very little between familiar foes.
Penn-Trafford dominated on special teams by scoring four power-play goals and two shorthanded goals on the way to its second win of the season, a 9-6 victory over Norwin at Center Ice Arena on Monday.
Jake Miller and Jonah Graffius each had a hat trick, Tyler Wyckoff scored two goals, and Jacob Proskin made 37 saves to pick up the win in net for the Warriors (2-12-0), who lost their season-opening game against Norwin, 11-3, in the same building on Nov. 1.
“We're starting to play a lot better now that a lot of these young guys have gotten their feet wet,” Penn-Trafford coach Brian Lehneke said. “We still haven't lost sight of our goal of making the playoffs, and we're only a few points behind the last seed (Mt. Lebanon, at 4-11-0) right now.”
Marc Swankler had two goals and an assist for Norwin (8-8-0), which lost its third straight game and drifted out of the top eight in Class AAA for the first time this season.
“It seemed like the first guy was getting to the puck for us, but the second guy wasn't there supporting. That second guy not being there is the biggest issue I see right now,” said Norwin assistant coach Steven Butler, who was filling in behind the bench for head coach James Reith, who was out of town.
Norwin took an early 1-0 lead on Swankler's first goal, but P-T pulled ahead with Miller's first two tallies. Dante Youhon scored with 1:33 remaining to make the score 2-2 after the first period.
The Knights pulled ahead again, 4-2, when Robert Romeo and Tim Palmer scored early in the second period, but Miller scored soon afterward to complete his hat trick.
One of Miller's first-period goals came on the power play, but the second period is when the Warriors took control on special teams.
Wycoff tied the game again with a power-play goal, and Graffius put Penn-Trafford ahead with a shorthanded goal after Andrew Power forced a Norwin turnover.
The third period was more of the same, as Jordan Eisenstat and Wycoff scored power-play goals, and Graffius netted his second shorthanded goal to give the Warriors an 8-4 lead with 11:23 remaining in the game. For the game, P-T was a perfect 4-for-4 on the power play, while Norwin went 0-for-5 and allowed the two shorthanded goals.
“Jonah and Jake Miller have been doing a nice job as two of our top penalty killers, and really we've done a good job all-around with that,” Lehneke said. “And I'll tell you what, Jonah definitely has a knack for scoring shorthanded.”
“The shorthanded goals really killed us,” Butler said. “Those were just a few mental mistakes that cost us.”
The Knights remain in a good position heading toward the playoffs, though they have just six regular-season games remaining, the fewest in Class AAA. The team hits the road on Thursday at 8 p.m. to face winless Erie McDowell at Mercyhurst College.
“They may have given up their chances for a bye in the first round with this loss, but they still have a good chance to get a home playoff game,” Butler said.
“Coming back quickly (with another game) is good, but to lose a rivalry game is never good. They just have to come to play in Erie and give 100 percent.”
Penn-Trafford also faces McDowell in its next game with a chance to close to within two points of Mt. Lebanon, but it hosts the team from Erie at 8:15 p.m. on Friday.
“This win was big for us. Not only is it a big rivalry for us, but Norwin's got a pretty good team over there,” Lehneke said. “You never know what can happen. We just have to take it one game at a time, and these guys have to keep getting better and better every game.”
Norwin and Penn-Trafford had players selected for the PIHL Class AAA All-Star Game to be played at the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center on Feb. 10.
The Knights had senior forward Dan Merz, junior forward Tim Palmer and junior defenseman Eli Reith picked for the Northeast Conference team, and Penn-Trafford will be represented on the same team by junior forward Jake Miller.
Penn-Trafford junior Andrew Power was one of two alternate defensemen selected for the Northeast team, and Norwin coach James Reith and Penn-Trafford coach Brian Lehneke both were picked to be assistant coaches for the team under head coach Mike Guenter of Butler.
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or 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.
- Panthers pulling weight for new strength coach
- Kovacevic: Panic over Pirates? In April?
- Undersized rookie Gibbons is blur on ice for Penguins
- Patience pays off as starting pitcher Volquez gets 1st win for Pirates
- Pens insider: Penalty killing a concern in Stanley Cup playoffs
- 4 dead in ‘horrific’ Armstrong County crash
- Pirates should exploit free-swinging Brewers
- Murrysville woman sues Giant Eagle over burns
- Penn State has hand in discovery of most Earth-like planet yet
- Body found on train tracks in West End
- Penguins’ Bylsma and Blue Jackets’ Richards know each other well