Ford City wins Chiefs Cup, Wheeling Park captures Nailers Cup
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Hats rained down on the ice, and Ford City lifted up a trophy.
Offense was the theme in Thursday's PIHL Open Class Chiefs Cup championship. Jesse Valasek's hat trick led the Sabers to a 7-4 win over Indiana at Robert Morris University's Island Sports Center.
“It's a great feeling. Losing in the playoffs last year, we just wanted to put it to them and show them what we could do,” Valasek said. “We had a bad taste in our mouth. We just wanted to put up as many points as possible.”
Luke Gross and Josh Oliver both scored two goals for Ford City (20-2-1), which moves on to meet Wheeling Park in Monday's Open Cup championship.
Oliver gave Ford City a 1-0 lead 6:10 into the game when his wrister from the right circle sailed past Indiana's Austin Moody. He found the back of the net again with 4:33 remaining to give the Sabers a 2-0 lead.
Valasek's slapper from the left circle gave Ford City a 3-0 edge with 2:05 on the clock.
The Indians (19-3-1), the defending Chiefs Cup champs, got one back 53 seconds later when Jess Bartholow skated across the slot and cashed in on a wrister.
Indiana trimmed the deficit to 3-2 just 50 seconds into the second on Noah Moody's slapper on a two-man advantage.
Ford City's Gross answered 19 seconds after that with a short-handed goal. Knocked down at the top of the crease, he swatted it in from a seated position for a 4-2 lead.
Valasek snuck a shot inside the near post from a bad angle to give the Sabers a 5-2 lead with 10:58 remaining in the second.
The Indians crept back with 2:16 left in the second. Camden Lydick's goal cut the deficit to 5-3.
Following a defensive turnover, Indiana's Bartholow scored on the power play to make the score 5-4 with 27.3 seconds before intermission.
Gross tallied his second goal 5:59 into the third with a wrister to give the Sabers a 6-4 advantage. Valasek wrapped up the hat trick with an empty-net goal with 24.6 seconds to go.
Even short-handed, Wheeling Park rode its power play to the Nailers Cup championship.
The Patriots (19-4), who dressed 10 skaters and a goalie, used three power-play goals to hold off Morgantown, 4-3.
Ian McArdle, a senior, was a presence in front of the net. He scored all three of his man-advantage goals off rebounds.
“Special teams proved to be the difference,” he said. “We had a lot of good shots from the defensemen coming in, and I was just able to bury some rebounds. That's a credit to my teammates.”
Wheeling Park, which lost its two regular-season meetings to the Mohawks, never trailed. The Patriots held a 2-1 lead after the second. Morgantown (18-3-2) managed to even the score at 3 with two power-play goals. However, McArdle completed the hat trick with 2:33 remaining when he swept in a loose puck.
Nicco Catalano had the Patriots' other goal. Connor Leone, Cullen Gookin and Alex Battin all scored for Morgantown.
Joe Sager is a freelance writer.
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.
- Friends, family, history lure natives back to Western Pennsylvania
- Steelers veteran linebacker Harrison focused on stretch run
- 1 dead, 1 injured after crash in North Point Breeze
- Turkey releases recording of warnings to Russian plane
- Crosby scores twice, Malkin delivers OT goal as Penguins beat Blues
- Intruder in Carrick makes off with cash, weapon
- Emotional send-off awaits Pitt seniors
- Puppies’ eyes glued shut, South Huntingdon animal shelter says
- Penguins co-owner Lemieux snuffs rumored rift with Crosby
- Starkey: Artie Rowell’s incredible odyssey
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin ends practice with third-down work