Shaler hockey drops opening-round playoff game
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Every season, Shaler hockey coach Curt Hetz talks with assistant coach Larry Gallic, and their goal is to take the team they are given and make it as good as it possibly can be.
“We made this team as good as can be, and with a little luck, we would have advanced,” Hetz said.
He was referring to the opening-round PHIL Penguins Cup playoff game, which Hetz said may have been one of the best his team has played all season, though the result was not indicative of the effort.
Shaler jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Upper St. Clair, but a power-play goal surrendered by the Titans jerked the momentum in favor of the Panthers, and the end result was a 3-2 USC victory.
“It was a shame,” Hetz said. “We dominated in shots early and took the 2-0 lead, but we had all kind of opportunities. We could have had them down, 3-0.”
Freshman Austin Martz scored first then assisted on Mike Klena's goal early in the second period.
A late goal on the power play with less than a minute to play in the second gave USC some hope, and the final goal in the game — with less that two minutes to play — was the back-breaker.
“We played very disciplined and only had two penalties,” Hetz said. “With 1:27 left in the game, they opened up a perfect play in the top of the slot and just hit a one-timer.”
Shaler goalie Vince Evans played a good game, according to Hetz, stopping 28 shots.
USC goalie Mike Ambrose faced 38 shots, but Hetz said he is the type of goalie who can come up big.
“I am very proud of this team — I can't complain about the effort,” Hetz said. “They started to buy into what we were teaching, and we won some games nobody thought we could win.
“I think that late goal shook us up,” Hetz said.
The silver lining is the fact Shaler will lose only five seniors, but that group was a huge part of the success this season. Mike Klena, Joe Dorrow, Ryan Fischerkeller, Cam Stott and Matt Bour will be missed, but the returning team is young and hungry.
Freshman Austin Martz was a scoring machine, and Alex Ficorilli stepped up, as well. Braden Harbison is another young player Hetz hopes to have back as part of a young and lethal nucleus.
Hetz played a line straight off the junior varsity team in some big spots.
“I think we will have three decent lines and Vinny and Ian Zacharias back in net,” Hetz said. “Assuming everyone comes back (who can), we will have a lot of young players.”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 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.
- Kaboly: Steelers fill biggest needs by drafting defensive players
- Kennywood Park opening day ends early because of disruptive crowd
- Bird flu ravaging commercial flocks remains mysterious
- Marathon takes over streets of Pittsburgh
- Steelers notebook: Harrison will play fewer snaps this season
- Penn State tight end James, a South Allegheny grad, goes to Steelers in 5th round
- Njoroge wins Pittsburgh Marathon; Santucci repeats as women’s winner
- Feds settle claim of excessive force filed by Braddock man
- Rossi: Pittsburgh could show NFL a draft party
- In Pittsburgh, racial strife simmers in uneasy calm
- Monroeville girl won’t let optic tumor steal her winning attitude