Share This Page

Plum hockey standout Randazzo to pull double duty

| Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Randy Jarosz | For The Plum Advance Leader
Plum’s Joe Randazzo will balance his time between two hockey teams in the 2013-14 season.

Joe Randazzo doesn't play baseball, but this fall and winter, he will try to turn a double play.

Randazzo returns to the Plum hockey team as it will attempt to make another playoff run in PIHL Class AA. He is the Mustangs' leading scorer among returning talent.

He also will join the Pittsburgh Vengeance, a U21 Junior A team in the North American Tier III Hockey League.

“I want to finish out my senior year and help Plum win. We have a young and talented team this year,” said Randazzo, who enters his senior year at Plum with a 4.0 grade-point average.

“I also want to do well in the NA3HL and move up to the (North American Hockey League), which is the league above it, and ultimately get a college scholarship.”

Plum's Vinnie Somma serves as an assistant coach with the Vengeance.

The NA3HL consists of 22 teams from Pennsylvania and Ohio, as well as all throughout the midwest and into Kansas and Texas.

The USA Hockey member crowns a league champion, and that champ goes on to play for the national championship against the winners of the five other Tier III leagues and a host city.

The Vengeance, formerly known as the Pittsburgh Junior Penguins until last year, plays its games at BladeRunners in Harmarville.

Randazzo will have practice for the Vengeance several days a week and games almost every Friday and Saturday through early March.

There also will be a few games on a Monday or a Friday.

Plum games usually are Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, with practices once or twice a week.

Add a regular school schedule during the day and homework, and it will be a daunting task.

“It will be a challenge,” Randazzo said. “But I am ready for it.”

Randazzo is the only 17-year-old on the Vengeance, and he is one of only two high school players on the squad.

Shaler defenseman Matt Bour also is on the Vengeance, and he will play for the Titans' squad in PIHL AAA.

The Vengeance plays a 48-game schedule, and it all gets started Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a game against the Detroit Metro Jets at BladeRunners.

The teams play again on Sunday at noon.

The Vengeance played their first scrimmage Saturday against the Cleveland Junior Lumberjacks.

They lost 4-3 in overtime, but Randazzo finished with two assists.

“I was a little nervous at first,” he said. “I got used to the speed and physical play as the game went on. It's great competition. I like it.”

In addition to the games, each NA3HL team attends several league-wide showcase events. The events include two NA3HL showcases, an NA3HL top prospects tournament and the NA3HL Silver Cup Championship.

According to vengeance hockey.com website, the NA3HL saw more than 50 scouts on average per event at these league-wide events in 2012-13.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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.