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Gateway routs Connellsville, 6-0, for first win

| Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 5:54 p.m.

The young Gateway varsity ice hockey team continues to navigate its way through the new waters of the PIHL Open Division, and on Monday, the Gators experienced some smooth sailing against Connellsville.

Sophomore Ryan Taylor tallied a hat trick and assisted on another goal, and freshman Matt Doman scored a goal and added three assists to lead the Gators to a 6-0 victory over the Falcons at the Ice Mine in Connellsville.

“It was a nice way to get on the board,” Gateway head coach Gene Perhac said.

“Hopefully, this will allow us to gain some momentum going into a game against a tough Indiana team.”

Gateway improved to 1-3, and the Gators had scored only two goals while giving up 20 in their first three games combined.

“The offense is starting to click, and the defense really did a nice job against Connellsville,” Perhac said.

“We finally put both sides together and got a nice win.”

Connellsville, on the other hand, fell to 0-5. The Falcons have been outscored by a combined 43-0.

Taylor's three goals, two of which came in a three-goal third period, gives him four on the season to go along with two assists.

He and Doman are tied for the team lead in points with six, as Doman has two goals and four assists.

“Ryan really got going, and that's nice to see,” Perhac said.

“Matt is the spark of our offense. He leads the team in shots and gets a lot of chances and good looks.”

Freshman Mason Beltz got Gateway on the board three minutes into the game with the first of his two goals, and sophomore Brandon Dusch and senior Brenden Hamilton assisted on the score.

Dusch and Doman assisted on Taylor's first goal, a power-play tally that made it 2-0 early in the second period.

Beltz added his second goal, a shorthanded tally, to make it 3-0, and Gateway held a 39-1 shot advantage through two periods.

Doman's goal, just 1:05 into the third period, came on the power play.

Senior Zach Dusch finished the game with two assists, while freshman Garrett Hamilton also picked up an assist.

Gateway finished with 53 shots against Connellsville goaltender Thomas Clark.

“We had 53 shots on (Clark), and another 20 or so missed the net,” Perhac said.

“He held them in the game for the longest time. I give him a lot of credit. He wore down a little bit late after facing so many shots.”

Junior Griffin Ware played the first two periods in goal for Gateway, and freshman Cameron Balistrieri spelled Ware in the third period.

Connellsville finished with five shots.

“Cameron did a nice job stopping a penalty shot,” Perhac said.

Gateway will host Indiana on Thursday at 7:45 p.m. at Center Ice Arena in Delmont.

Indiana is 3-0 so far this season and has outscored its opponents, 24-6.

The Gators then will not play until Dec. 5 when they face Baldwin at Ice Castles in Castle Shannon.

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

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