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Highlanders displaying offensive fireworks in PIHL open division

| Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
randy jarosz | for the south hills record
Baldwin defenseman Max Milan (86) slips past a Gateway opponent during the Highlanders' recent 12-3 win against the Gators.
randy jarosz | for the south hills record
Baldwin goaltender Matt Yauch (38) stands tall in the net, with defensive support from teammate Cody Lemp (13), versus Gateway.

Baldwin's hockey team has won four games in a row to improve to 7-1 overall in the PIHL open division.

What has been most impressive, perhaps, has been the offensive firepower displayed by the streaking Highlanders.

Baldwin outscored the opposition by a commanding 49-7 difference in the four-game winning streak, skating past Ringgold (9-0), Gateway (12-3), Connellsville (16-0) and Greensburg-Salem (12-3).

On the season, the Highlanders — who play Carrick tonight, Thursday, at Ice Castle — have outscored the opposition by a 77-19 overall margin, and are averaging close to 10 goals per game.

“We're starting to put it together,” Jim Brown, Baldwin's first-year head coach, said. “We have a real nice balance of young kids and travel elite kids.

“They are very disciplined, attentive, and they are very coachable.”

Baldwin is led offensively by senior forward Anthony Alaimo, who ranks among the open division's leading scorers with 10 goals and 16 assists.

“He's a good kid, a hard-working kid,” Brown said. “He's been around the program for awhile. Obviously, he knows how to play the game.”

Alaimo is complemented offensively by the trio of forward Dakota Becker (10 goals, 14 assists), forward Mark O'Hanlon (7 goals, 13 assists) and defenseman Max Milan (7 goals, 9 assists).

Forward Brian Dee, who has played in only four games, accounted for eight points in last week's win against Greensburg-Salem.

Dee peppered in five goals against the Lions, and Alaimo was credited with four assists.

Two other top point producers for the Highlanders, who own the second-best goal total in the PIHL's open division, are defensemen.

Kenny Dee, with eight goals and four assists, and Ryan Doran, with five goals and seven assists, are next in line in the scoring department.

Junior goaltender Matt Yauch has been in the net for all but nine minutes for Baldwin this season.

Yauch has a 2.43 goals-against average along with an .859 save percentage. He has posted one shutout.

“We are very small in numbers, but I'm proud of the program we put on the ice,” Brown said. “This is a very special group of kids. They just persevere, and they have a great will to win.”

The Highlanders opened the week in first place in section action, followed by Carrick (6-3), Ringgold (3-6), Keystone Oaks (3-7) and Connellsville (0-9).

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or rfisher@tribweb.com.

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