ShareThis Page

Plum hockey fades in loss

| Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, 1:33 a.m.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Plum's Dillon Joyce dodges Bishop Canevin's Alec Hnat during the hockey game at the Pittsburgh Ice Arena in New Kensington on Monday, January 6, 2014.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Plum's Zach Kuhn takes the lead against Bishop Canevin's Thomas Krivak during the hockey game at the Pittsburgh Ice Arena in New Kensington on Monday, January 6, 2014.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Plum's Anthony Borriello attempts to block Bishop Canevin's Blaine Adamas during the hockey game at the Pittsburgh Ice Arena in New Kensington on Monday, January 6, 2014.

A pair of wins that bookended the PIHL's holiday break proved that Plum belongs among Class AA's top teams.

A setback Monday night suggested the Mustangs aren't quite ready to merit consideration as the best.

Though able to stay close to Bishop Canevin (11-1) through two periods, Plum (7-4-2) faded in the final period of its 7-3 loss at Trib Total Media Pittsburgh Ice Arena. The loss spoiled a stretch for the Mustangs that included a win over Erie Cathedral Prep (7-3-2) on Friday and a victory over Hampton (9-5) on Dec. 16.

“We relish the opportunity to go up against a team like that,” Plum coach Dave Stonebraker said. “They have a lot of nice things going on with that club. Are we in awe of it? No. Do we respect it? Yes. … From our standpoint, for two periods, we competed very, very hard. Then we had a letdown.”

The balance of Bishop Canevin's offense became apparent early in the first period, as the Crusaders sent one line after another onto the ice, and the shot count piled up. By the end of the period, Bishop Canevin had a 16-7 edge in shots on goal.

Two of those shots found the back of the net. Garrett Godlewski scored the game's opening goal with 10:18 left in the first period, as he collected a rebound on the backside of Plum's crease and fired into a wide-open net.

Alec Bosnic beat James Borriello with a shot from the right circle during a rush five minutes later to give Bishop Canevin a 2-0 lead.

“We don't really have any weak links,” Bishop Canevin coach Kevin Zielmanski said. “I was telling someone early in the year, ‘Good luck trying to pick out who to stop.' ”

Dillon Joyce provided Plum a spark with four minutes left, as he hustled into Bishop Canevin's zone, won a puck along the boards, carried it behind the net and slid a pass out front to a wide-open Joe Randazzo, who snapped a one-timer past goaltender Nikita Meskin.

Plum continued to cut the deficit but failed to score an equalizer as the game proceeded.

Blaine Adams opened and closed the second period with goals for Bishop Canevin, as he scored from the left circle with 14:06 left and buried a rebound on the backside of the crease with :15 left.

In between Adams' goals, David Stonebraker, the coach's son, had a highlight-reel power play goal in which he carried the puck down the left boards into Bishop Canevin's zone and then zipped a wrist shot to the top-right corner of the net.

Goals by Bosnic, Liam Walsh and Randy Unger gave Bishop Canevin a 7-2 lead in the third period.

“If we're dictating tempo and handling the puck, somebody is going to have to play really well to beat us,” Zielmanski said. “We've got more than two or three guys that someone has to worry about.”

David Stonebraker scored his second goal of the night on an assist from Randazzo in the game's final two minutes.

Borriello finished with 33 saves, while Meskin had 14 stops.

“As a club, we have a very young locker room, and that makes it difficult because they are learning experiences,” coach Dave Stonebraker said. “But by the same token, we competed with an elite team in the league. We're going to take the loss and the lumps that go along with it but at the same time build from it.”

Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.