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Sewickley Academy hockey team falls to Kiski School in ISHL

| Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Sewickley Academy's Alex Pfiefer moves through Kiski School players during game on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, at RMU Island Sports Center.

Heading into last week's game against the Kiski School, the Sewickley Academy hockey team was flying high — the Panthers were on a two-game winning streak and had a chance to create space in the Independent School Hockey League standings.

But Sewickley Academy allowed the Cougars eight power-play opportunities that led to six goals in an 8-2 loss.

“It was very uncharacteristic for us,” Sewickley Academy coach Tyler Henk said. “It gave them momentum and you can't do that. The first two periods we had out chances and hit a couple of posts.

“The first two periods we came to play, but it was all done hill from there.”

After Kiski School went ahead 2-0 in the first period, a Sewickley Academy penalty gave the Cougars a chance to go up by three.

But when Connor Zierdan tried to clear the puck from the Panthers' defensive zone, it made its way into the Kiski School goal to cut the deficit to one.

The Panthers pulled even less than two minutes later as Alex Pfiefer scored on a 4-on-4. It would be as close as Sewickley Academy would come as the Cougars scored twice late in the second period.

Four goals in the third period from the Kiski School all came on power plays.

“We couldn't stay out of the box,” Henk said. “That killed us. We were able to come back, but in the third period they got the better of us and the score showed it.”

Kiski School has been a thorn in the side of the Panthers this season. Of their three losses, two have come to the Cougars. Kiski School defeated Sewickley Academy, 8-1, on Dec. 4.

The Panthers have two more games against Kiski School this season — Feb. 12 and 19. The teams could also meet again in the ISHL tournament at the end of the season.

The team has several important games on the horizon against the likes of the Linsly School, Shady Shide Academy and Western Reserve Academy before it hits the postseason, and Henk hopes his squads learns from the disheartening loss to the Cougars.

“We need to work on communication,” Henk said. “And we need to play with some heart. We're a team out there. We need to play like one.”

Sewickley Academy returns to the ice Wednesday when it travels to Shady Side Academy for a 7:45 p.m. start.

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at nsmith@tribweb.com or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.

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