Westmont Hilltop sends Serra hockey to seventh straight loss
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It has been rare of late, but Serra Catholic had its full hockey team in uniform Thursday night.
It certainly seemed to make a difference for the struggling Eagles, even in a one-goal loss.
Ian Campbell's third-period goal from close range at the 2:29 mark was the difference for Westmont Hilltop in a 3-2 PIHL Class A victory at Ice Garden Arena, extending Serra's losing streak to seven games.
The Eagles (4-11-1) last won Dec. 12, a 7-5 victory over South Fayette. Their current skid began with a 2-0 loss to Westmont Hilltop on Dec. 17.
“This was better,” Serra Catholic coach Dennis Tokarski said with a nod toward the ice. “Everybody played with heart. We had a lot of opportunities to score more goals, and we just couldn't find the net.”
Tokarski and two others — Jonathan Henschel and Jesse Anzelone — sat out Serra's previous game, a 12-1 drubbing by Mars, on suspensions, while the usual handful of players were absent to honor other commitments.
It has hurt Serra's efforts for more consistent play, Tokarski said, adding that most times the absentees are skill-position players.
“The guys feel a lot better about tonight's performance,” he said. “This is a step in the right direction.”
The win over South Fayette is Serra's only victory in the past 12 games after 3-0-1 start, but Tokarski is hopeful the Eagles can clinch a PIHL playoff spot.
They have five games remaining, beginning Thursday against Freeport at Ice Garden Arena. Serra finishes the regular season Feb. 27 against Westmont Hilltop, also at the Rostraver-based facility.
In between, there are games against Deer Lakes, Thomas Jefferson and Bishop McCort.
Westmont Hilltop (10-4-2), which leads the three-team Section 3, also received goals from Austin Crespo, who gave the Hilltoppers a 1-0 first-period lead, and Brandon Leech, who made it 2-0 in the second.
Serra cut the deficit to 2-1 after two periods on Roman Kraemer's breakaway goal at 15:21. Kraemer also scored the Eagles' only goal in the loss to Mars on Monday.
After Campbell's goal gave Westmont Hilltop a 3-1 lead in the third, Jacob Gunn scored at 10:18 of the same period to make it 3-2.
Serra goaltender Ian Ritchie stopped 45 of 48 shots to rebound from Monday's demoralizing loss.
“He took a beating in that last game, but he played rock-solid tonight,” Tokarski said. “He held together well.”
Serra managed 26 shots against Westmont Hilltop goalie Sebastian Ragno.
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Polamalu made 1st-time captain; Roethlisberger named for offense
- Democratic gubernatorial nominee in spotlight at Labor Day Parade
- Pirates lose on late Cardinals rally
- Steelers formalize practice squad
- Steelers receiver Heyward-Bey looks to make most of chance
- Connellsville’s St. Rita Christian Mothers to hold Nationality Day
- Family of Children’s Hospital transplant baby urges feds to change cochlear implants policy
- Steelers know fast start could be key to upcoming season
- Pirates notebook: Sanchez returns to Bucs in offensive slump
- On border of Westmoreland, Fayette, Jacobs Creek section is sacred spot
- ‘Extreme extrovert’ takes over at WCCC