Gateway's Dusch helps Northeast defeat Southwest PIHL All-Star game
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For 20 games during the regular season, Gateway senior Zach Dusch battles foes from the 11 teams in the PIHL Open Class' Northeast Conference.
But on Sunday, he stood side by side with others from the Northeast against the Southeast at the annual Open all-star game at RMU's Island Sports Center.
Despite being outshot 56-32, the Northeast prevailed, 4-2.
“It was a really fun game to watch,” Gateway head coach Gene Perhac said.
“There was a lot of up-and-down action. Goaltenders on both sides did extremely well. The boys on both teams just went out there and did their thing.”
Dusch was one of six defenseman to see the ice for the Northeast team.
“Zach played really well,” Perhac said. “He wasn't on the ice for any of the goals the Southwest scored. He fit in really well with the other players. The one nice thing about defensemen is when they don't get noticed. He went out and did a lot of little things right like I know he can. It was good to see.”
The Northeast led 2-0 in the second period before the Southeast got on the board.
The lead for the Northeast expanded to 3-1, but the Southeast answered to make it 3-2.
Five of the game's six goals were scored in the second period, and the Northeast got some insurance with about six minutes left in the period on a goal from Hempfield senior Anthony Ciocca.
The Open all-star game was one of four such contests during a day of hockey at the Island Sports Center.
In the Class A game, the Southwest scored a 9-6 win, while the Northeast took the AA game, 12-7.
The AAA contest went to overtime before the Northeast scored a 3-2 victory.
Gateway snapped a four-game losing streak with a 9-5 victory over Greensburg Central Catholic on Friday.
The Gators are eighth in the Northeast standings heading into their game with Carrick on Thursday at 7:45 p.m. at Center Ice Arena in Delmont.
Gateway is 5-12 overall (10 points) with three games left.
Ringgold moved into seventh with 12 points (6-11) after its 8-2 victory over Connellsville on Monday.
The Rams play Greensburg-Salem on Thursday.
The Gators' win over Central Catholic came one day after a 7-2 loss to Greensburg-Salem in which the Golden Lions scored the final four goals of the game, including three tallies in the third period.
“It was a big win for us (over Central Catholic) to come back after a loss on Thursday that didn't sit well with us,” Perhac said.
“We played well up to a point against Greensburg-Salem. We didn't respond in the third like we needed to. We came out on a mission Friday, and that was good to see,” Perhac said.
Tanner Davis scored a hat trick in the win over Central Catholic, and he also scored a goal against Grensburg-Salem.
Dusch and fellow senior Brendan Hamilton each added two goals against GCC, and William McAllister and Nolan Baker each scored once.
Davis' four goals over the two games last week give him a team-best 12 for the season. It was his second multi-goal game of the year, as he had a pair of goals against Altoona in a 5-4 home loss Dec. 13.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825, at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.
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