Open Class hockey roundup: Baldwin, Harbor Creek advance to championship
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Harbor Creek finally broke through Thursday night.
The Huskies scored early and held on to post a 5-1 win over Morgantown in the PIHL Open Classification Southwest Conference championship at RMU Island Sports Center.
Harbor Creek (21-1-0) advances to its first PIHL Open Cup championship game Sunday at 8:20 p.m. to face Baldwin at the same rink.
“It's a big win,” Harbor Creek coach Paul Markiewicz said. “This team has been here before, but it's the first time that we've gotten to the PIHL championship game.”
The win avenged a 4-1 setback to the Mohawks in last year's Southwest semifinals.
“It didn't feel real good last year, so I told the boys let's change it this year,” Markiewicz said. “I thought the boys came out with great intensity and a lot of focus. ... They were hungry: They were very hungry, and they worked hard.”
The Huskies took control early on Nick Rocco's goal 1:22 into the game.
“We wanted to set the tone early,” Rocco said. “Coach kept telling us to make the first hit, first goal, first everything. We knew what we needed to do.”
Harbor Creek kept up the pressure and pushed its advantage to 3-0 on goals by Zack Morris and Nick Manna.
Justin DeDionisio made it a 4-0 game late in the second. The Mohawks (19-4-3) broke the shutout bid 5:10 into the third period on Zac Lewis' goal to trim the deficit to 4-1.
Tyler Manna recorded 17 saves to earn the win in goal.
“We always play aggressive,” Manna said. “The whole year, I've never seen our team let down. We might go down a goal or something, but we always come back.”
Baldwin 3, Hempfield 1 — Anthony Alaimo scored twice to help lead Baldwin to a win over Hempfield for the Northeast Conference championship game, also at RMU Island Sports Center.
Alaimo tallied twice in the first period for the Highlanders (21-1-1).
Dakota Becker's goal made it 3-0 early in the second before the Spartans' Avery Lavella scored to trim the team's deficit to 3-1.
Baldwin's Brian Dee blasted a slapper for a power-play goal early in the third to push the advantage to 4-1.
Max Milan added a late goal for the Highlanders.
“We played real good hockey for about a period and a half and then we fell asleep for a bit. We played adequate hockey to get through it,” Baldwin coach Jim Brown said. “Hempfield has a heck of a goaltender. Maybe we were looking too far ahead. A win is a win. I am proud of my kids. We have one more to get to the top of the mountain, and we will get to the top of the mountain.”
Joe Sager is a freelance writer.
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.
- Marte’s 2 fine defensive plays rescue Pirates in victory over Reds
- Pirates trade for Dodgers 1B/OF Morse, Mariners LHP Happ
- Steelers OLB coach Porter teaches as passionately as he played
- Rossi: Nothing huge, but Huntington helped Bucs
- Inside The Steelers: LB Williams dominates backs-on-backers drill at Latrobe Memorial Stadium
- 2014 showing has Steelers RB Harris confident he belongs
- Armstrong inmate escapee charged with murdering family matriarch
- Pirates place Burnett on 15-day disabled list
- Residents seek to shore up status of Shadyside’s rare exposed-wood street
- Hurdle: Soria likely to assume setup role with Watson
- Armstrong escapee caught; murder charges pending