Armstrong stops Latrobe to reach PIHL semifinals
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The PIHL's newest program made its playoff debut by knocking off one of the league's most successful teams.
No. 3 Armstrong scored the game's first four goals and never trailed on the way to a 7-3 win over defending state champion Latrobe in the PIHL Class AA quarterfinals Tuesday at Belmont Ice Complex
Christian Miller and Nick Long each had two goals and two assists for the Riverhawks (17-5-1), who advanced to face second-seeded Erie Cathedral Prep in the semifinals Tuesday at RMU Island Sports Center. Jacob Snyder, John Phelps and Hunter Grafton also scored goals for Armstrong.
“When we first started conditioning this year, we talked about Latrobe because they were at the top of the ladder,” Armstrong coach Doug Anthony said. “They've won four of the last six state championships, and that's who we had targeted. We want to be them. We want what they have.”
Adam Ferguson, Dan Johnson and Brendan Johns scored for sixth-seeded Latrobe (11-9-3), which got all three of its goals from a power-play unit that finished the night 3 for 9.
“We had too many turnovers tonight. That's what cost us the game,” Latrobe coach John Winebrenner said. “We knew Double-A was a lot tougher this year, and it was anybody's game. (Armstrong) is a really good team.”
The Riverhawks pulled ahead on the game's first shift when Miller, the PIHL's leading goal scorer with 48, scored an unassisted goal after just 35 seconds. Armstrong led 2-0 after one period and extended the margin to 4-0 on Grafton's short-handed goal with 10:02 left in the second period.
Latrobe came alive late in the second, as Ferguson and Johnson scored on back-to-back power plays to take the momentum and cut the lead to 4-2 entering the final period.
The Wildcats continued to keep the pressure on, but it was Long who got the next goal for Armstrong with a wrist shot that stopped Latrobe's momentum with 13:37 remaining.
“That goal came out of nowhere. He came down the ice and hit that upper-left corner with a perfectly placed shot that came at the right moment,” Anthony said. “Nick was our player of the game today. He was just a spark plug out there.”
“It wasn't a backbreaker, but it was a disappointment,” Winebrenner said. “We wanted to come out, get the first goal and continue to dictate play, but it didn't happen.”
Armstrong goalie Taylor Smouse finished with 25 saves, as Latrobe outshot the Riverhawks, 28-25.
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.
- Gateway hockey building with young talent
- Plum hockey overwhelms Norwin, falls at North Hills
- Sewickley Academy ice hockey has plenty to learn