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Bishop Canevin hockey team wraps up top seed in Class AA

| Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

For the second straight season, the Bishop Canevin hockey team is the best Class AA had to offer in the regular season.

The Crusaders wrapped up a 20-2 regular season by defeating Erie Cathedral Prep, 8-5. The Ramblers entered the Class Penguins Cup playoffs as the No. 2 seed.

“This game was great for us because they push us more than we have been pushed in a long time,” Bishop Canevin coach Kevin Zielmanski said. “It also helped because we haven't seen them play since November. Now we got a look and can put things into the memory bank.”

Cathedral Prep's Hunter Emerson scored 41 seconds into the game, but the lead didn't last long as Blaine Adams scored back-to-back goals and Thomas Krivak scored to give the Crusaders a 3-1 lead in the first period.

Bishop Canevin kept the pressure up and scored three goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Goals from Adams, Alec Bosnic and Jonathan Mulick kept the Ramblers at bay.

“This was a huge win for us because they we were one of our two losses,” said senior forward Randy Unger, referencing a 5-4 overtime loss Nov. 11. “We really tightened up after the second period to get the win.”

Unger finished as AA's regular-season scoring champion with 27 goals and 48 assists, beating Chartiers Valley's Anthony Franks (69 points) and Erie Cathedral Prep's Ben Eliason (62 points).

Unger is one of six seniors on the roster who are looking to end their careers the right way. Bishop Canevin won the Penguins Cup when they — including defensemen Brennan Adams, Gus Peponidis and Nicholas Rajakovich, forward Garrett Godlewski and goalie Nikita Meskin — were freshmen.

“We are a tight group,” Unger said. “We all won a state title together. We know how to prepare and know there are no easy games. There will be no 10-0 wins like we have seen this season.”

But for Zielmanski, getting wins by a couple of goals wouldn't be such a bad thing.

“This is my 16th year doing this,” Zielmanski said. “I have lost in overtime in 11 of those seasons. I don't want to keep it close because the game could be decided by a bounce or a mistake. I don't want to be in that position.

“Hopefully these playoffs are more fun than nerve racking.”

Canevin opened the playoffs with a showdown with North Hills on Monday. Results were unavailable at press time.

Chartiers Valley

The Colts finished in seventh place in Class AA with an 11-11 record.

Chartiers Valley defeated West Allegheny, 10-6, last week to snap a five-game losing streak the team had been on since Feb. 3.

The Colts played Erie Cathedral Prep in the opening round of the playoffs Monday. Results were unavailable at press time.

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at nsmith@tribweb.com or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.

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