PIHL semifinals roundup: ECP tops Armstrong in high-scoring game
Everything that could go wrong did go wrong for Armstrong in the first period of its PIHL Class AA Penguins Cup semifinal against Erie Cathedral Prep.
The Riverhawks allowed a goal 25 seconds into the game, trailed 3-0 by the end of the frame and watched their captain, Hunter Grafton, hobble into the locker room with a knee injury. Still, Armstrong summoned enough effort to give the Ramblers everything they could handle — erasing multiple-goal deficits, not once but twice.
However, it wasn't enough to give the Riverhawks a Penguins Cup berth in the program's inaugural season. Erie Cathedral Prep outlasted Armstrong, scoring three goals in the final seven minutes, to pull away for a 9-5 victory on Tuesday at Robert Morris University's Island Sports Center.
“They weren't hanging their heads. You could see it in their eyes they weren't done,” Armstrong coach Douglas Anthony said. “We got momentum and put some pucks in the net, but not enough tonight.”
The Ramblers (18-4-2) took control early, as Trevor Faulkner squirted loose and beat Armstrong goalie Taylor Smouse for a breakaway goal just 25 seconds after the initial faceoff. Faulkner eventually put the finishing touches on Armstrong (17-6-1), scoring the game's final three goals to finish with four on the night.
Trailing 4-0, the Riverhawks battled back as Nick Long scored a power-play goal with 11:03 to go in the second period, before David Contrael and Christian Miller found the back of the net 30 seconds apart to suddenly draw Armstrong even with 8:11 to play in the second.
After Erie Cathedral Prep went ahead 5-3, John Phelps netted a goal 51 seconds in the period to put the Riverhawks in striking distance, before Long tallied his second of the game with 13 minutes to play.
Despite the frantic, fast-paced, back-and-forth nature of the game, the Ramblers never surrendered the lead.
Bishop Canevin 7, Hampton 1 — Randy Unger scored twice to lead Bishop Canevin to a PIHL Class AA Penguins Cup semifinal win at RMU Island Sports Center.
Blaine Adams, Brennan Adams, Alec Bosnic, Ross Langford and Garrett Godlewski all added goals as Bishop Canevin (22-2) qualified for the Penguins Cup finals for the first time since 2011.
The Crusaders will play Erie Cathedral Prep for the Penguins Cup title Monday at Consol Energy Center.
Zachary Kosick scored for Hampton (14-9-1).