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Penalties are Kiski's downfall in PIHL championship game

| Monday, March 7, 2011

All season long, Kiski Area was concerned about committing too many penalties. On Sunday night, it cost the Cavaliers the PIHL Open Class championship.

John Marshall scored three power-play goals in a 4-3 victory against Kiski Area in the title game at Rostraver Ice Garden.

"Our Achilles' heel this year has been we take too many penalties," coach Dave Warren said. "We talked about it before the game ... and it killed us tonight."

John Marshall (17-5-2), from Glen Dale, W.Va., had a 3-2 lead after two periods on two goals by Jimmy Henderson and another by Issac Fitzpatrick. A goal by Zachary Hohn midway through the third let the Monarchs hold off a furious Kiski Area rally in the final seconds.

A goal by Ryan Felt with 16.6 seconds left brought the Cavaliers within a goal, but with goaltender Phillip Cappo pulled, Henderson iced the puck to all but kill the remaining time.

Kiski Area (16-7-1) started strong, holding John Marshall without a shot for more than half of the first period before Fitzpatrick scored on a power play -- and John Marshall's first shot.

"That was key," coach Anthony Evick said. "Not seeing Kiski all year was difficult. You have to feel each other out, and they definitely got going quicker than we did. If they would have gotten that first goal, it could have gone the other way."

Kiski Area's Nick Falletti tied the score by slamming the puck past goaltender Drew Balcar with 1:57 left in the period. Kiski Area took the lead on a pass from Shawn McAdoo to Brandon Donnelly with 8.8 seconds remaining.

Henderson's second-period goals gave Marshall a 3-2 advantage, with the second coming off his stick while his back was to the goal.

"I thought someone else got the goal, but I knew it had hit my stick," he said.

Balcar made some excellent saves down the stretch but, with a Monarch in the penalty box and its goaltender pulled, Kiski Area had a six-on-four that yielded Felt's goal. The Cavaliers couldn't get the tying tally, though.

"We came into the locker room after the second period and regrouped," Warren said. "We put ourselves in a position where, when we did score, we didn't any time left."

Plum prevails in preliminary-round game

Senior forward Tyler Galanis' goal 17 seconds into overtime lifted Plum to a 5-4 victory against Mt. Lebanon on Sunday night in a PIHL Class AAA preliminary-round game at Rostraver Ice Garden.

Mt. Lebanon's Jason Hartman had tied the score at 4 with 9.3 seconds left in regulation.

"We were down after that late goal, but our coaches and everyone picked it up," Galanis said.

Senior Cody Cenci's third goal of the game, on a breakaway with 5:12 left, gave the Mustangs a 4-3 lead.

The Mustangs (8-11-2) face North Allegheny in a first-round game at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Bladerunners Ice Complex in Warrendale.

-- Valley News Dispatch

PIHL Penguins Cup playoffs preview

Class A

First round

No. 9-seed Freeport (7-13-1) vs. No. 8 Central Valley (7-13-1)

7 p.m. today, Beaver County Ice Arena

Slap shots: This is a rematch of the Yellowjackets' season-opener, won by Central Valley. ... Freeport has a relatively young team with four seniors, and the Yellowjackets are showing promise. The team's top three scorers are underclassmen. Freshman Cole Hepler has 13 goals and 12 assists, while sophomores Greg Newman and Justin Drzemiecki have 14 and 13 points, respectively. ... Seven Freeport players have at least 10 points. Junior goalie Cody Lee has played all 957 minutes for the Yellowjackets. ... Central Valley averages 3.8 goals per game. ... Senior forward Tyler Kocis has 42 goals and 10 assists, and senior forward Ryland Hughes has 10 goals and 12 assists. Hughes had both goals in the teams' first meeting. ... Nathan Wormald is 3-9 as a starting goalie, and Jake Cowie is 4-4. ... Central Valley, a first-year school formed by the merger of Monaca and Center, is getting used to playing teams from the A-K Valley in the postseason. Knoch played Central Valley in the football playoffs, and Highlands played the Warriors in boys basketball.

-- By Bill Beckner Jr.

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