Peters Township Upends NA in PIHL Semifinals

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Perennial PIHL powers met in the Class AAA semifinals on Monday night at the RMU Island Sports Center and reigning Penguins Cup champion Peters Township defeated the North Allegheny Tigers, 4-0. It was the sixth time in the last seven seasons the two teams met in the playoffs and the top-seeded Indians earned a return trip to the championship game with a convincing effort.

Peters Township outshot North Allegheny, 24-6, in the first period and the Indians’ persistence paid off at the 10:05 mark of the opening stanza. Senior forward Austin Malley blocked a shot near his own blue line and traversed into the NA zone for a shot near the right wing circle, scoring the first goal of the night for a 1-0 Peters Township lead.

The puck possession advantage for Peters Township continued in the second period and resulted in a goal by sophomore Luca Maietta at the 1:55 mark and the Indians led, 2-0. While Peters Township held a decided edge in shots on goal, North Allegheny senior goalie Rylan Murphy performed well and made 44 saves on the night. Murphy’s efforts in net kept NA in the game for a while, but eventually Peters Township gained a strangle hold of the contest late in the second period. At the 13:54 mark, Anthony LaBellarte scored on a rebound for a 3-0 lead, and 38 seconds later, Troy Jones tallied a goal to give the Indians a 4-0 lead at intermission.

In the end, Peters Township outshot NA, 48-20, for the game and coasted to the victory in the third period. Junior goalie Kyle Thomas earned the shutout for the Indians with 20 saves.

Despite a disappointing outcome, the result doesn’t spoil another outstanding season for the North Allegheny ice hockey team. For their efforts throughout their careers, the North Allegheny senior class was named the Wright Automotive Players of the Game. Congratulations to coach Andrew Seiss and the entire team for an thrilling 2022-2023 season.

Ice Hockey Summary vs. Cathedral Prep, 3-13-23

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