Rylan Murphy Blanks Cathedral Prep To Propel NA to 3-0 Win In PIHL Quarterfinals

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Senior goalie Rylan Murphy made 26 saves for his first shutout of the season as North Allegheny blanked Cathedral Prep on Monday night, 3-0, in the PIHL Class AAA quarterfinals at the Baierl Ice Complex. The win advances the Tigers to the Penguins Cup semifinal round for the ninth consecutive season.

With Murphy holding the Ramblers in check for the entire night, the Tigers got all the scoring they needed in the opening minutes of the first period. In a night of firsts for NA, sophomore Marc Joyson netted the first goal of his career at the 2:24 mark for an immediate 1-0 lead. The Joyson goal was assisted by senior Dylan Murray. North Allegheny had to wait only 51 seconds for its next goal when freshman Luke Walkauskas tickled the twine for a 2-0 advantage. Senior Nate Spak assisted on the Walkauskas marker.

After North Allegheny’s opening salvo, Cathedral Prep settled into the game and put forth a spirited effort. Boasting Class AAA’s leading goal scorer in the form of senior Brayden Sprickman, who netted 28 goals in the regular season, the Ramblers threatened but could never cash in against Murphy and the Tigers air-tight defense.

NA turned away two power play opportunities for Cathedral Prep and maintained a 2-0 lead deep into the third period. In desperation mode, the Ramblers pulled goalie Tanner Ball and the Tigers capitalized for an empty net goal by senior Lorenzo Colaizzi to put the game on ice, 3-0, with just 1:08 left in the game. Spak and senior Trey Gallo each assisted on the final tally.

For his stellar effort in between the pipes, Murphy was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game. Ball was also impressive with 25 saves despite taking the loss for the Ramblers.

With the win, North Allegheny advances to the PIHL Class AAA semifinals on Monday, March 13, at 7:15 p.m. The Tigers will take on the winner of Wednesday’s game between Peters Township and Mt. Lebanon.

Ice Hockey Summary vs. Cathedral Prep, 3-6-23

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