Tigers Edged By Defending Champion Peters Township In Semifinals, 2-1

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The Peters Township Indians continued their bid for back-to-back championships with a 2-1 win over the North Allegheny Tigers in the PIHL Class AAA semifinals on Thursday night at the RMU Island Sports Center.

The Indians struck for two quick goals in the first period to build a 2-0 lead. Connor Gielarowski scored at the 7:23 mark of the opening period and Mark Lehman tallied an unassisted marker just 69 seconds later to give Peters Township a two-goal advantage.

Thanks to North Allegheny goalie Richard Karapandi, the two first period goals would be the last time the Indians were heard from again. The junior netminder made 26 saves, some of which of the spectacular variety, to keep the Tigers within striking distance over the final two periods. For his efforts, Karapandi was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game by the North Allegheny Sports Network.

The Tigers celebrate their power play goal in the second period in front of the NA student body in attendance at the RMU Island Sports Center.

With Karapandi holding the Indians at bay, the Tigers finally caught a break when Indians forward Eric Wilbert committed a cross-checking penalty in the open ice at the 13:25 mark of the second period. North Allegheny capitalized on the opportunity and netted a power play goal to cut the score to 2-1, Indians. Sophomore Tyler Lamark scored on the man advantage, assisted by Aaron Miller and Bernardo Vieira to bring the Tigers to within in one with just 2:52 remaining in the second period.

While Karapandi was dazzling in net, Peters Township sophomore goalie Alex Wilbert was equally as good and kept the Tigers off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game to preserve a 2-1 win for the top-seeded Indians. Wilbert made 31 saves to earn the victory in net.

Peters Township advances to the Class AAA Penguins cup finals to face the Seneca Valley Raiders on Tuesday night. North Allegheny’s season comes to a close with a fourth straight appearance in the PIHL semifinals. Congratulations to the Tigers and head coach Mike Bagnato for an outstanding 2017-2018 season.

(Photos courtesy of Brian Mitchell and Pittsburgh Hockey Digest).

Ice Hockey Summary vs. Peters Township, 3-15-18

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