Tigers Secure Home Game For PIHL 1st Round With Win At Canon-Mac

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The North Allegheny ice hockey team clinched a home game for the first round of the PIHL playoffs courtesy of a 4-3 road win against Canon-McMillan at the IceoPlex in Southpointe. While the Tigers entered the night hoping to lock up a home game for the playoffs, the Big Macs were simply playing for their playoff lives on Tuesday night.

Involved in a three-way tie with Central Catholic and Plum for the final playoff spot in Class AAA, the Big Macs played with high intensity in the opening minutes of the game. However, an errant pass near the blue line led to a steal and breakaway goal for North Allegheny’s Dylan Watkins and a 1-0 Tigers lead just 3:05 into the game.

The Tigers added on early in the second period when Aaron Miller scored on a 2-on-1 rush for a 2-0 advantage at the 1:37 mark. Canon-McMillan, who was stymied by NA goalie Richard Karpandi in the first period, finally beat the Tigers keeper on a Frank Rotello marker with 10 minutes to play in the second period.

The CM momentum was short-lived as the Tigers scored just 15 seconds later on Miller’s second goal of the night, and team-leading 17th of the season, for a 3-1 lead. For his efforts, Miller was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

The Tigers tacked on one more goal before the end of the period thanks to a Vincenzo Mazur goal at the 12:45 mark, assisted by Watkins and Luke Turkovich, giving NA a 4-1 lead heading to the third period.

Canon-McMillan sparked a third-period rally on goals by Nicholas Karabetsos and Christian Stewart to come within a goal of the Tigers at 4-3. Stewart’s marker came with 6:30 remaining in the game. The Big Macs had plenty of time left in the game but couldn’t find the equalizer as Karapandi and the North Allegheny defense staved off CM’s comeback bid. Karapandi made 37 saves to earn the victory in net.

The win was the sixth in a row for North Allegheny in the head-to-head series with Canon-McMIllan. The Tigers improve to 10-5 on the season, while Canon-McMillan slides to 5-12 for the year. North Allegheny will wrap up regular season play on Thursday, February 22 against Seneca Valley in Warrendale.

Ice Hockey Summary vs. Canon-McMillan, 2-13-18

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