Warriors Oust Tigers In PIHL Quarterfinals, 5-4, In OT

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For the third straight season, the North Allegheny Ice Hockey Team played an overtime game in the quarterfinal round of the PIHL Class AAA playoffs.  However, unlike last year’s 2-1 overtime win over Canon-McMillan, the Tigers were on the short end of the score as the defending champions were eliminated by the Penn-Trafford Warriors on Thursday night, 5-4, at the BladeRunners in Warrendale.  Jacob Miller’s hat trick, including the game winning goal in overtime lifted the fifth-seeded Warriors to the victory.

In the see-saw affair, Penn-Trafford opened up a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Patrick Cortazzo and Miller. Late in the opening stanza, NA’s Marty Hubert let loose a slap shot that trickled off the glove of PT goalie Eric Phelps and leaked into the net to cut the score to 2-1, Warriors, with 32 seconds left in the period.  The bleeder by Hubert swayed the momentum as North Allegheny grabbed a 3-2 lead in the second period on markers by Dawson Richard and Joe Zappia. However, the Warriors Jordan Eisenstat answered with an equalizer with 16 seconds remaining in the period sending both teams to intermission in a 3-3 deadlock.

In the third, Miller struck for his second goal of the night with just 5:12 left in regulation to push the Warriors ahead, 4-3. In desperation mode, the Tigers pulled goalie Bradford Thornburgh in the final minute of the game for an extra attacker and the strategy paid off as Hubert evened the score with a wrist shot to force overtime. North Allegheny seemed poised to survive and advance but the Warriors staved off an early Tigers power play and numerous scoring chances in the first five minutes of the extra session. With 4:02 left in OT, Miller notched his third and final goal of the night to vault the Warriors into the PIHL semifinals for a meeting with the second-seeded Peters Township Indians.

Along with his hat trick, Miller, the leading scorer in Class AAA in the regular season, finished with a four point performance.  North Allegheny was led by Hubert’s two goals and assist.  Hubert, North Allegheny’s top scorer in the regular season, was the catalyst for the Tigers on offense, including his huge gut-check goal to force overtime. For his efforts, Hubert was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

The Tigers concluded the regular season with a 12-7-1 record and Section 2 champions in Class AAA. With a wealth of returning talent next season, North Allegheny will once again vie for a PIHL title in 2014-2015.

Ice Hockey Summary vs. Penn-Trafford 3-6-14

North Allegheny12104

Ice Hockey Individual Scoring vs. Penn-Trafford

Penn-TraffordPatrick Cortazzo (Steven Cheswick)10:05
Penn-TraffordJacob Miller (Jordan Eisenstat, Kenneth White)12:34
North AlleghenyMarty Hubert 16:28
North AlleghenyDawson Richard (Marty Hubert, Will Rahenkamp) - PP9:43
North AlleghenyJoe Zappia13:15
Penn-TraffordJordan Eisenstat (Jacob Miller, Jonah Graffius)16:44
Penn-TraffordJacob Miller (Jonah Graffius) - PP11:48
North AlleghenyMarty Hubert (Cameron Fisher, Michael Kramer)16:22
Penn-TraffordJacob Miller (Jordan Eisenstat, Jonah Graffius)5:58