The Pittsburgh Penguins honored eight players as Highmark High School Hockey Players of the Month during the first intermission of the Penguins’ contest against the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday night at CONSOL Energy Center.
Pine Richland’s Zack Richey, Greater Latrobe’s Josh Singley, Thomas Jefferson’s Zach Uhlyar and Bishop Canevin’s Nikita Meskin were honored as the Players of the Month for November and Baldwin’s Anthony Alaimo, Norwin’s Dan Merz, Bethel Park’s Derek Lesnak and Quaker Valley’s Clayton Bouchard as the Players of the Month for December.
The Penguins and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield honor high school players of the month four times each season.
|High School Players of the Month|
Richey, a 6-foot-2 senior forward, racked up 12 points (8G-4A) in four games for Pine Richland in November. The Rams’ captain earned back-to-back hat tricks against Plum, when he also had two assists, and against Kiski.
“I’ve been blessed to score a lot of goals, but a lot of that has to do with my team,” Richey said. “This is awesome, I’ve never had anything like this. My cousin (Josh Fodor) was down here like five years ago doing the same thing, so it’s nice to follow up in the family.”
Singley, Greater Latrobe’s senior captain, led the Wildcats to a 4-1 record in November with eight goals and eight assists in five games. He has also excelled in the classroom and has been accepted to Penn State with a 3.9 GPA.
Uhlyar was unstoppable in six November games for Thomas Jefferson, as he led all PIHL Class A players in scoring with 27 points (12G-15A). He earned at least four points in each of his last four appearances of the month, capped by a four goal and five assist performance against South Fayette.
“You play for stuff like this and you always hope that you’re out here with some of these guys next to me,” Uhlyar said.
Meskin, a junior goalie, led Bishop Canevin to a spotless 4-0 record in his November starts with a 2.00 goal against average and .924 save percentage. He gave up two goals or less in three of his four starts, including a shutout in Bishop Canevin’s 7-0 win over Plum.
Alaimo, a junior forward, led Baldwin with 13 points (7G-6A) and a plus-12 rating in four December games. He capped off the month with a three goal and one assist performance in the Highlanders’ 13-1 victory over Ringgold.
Merz piled up 14 points (7G-7A) in four December games for Norwin. The Knights’ senior captain earned at least two points in each game, including earning five points (2G-3A) against Upper St. Clair.
“It’s a huge honor. It’s a lot of fun coming and me personally I’ve never been on the ice before so that was a cool experience, hopefully I’ll come back this year for the playoffs,” Merz said.
Lesnak, a junior defenseman, earned seven points (2G-5A) in four December games for Bethel Park. The Blackhawks’ captain moved from forward to defenseman earlier this season, leading to Bethel surrendering just three goals in December.
Bouchard, a senior center, led Quaker Valley to an undefeated December with 14 points (3G-11A) in five games. The Quakers’ captain is also dedicated to his studies, holding a 4.4 GPA.
“It’s not just been about me. A lot of the younger guys have really stepped up, they’ve really helped out and they’ve really contributed to this postseason run,” Bouchard said. “It’s super cool with all the fans and a great arena. It’s a once in a lifetime experience that I’ll always remember for the rest of my life.”
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