PINE-RICHLAND, FREEPORT CLAIM PENGUINS CUP CHAMPIONSHIPS
Pine-Richland defended its title, while a new champion emerged Saturday at the PIHL Penguins Cup Class AA and A title games at Mellon Arena.
Pine-Richland rolled to a 6-3 win over Thomas Jefferson in Class AA, while Freeport stunned Quaker Valley in the Class A tilt.
In Saturday's first game, Quaker Valley was hoping to defend its Penguins Cup championship, but ran into a tough Yellowjackets squad.
Zach King poked in a rebound with 10:03 left in the first period for a 1-0 Freeport goal. After goaltender Zach Zinger dove and poked away a breakway, King corralled the puck and shot it on goal. It was blocked by a Quaker Valley defender. However, King got the rebound and flipped it into the net.
Beau Zack tapped in a power-play goal with 4:55 remaining to give Freeport a 2-0 lead. Patrick Spangler and Jeremy Hepler had assists on the goal.
Zack sent a pass to Jeremy Gent to cap off a two-on-one goal with 10:33 left in the second period and a 3-0 Freeport advantage.
"They usually come out and score early, but we got the first couple and I think that made them nervous," Freeport goaltender Tim Zahumensky said. "We just came out and played our game."
Freeport was able to maintain its shutout as it killed more than 3:30 minutes of penalty time as the Yellowjackets had three players in the penalty box late in the period and Quaker Valley was unable to capitalize.
"I owe that a lot to my defense. They stepped up big for me," Zahumensky said. "Everyone all around really stepped up and played huge. This was one of our best games of the season. Quaker Valley is a good team and we came out and took it to them, but I owe a lot to my defense."
Colin South lifted a shot past Zahumensky on the near post with 11:52 left in the contest to trim Quaker Valley's deficit to 3-1. George Jackson and Mikael Lemieux had assists.
Zach Hepler iced the contest for Freeport. He broke through from the blueline and rifled a shot past Zinger with 7:43 left on the clock to give the Yellowjackets a 4-1 edge. John Rechenbaugh had an assist.
Zahumensky stopped 40 shots to earn the win in goal.
Freeport moves on to the Pennsylvania Cup state championship game, where it will play West Chester Henderson.
Pine-Richland 6, Thomas Jefferson 3
Eric Febert one-timed a shot past Spenser Neel 44 seconds into the game for a 1-0 Pine-Richland lead. From the behind the net, Kyle Adams fed a pass to the front of the net and Febert tapped it into the goal.
Dan Nath chipped in a rebound 59 seconds into the second period to know the game at 1-all. Brock Heinauer's shot was stopped by Andrew Hildreth, but Nath crashed the net on the near side and poked the loose puck into the net.
Adams one-timed a shot past Neel with 11:23 left in the period for a 2-1 Rams lead.
Nearly one minute later, Phil Trombetta found the back of the net when he worked a two-on-zero to Saad for a 3-1 Pine-Richland lead. Dylan Trombetta, Phil's brother, added an assist.
Thomas Jefferson stormed back as Dan Jantzi found the back of the net with 9:39 remaining in the second.
Evan Goetz fired a power-play goal with 6:27 left in the period from the far point. Adams slid a pass across the ice to Goetz, who rifled it in from the far point for a 4-2 Pine-Richland
Adams roofed a shot into the net with 9:01 remaining in the contest when he tallied a power-play goal. Along the near side of the net, he lifted it past Neel for the 5-2 edge.
Thomas Jefferson responded 16 seconds later when Dan Joseph punched in a rebound to make it 5-3.
However, George Saad found the back of the net with 5:04 remaining to push the score to 6-3 and seal the win for the Rams.
Pine-Richland moves on to the state championship game, where the Rams will face Haverford in a rematch of last year's championship won by Pine-Richland.