The excitement of a competitive First Round of the PIHL Penguins Cup Playoffs has already carried over into Round Two. There were two Second Round high school hockey playoff games on Wednesday and both ended with identical 5-4 scores with one decided in the closing minutes and the other ending in a third overtime. Here are summaries from both Quarterfinals games.
A special thanks to Sean Meyers and Don Rebel for their help on these recaps.
PIHL PENGUINS CUP CLASS 2-A Quarterfinals:
Quaker Valley Quakers 5 – Hampton Talbots 4
Austin Wetzel netted the winning goal for Quaker Valley with just over two minutes remaining in regulation, as the Quakers knocked off Hampton 5-4 in the Class AA first-round contest at the Frozen Pond Arena in Valencia. The teams exchanged goals twice in the final stanza, but it was Wetzel who banged home a rebound to seal the outcome for No. 3 West Quaker Valley. Wetzel’s winner came just a bit more than five minutes after Hampton’s Spencer Homitz produced an incredible breakaway tally that deadlocked the score at 4-4. Earlier in the frame, special teams were at the forefront, as Daniel White scored a shorthanded marker for the Talbots, but just 1:14 later, the Quakers cashed in on the power play, as Ben Kuzma tapped in a loose puck to temporarily put QV ahead, 4-3. Prior to the dramatic third period, the No. 2 East Talbots opened the contest in impressive fashion, as Justin Adamski notched the first goal less than five minutes into the first period. Beau Tomczak answered for the Quakers, though, as he pushed the puck past Hampton netminder Kam Bott on a breakaway with just less than nine minutes remaining in the frame. Hampton regained the lead later in the period, though, as Jordan Zabroski redirected Adamski’s shot from the point past QV goaltender Philip Gagne for a power play strike. The second period belonged to Quaker Valley, however, as Rico Fernandez and Ryan Quinn both lit the lamp to stake the Quakers to a 3-2 lead heading into the final period. Gagne, a freshman, earned the win by making 16 saves, while Bott took the loss, making 23 stops. The Quakers advance to the semifinals next Tuesday, to face the winner of Moon and Greater Latrobe.
PIHL PENGUINS CUP CLASS 1-A Quarterfinals:
Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 5 – South Fayette Lions 4 in Triple Overtime
Joey Oliver scored with 3:15 second left in the third overtime to lift the Thomas Jefferson Jaguars past the South Fayette Lions 5-4 Wednesday night at the Ice Castle in Castle Shannon. Both teams matched goals in this back-and-forth Class 1-A Quarterfinals affair with neither team ever leading by more than one goal. Overtime was an appropriate way to finish this one which was tied 2-2 after one period, 3-3 after two and 4-4 at the end of regulation. Brenden Crousey had a pair of goals for Thomas Jefferson while Brandon Poage tallied two goals for South Fayette, the second of which tied the game at 4-4 with just over two minutes left in regulation. The Lions were badly out shot 56-29 in the game, but stayed in the game thanks to the heroics of goaltender Kyle Sharp who lived up to his name with 51 saves. Daniel Harrold had a goal and two assists for the Jaguars, including a helper on the game winner in triple overtime as TJ improves to 14-6-0 and will face the Franklin Regional/Westmont-Hilltop winner in the Semifinals Monday night at the RMU Sports Complex.