Pa Hockey Scholastic Showcase
 
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  Sunday, January 15
2003 Pa Hockey Scholastic Showcase - Medal Round
Holy Ghost 2
Holy Ghost Prep 4 Central Catholic 3 [OT]
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2003 Pa Hockey SS Medal Round ***GAME SUMMARIES***
NORTH_ALLEGHENY.GIF
North Allegheny 1 Bethel Park 0 [OT]
Holy Ghost Prep 4 Central Catholic 3 [OT]

Central Catholic had a couple of goals coming into the weekend PA Hockey Scholastic Showcase tournament and they seemed to have turned the corner heading into the second half of the season through the first three games of the event accomplishing all that they set out to do. Coach Kevin Zielmanski had to be pleased as his Vikings had a big comeback Friday night against their pest Shaler 6-4, completely shut down McDowell 4-0 and came back with a very impressive victory over Class AA power Indiana. Central was playing excellent defense [which is now healthy for the first time all season], getting balanced goaltending from Russ Hefner and Bryan Adamczak and maybe most importantly has found a balance in its top two lines of Martin-Capalongo-Coulter and Urso-Urso-Hickton, who are double trouble for opponents looking to match lines.

So now it was onto the Medal Round to face Holy Ghost, an unknown in these parts, but not in Eastern Pa, where coach Brian Tibbels squad is defending AA Flyers Cup champions and off to an excellent start in 2003. The Firebirds defeated an excellent Plum team in overtime Friday night and then defeated Latrobe and Greensburg CC [5-3 comeback victory] to advance to the medal round.
Josh Steacker led the HGP attack with 7 goals in the preliminary and the Ghost attack looked to be hitting stride as Shawn Dorsey, Buddy Lawall and Paul Worthington looked to be heating up for the medal round.

The first period of this semi-final game was all about goaltending as Adamczak and Golin were perfect stopping six and eleven shots respectively. The game featured end to end action with great backchecking, defense and a couple of terrific scoring chances only to be equalled by the goaltending aforementioned.

More of the same followed in the second as Central Catholic again held the shot advantage 6-4 but the goaltending was still shining. Central went on the power play on the games first penalty call with 6:45 of the 2nd. Paul Worthington had a great chance on a shorthanded opportunity, but Adamczak came up big. As it always seemes to happen, back came the Vikings and Michael McGurk took an Eddie Martin feed and beat Golin to give Central a 1-0 lead with 11:27 left. The Firebirds got their chance on the power play at 5:08 but Central killed it off and took a 1-0 advantage to the locker room and an ice cut, in a fast paced and thrilling opening two periods.

On to the third period and Holy Ghost's Josh Steacker continued his hot hand beating Adamczak at 11:27 to tie the game at one apiece. Central poured it on as the dominated play in the middle of the third period and it finally paid off as Matt Urso was the recipient of the hard work of linemates Conor Hickton and brother Chris Urso, as Matt put the Vikings on top at 6:46. Then the grinders went to work for Central and paydirt as Bill Freyvogal gave the Vikings a huge two goal advantage scoring at 4:25 and giving Central a seemingly safe 3-1 lead. Back came the Firebirds as Buddy Lawall scored just 8 seconds later to cut the lead to 3-2 at 4:18. On the very next shift, it was Lawall again taking a great feed from Paul Worthington to amazingly tie the score just 1:12 after Central gained a two-goal advantage and send it into overtime.

With 5:29 remaining in overtime, Shawn Dorsey beat Adamczak on assists from Worthington and Lawall sending Holy Ghost Prep to the Director's Cup final with a breathtaking 4-3 overtime victory over Central Catholic.


North Allegheny 1 Bethel Park 0

North Allegheny has made the committment to taking the hockey program to another level under first year coach Tom Pandolfo. The Tigers reached the Medal Round of the 2003 Pa Hockey Scholastic Showcase defeating 2003 PA AA State Champion Peters Twp 4-1, 2003 Penguins Cup AAA Finalist Franklin Regional 3-2 and Class AAA elite Upper St Clair 5-4, so any other than a heartstopper against long-time nemesis Bethel Park, would be a let down.

Bethel Park seems to be up to their old tricks again under Jim McVay as the Blackhawks gave up zero goals in their opening two games of the Showcase in a nailbiting 1-0 win over an excellent South Park team and a convincing 5-0 rout of Gateway in game two. Coach McVay gave a lot of his younger players plenty of experience and pulled out a 3-2 win over Flyers Cup AA Finalist West Chester Henderson prior to the Medal Round on Sunday. The Hawks were looking to move on to their fourth Director's Cup final in their past four tries, two of those resulting in Director's Cup championships in 2000 and 2001.

If this medal round game could be any more exciting and dramatic than the Central Catholic Holy Ghost semi-final, we would all be in for a treat. The result was that Mike Mastracci and Bobby Daly stopped everything they looked at for all three periods through 8 power plays and many golden opportunites for both teams. With 2:07 remaining in regulation, Bethel Park went on the power play and a chance for the games first score after nearly 43 minutes of scoreless hockey. The Tigers killed it off sending the second semi-final game of the day into overtime.

With 6:37 remaining in OT, John Bishop took a Bill Weiler feed from just inside the blueline and wrist a shot high over the shoulder of Mastracci sending the NA fans into bedlum and the Tigers to the Director's Cup final for the first time in four years since their champiosnhip in 1999.


 
 

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