Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

There's No Penalty for the Way Bethel Park Has Been Playing

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

There's No Penalty for the Way Bethel Park Has Been Playing

Article excerpt

Every team in Class AAA has racked up at least 100 penalty minutes this season except one -- defending Class AAA Penguins Cup champion Bethel Park.

The Black Hawks have just 64 PIMs this season, and there is a reason for that.

"It's simple, if you take a penalty, you'll run 5 miles the next day at practice," Bethel Park coach Jim McVay said. "If you take two penalties, you'll run 7 miles.

"About two weeks ago I had a player who committed two penalties and he told me after his run that he was never going to do that again."

McVay also said that in addition to the running, the player will likely be benched during the game after committing a penalty.

He did concede that there are rare exceptions when he won't discipline a player if he thinks the referee made a poor call. But otherwise, even the team's best players are running.

"It doesn't matter if it's your best player or your worst player, you have to hold all players accountable," McVay said. "That's the only way it works."

Because the team has had so few penalties, Bethel Park has allowed only four power-play goals all season. It is one of the reasons why the team is second in fewest goals allowed this season and has a 10-3 record.

"The fewer power plays you give the other team, the more games you are going to win," Bethel Park junior captain Derek Lesnak said.

Only three other teams in all classifications of the PIHL -- Kittanning, Westmont Hilltop and Ambridge -- entered the week with fewer than 100 penalty minutes, but none had fewer than Bethel Park.


The 2012-13 season has seen some impressive performances from the freshman class, including (all statistics are prior to Thursday's games):

* Quaker Valley's Connor Quinn is fifth in Class A in points with 39 (14 goals, 25 assists).

* West Allegheny's Jess Ligas leads the Indians in goals (18) and points (31), while teammate Sean Weber leads the team in assists (16) and is second in goals (10) and points (26). …

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