Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Colts Don't Miss Loss of Top Scorer

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Colts Don't Miss Loss of Top Scorer

Article excerpt

Last season, with Justin Sabilla leading all PIHL classifications with 54 goals, Chartiers Valley scored 6.23 goals per game.

This season, with Sabilla having graduated, the Colts are using a more balanced scoring approach instead of relying so heavily on one player.

The result is Chartiers Valley is currently averaging even more goals per game this season, 6.7, and the team is 8-3-1.

"Justin was a great scorer and it was really tough to lose him," Chartiers Valley junior forward Cullen McMahon said. "But we've come together as a team and everyone is doing their part. We're a lot deeper this season."

McMahon has stepped into the role of the league's top scorer. Coming into the week, he led all of Class AA with 27 goals, including a seven-goal effort against Franklin Regional last month.

"Cullen is one of the smoothest skaters I've seen," Colts first- year coach Sean Biancaniello said. "But this year, he has been dynamic by switching his game up and not being as predictable."

It helps McMahon that he has one of the better playmakers in the league on his line. Anthony Franks, who was second on Chartiers Valley in points last season with 31, has set up many of McMahon's goals.

"We read each other pretty well on the ice," Franks said. "He's good at getting open and I am good at finding him."

Entering the week, Franks led the Colts with 19 assists and his 39 points tied him with McMahon for first in Class AA.

"Anthony and I go way back to when we played freshman hockey together in seventh and eighth grade," McMahon said. "We both talked about how we needed to step up with Justin gone."

It hasn't been just a two-man show, however. Two seniors, Rich Monti and Ryan Ziss, have returned to the team this season after not playing for the Colts last season. The two have combined for eight goals and 26 points, while playing on a line that is used to shut down the opponent's top offensive line. …

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