Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Quaker Valley Sparked by Seniors Who Ushered in Ice Age

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Quaker Valley Sparked by Seniors Who Ushered in Ice Age

Article excerpt

More than six years ago, Ben Herring, Sam Hairston, Brett McBee- Wise, Tyler Miskiel, Lucas Vasiladiotis and James Michael took the ice for the Quaker Valley freshman team with little more than hope.

A hockey program was just starting at the school and no one knew how good the team would be.

Other school districts in the vicinity -- Ambridge Area, Center, Hopewell and even two-time state champion Beaver -- had struggled or would struggle to keep their programs afloat.

But these six players would go on to have incredible success.

"They had great careers," said Quakers head coach Kevin Quinn. "They were the heart and soul of the program since sixth grade."

It ended for them Monday, just 45 minutes from playing for the Class A championship. Quaker Valley struggled out of the gate, and despite a late surge in the final 7:30 of the game, fell to high- scoring Somerset, 5-2.

These six seniors never experienced a losing varsity season, winning 59 games and establishing the Quakers, at least in their senior season, as the best team in their region.

Herring and Hairston were linemates this season, combining with sophomore sensation Furman South to establish the top line among Pittsburgh area Class A schools. Hairston had 30 goals and 38 assists this season and clinched three victories with empty-net goals. Herring had 10 goals, 23 assists.

In four varsity seasons, Herring had 121 goals and 235 points and Hairston had 107 goals and 117 assists.

Michael rarely let anything past, posting a .923 save percentage and 2.17 goals-against average. In his career, he won more than 50 games and posted an .897 save percentage.

Vasiladiotis, Miskel and McBee-Wise played smart hockey and kept the puck in the attacking zone for their talented forwards. Though not a big scorer, McBee-Wise gave his team hope in the Penguin Cup semifinal when he slipped a long slap shot from the left side past the Eagles' Wes Cramer, who was strong with 28 saves. …

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