Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Penguin Ties Help Quaker Valley Hockey Improve

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Penguin Ties Help Quaker Valley Hockey Improve

Article excerpt

Since its inception in 1998, the Quaker Valley varsity ice hockey program has had a Pittsburgh Penguins tie.

Kevin Quinn, the brother of former Penguins center Dan Quinn, has served as the head coach and has overseen the Quakers' emergence as one of the top Class A programs in the PIHL.

But suffice to say there has never been a player in area high school hockey with quite the blood lines of Quakers forward Mikael Lemieux.

A freshman, he is the nephew of Mario Lemieux, the son of Mario's brother, Alain. Alain Lemieux was a journeyman NHL winger who is probably best remembered locally for the much-ballyhooed game he played for the Penguins during their 1986-87 season than for his 72 career NHL points or his efforts to promote hockey locally.

Although Quinn is a bit apprehensive about talking about Mikael, realizing what a potential distraction media can bring to a 14-year- old player trying to establish himself, it should be mentioned this right winger scored in both of the games in which he has played, including a goal on Veterans Day against defending Penguin Cup champion Serra Catholic.

Of course, another reason why Quinn might be a bit apprehensive about talking about Lemieux is he's not the best player on the team, picked by many to win the ultra-competitive West Division. That distinction goes to his linemate, junior Furman South, who is rated as one of the best hockey prospects in the area.

Last season South netted 45 goals and 71 points in just 21 games in leading the Quakers to the PIHL semifinals. If there was any thought he'd slow down without the presence of his two outstanding senior linemates of last season, Sam Hairston and Ben Herring, they were erased when he netted hat tricks in his first two games of the season.

"He's got all the things hockey players need; a shot, strength, size, experience and maturity," Quinn said. "Most players would ask for a couple of those things. He has them all."

Freshman Tim Hall centers that line and has assisted five times for scores.

The second line features sophomore Breton McNamara, right winger Grant Scott and senior Kelly Elson.

If you're thinking Quaker Valley has the makings of a bright young team, you're right. …

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