Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Peters Township Winning despite Inexperience in Key Spots

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Peters Township Winning despite Inexperience in Key Spots

Article excerpt

Over the last few years, as the PIHL went to an annual realignment, the league has shown dramatic parity between tams.

This season is no different, especially in the league's highest classification.

Heading into Thursday's games - the last before the holiday hiatus - five of the 11 teams were within four points of first place in Class 3A. North Allegheny (8-2-1), which has won the regular-season title the previous two seasons, had a one point lead on Peters Township (7-2-2), a two-point advantage on Seneca Valley (7-4-1), three on Central Catholic (7-3-0) and four on Bethel Park (6-4-1).

Though a traditional powerhouse, Peters Township may have been the biggest surprise of the four. Not only did the Indians graduate almost their entire defense and goaltender from last season, they have rotated in three netminders this season while the young defense learned its craft on the fly.

"They're exceeding my expectations, there's no doubt about that," Peters Township coach Rick Tingle said. "Considering the youth on defense, the youth in net and, frankly, we have some seniors at forward and most of them have a letter on their sweater, but beyond those four or five, there's a lot of youth there as well."

Despite that relative inexperience, Peters Township had won three consecutive games heading into Thursday night's showdown at Mercyhurst against defending Penguins Cup champion Cathedral Prep and has kept pace with North Allegheny throughout the season. Even with the success, there is still a long way to go before the team can make plans for a run at its first championship since 2014.

"It's not even close. We need to improve on the defensive end, and it just has to happen," Tingle said. "It's been a continual focus, and it's really been highlighted in the last couple of weeks that we really need to bear down in our 'D' zone because you can't win games in March giving up three and four goals."

Class 1A

Giving up goals has not been a problem for Franklin Regional through the first half of the season. …

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