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Led by a Frank Vance hat trick and two tallies from John Facchiano, the No. 2-seeded Bishop Canevin Crusaders were able to skate away victorious over the Chartiers Valley Colts, 11-4, in Tuesday night’s Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League Class AA quarterfinal matchup at the Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center.
With the victory Bishop Canevin advances to the semifinals, slated for March 22 and 23 at Mellon Arena.
Following his team’s huge win on Tuesday, the Crusader’s Jacob Betzner says his team is focused on winning that contest and proceeding to the Penguin Cup Final, slated for March 27.
“If we play our game the way that we can, we can stick with any team in this league, and I think we have a good shot getting to the finals,” he said. “We played well as a team, and we did the things that we needed to do. We obviously put the puck in the net, and that will get you the win.”
Bishop Canevin head coach Kevin Zeilmanski was happy with how his team came out firing at all cylinders following a long layoff.
“They were definitely excited,” he said. “Going into the season, I wasn’t sure about the other teams, but when we started playing and secured the second seed, we were kind of favored to win this game. Our mindset was not to be overconfident and realize that you’re still going to have to earn it. I thought we were in a good place.”
Bishop Canevin’s Johnathan Kostial opened the scoring at 8:21 into the first period after taking a pass from Betzner at the top of the crease and sailing a shot over the glove of Chartiers Valley goaltender Martin Gudewicz into the upper right shelf.
Just minutes later at 9:23, Chartiers Valley fired back when winger Anthony Michelucci grabbed a rebound at the crease and shot the puck into the upper left shelf to tie up the game, 1-1.
But Bishop Canevin quickly came back to score two more goals before the end of the first period, including a power-play marker by Vance at 11:53, to take a 3-1 advantage into the second frame. Bishop Canevin’s other goal came when Kendall King received a pass from Vincent Nicolella at the near circle and fired a slap shot from the point during the last minute of the period.
|Bishop Canevin advances to the Class AA semifinals after an 11-4 victory on Tuesday night. |
In the opening minutes of the second period, Bishop Canevin continued on their scoring mission as Vance tallied his second goal of the game after receiving a pass from Kostial in the near circle and shooting the puck past the stick of Gudewicz at 1:30 to make it 4-1.
After picking up their second man-advantage of the game, the Crusaders scored once again just minutes after beginning their power play. Facchiano notched his second goal of the game to increase Bishop Canevin’s lead to 5-1.
Chartiers Valley’s Shea Waldron tallied at 9:33 in the second period to cut the Colts’ deficit to 5-2 heading into the final period.
Bishop Canevin went on to score six more goals in the third period, including another marker from Vance, which gave him the hat trick at 8:47.
The Colts added two tallies of their own, including one by winger Michael Matthews in the waning moments of the game. Matthews took a pass at the crease from John Walewski at the far boards before slapping it home.
Despite the fact that his team came up short on the scoreboard, Chartiers Valley head coach Lou Biancaniello was happy with the effort his team put forth against a talented Bishop Canevin squad.
“That was the most focused that I’ve ever seen our team,” Biancaniello said. “They really believed in themselves and believed in each other. They really came together in this game. It was a combination of two years of hard work with this team, and it came to fruition. These guys were really ready to jump on the opportunity, and we really believed in our chances to come out and win this game.”