The Penguins honored four high school hockey players as the Highmark High School Players of the Month on Tuesday evening at CONSOL Energy Center for their commendable play in the month of December.
They were Joshua Brown of Carrick, Jacob Gudewicz of Chartiers Valley, Garner Kraemer of Serra Catholic and Scott Trellis of Fox Chapel.
This marks the 19th season that the Penguins have honored student-athletes from the PA Interscholastic Hockey League.
The awards were presented during the second intermission of the Penguins vs. Maple Leafs game, and eyes were big as the honorees stepped onto the Pens’ home ice.
Brown, a senior goaltender at Carrick, was thrilled to make a new memory for himself and for his high school.
“It’s a great honor for me coming from Carrick,” Brown said. “We don’t get much recognition because we are from the open division. Being the first player from Carrick is a real honor. It leaves my mark in Carrick hockey history. “
Brown posted a 3-1 record with a 2.25 goals-against average and .922 save percentage for Carrick. He stopped 34 of 36 shots against Greensburg Salem and 35 of 36 against Indiana while shutting out Ringgold. He also is an outstanding student and a Pittsburgh Region Jefferson Award honoree.
Trellis, a freshman goaltender at Fox Chapel, went 3-0 during the month. He stopped 110 of 117 shots (that included two performances of 40-plus saves). He was a huge part of the team’s December turnaround as he recorded a 2.33 goals-against average with a .940 save percentage.
Currently sidelined with an injury, Trellis continues to support his team into a playoff spot from the bench as they return the favor.
“My team really supported me when I got (the PIHL Player of the Month award),” Trellis said. “It’s just a great accomplishment that I’m proud of.”
Kraemer, a senior forward at Serra Catholic, recorded seven goals and seven assists in five games. Kraemer is the ultimate offensive and vocal leader of the Eagles.
Kraemer remembers that he had to learn from somewhere.
“I’m coming from the four players from Serra that have won (the PIHL Player of the Month award) before,” he said. “They’re such good hockey players. I’m honored to win an award they won."
Gudewicz is a senior defenseman for the Colts, but didn’t start his high school career that way. Accustomed to playing forward, Gudewicz exemplifies a team player by making the transition into defense at the start of the season for the sake of the team.
“I don’t care where I play,” Gudewicz said. “I like playing hockey. It’s great going out there playing for your school.”