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February PIHL Players of the Month Honored

by Deborah Francisco / Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins in connection with Highmark and the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League honored Matthew Lohman of Pine Richland, Jon Grebosky of West Allegheny, William Espy of Meadeville High School and Filip Bostrom of Somerset as the February High School Players of the Month during the first period of the Penguins’ game against the Los Angeles Kings Friday night.

“I am honored and excited,” Grebosky said. “I’m honored that the league would recognize how I played.”

The freshman center tallied nine points in two games (2G-7A) to merit player of the month honors. Grebosky earned six of his seven assists in one game. On top of hockey, the 5-foot-10, 160-pound forward also maintains a 4.0 GPA in school.

“You have to manage your time and study whenever you get a chance and you also have to work in practice to be good in hockey,” Grebosky explained. “ You have to keep the balance.”

Meadeville junior William Espy earned seven goals and eight assists in six games to qualify as a player of the month. Espy has also notched four shorthanded goals this season and was nominated for the award because of the consistency he brings to each game.

“I just have the same goal in mind every time I go out to play,” Espy said. “I just try to do the same thing every game.”

The 5-foot-7, 140-pund Pittsburgh native was surprised when he found out about his player of the month honors.

“I was just sitting at home when I found out,” Espy said. “It came as a surprise, it never even crossed my mind.”

Pine Richland senior Matthew Lohman is a hard working defenseman who tries to model his game after Brooks Orpik.

“I play the body when I have to, that’s a big part of the game, it’s pretty important so I try to do that when I can,” Lohman said.

The self-described stay-at-home defenseman scored five assists in four games in February to earn player of the month honors. Lohman was primarily nominated for the award because of the leadership he demonstrated with the Rams this season.

“When the game is on the line, as a leader you have to be calm, stay focused and lead by example,” Lohman said.

Filip Bostrom, 18, is an exchange student from Karlstad, Sweden, who grew up playing hockey. The forward tallied an impressive 30 points in five games (20G-10A) to earn player of the month honors. Bostrom also served as something of a coach on a squad that had a lot of new player.

“I try to help everybody and teach them what to practice and what to do,” Bostrom said. “It’s been a new thing for me, teaching all of these new guys how to play hockey, because everybody I played with at home has always played hockey with me.”

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Swede has enjoyed his transition to America.

“So much is different, more than you would think, more than just the language.” Bostrom said. “It’s funny, you think it is like the same hockey, but it’s different because you have smaller ice and everything. We’re playing on Olympic sized ice in Sweden.”

The players were featured on the jumbotron during the first period of the Penguins game when they were each awarded a plaque from a Highmark representative and Mark Shuttleworth, the Penguins director of amateur hockey. The players also each received four complimentary game tickets.

Each player was nominated by a coach to receive the award and a committee from the PIHL chose the honorees. The Penguins honor four PIHL players each month of the PIHL regular season.

The Award is in its 16th season and is designed to bring the community together as well as to reward some much deserving, hard working high school hockey players.

“I put a lot into hockey, it’s one of the most intense sports to be a part of ” Espy said. “So it’s nice when you put in all of that effort to get something out of it after all of the work you put in.”

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