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by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

Phil Trombetta won a state championship last season.

He’s hoping to lead Pine-Richland to repeat performance.

“We’re defending state champs and that’s what we’re focusing on this year,” he said. “It’s been fun; everyone is gunning for us, so every game is fun.”

The Rams’ senior did his part in November as he was named one of four Highmark High School Hockey Players of the Month in the PIHL for November. Bethel Park’s Graham Cohen, West Allegheny’s Ryan Kumpfmiller and Indiana’s Joe Appolonia were honored as well. The Pittsburgh Penguins honored all four players during the Dec. 20 game against St. Louis.

Trombetta racked up 19 points (9+10) in four games for Pine-Richland in the North Division. The Rams captain added a short-handed goal.

“Getting this honor is definitely a thrill,” he said. “There are definitely a lot of other players that deserved it in my division, so it’s a real honor to get it.”

In the South Division, Cohen had 15 points (9+6) in five games for the Blackhawks. He had at least one point in all five games in the month.

“It’s a great honor, but my success is based on the team’s success,” he said.

Cohen hopes to help lead Bethel Park back to some familiar ground – the Penguins Cup championship game.

“We’re taking it one game at a time and hopefully we can do the best we can,” he said.

Appolonia, a senior, tallied 16 points (7+9) in East Division action for the Indians.

“It’s a great honor. Before the season starts, you hope to get awards like this, so I am just happy to see it happen,” he said. “It was a good month for me, but I’m hoping we can turn it around as a team. We’re not where we want to be, so we’ll see what we can do in the next month.”

Kumpfmiller, a junior, led West Allegheny with 12 goals and six assists in November. He excelled on the Indians’ special teams with five power-play goals and a pair of short-handed tallies. He averaged three points per game in six November contests in the West Division.

“It’s real nice to get noticed,” he said. “Our team started off real slow, but we look to be pretty good in the end.”



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