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by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

Josh Fodor is determined to get his Pine-Richland hockey team back to the PIHL Penguin Cup championship game.

Last year, the Rams dropped a 6-2 decision to Peters Township in the Class AA title contest at Mellon Arena. Fodor and his teammates want another shot at the championship.

So far, the senior forward has Pine-Richland on track as the Rams (8-0-2) are unbeaten and 

Pine-Richland's Josh Fodor
atop the PIHL Class AA standings.

As a result, Fodor was selected as one of four UPMC High School Hockey Players of the Month in the PIHL for November. Plum’s Jonathan Smith, Mount Lebanon’s Tyler Murovich and Meadville’s Mike Noonan were honored as well.

The Pittsburgh Penguins honored all four players at the first intermission of the Dec. 16 game against Buffalo. Fodor, Smith and Murvoich were given plaques in front of the crowd. Noonan could not attend as his Bulldogs were in the midst of an 8-2 win over North Hills.

Last month in the North Division, Fodor scored nine goals and racked up 25 points in six games for Pine-Richland.  Fodor serves as the Rams’ captain and leads the PIHL Class AA with 29 points (10+19) through eight games.

Plum’s Jonathan Smith
“It’s pretty exciting to be out here at Mellon Arena and honored. It was nice to get a chance to go to a Penguins game because I hadn’t been to one all year,” Fodor said. “I am playing pretty well right now and my team is doing very well. We’re 8-0-2 that’s a good start.

“We’re going to try and come back [to the Penguins Cup] and win it this year,” he continued. “We have unfinished business – it’s motivated everybody. Hopefully, we can get to the playoffs and do well.”

In the South Division, sophomore Murovich recorded five goals and 21 points in five games for the Blue Devils (9-0-0). On the year, Murovich has 30 points (21+9) through nine games. His line of Josh Mandic and Shane Ferguson, a son of former Penguin George Ferguson, is tops in PIHL Class AAA. Mandic leads all scorers with 32 points (12+20) in nine games, while Ferguson has 28 points (12+16).

“Our team is doing real well. We’re still undefeated,” Murovich said. “All of my linemates and I are leading the league in scoring, so we’re doing really well. We just want to keep it going.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized at a Penguins game. We’ve had season tickets since I was 2-years-old and it was a great honor to come out and stand on the ice.”

Smith, a Plum senior, excelled in the East Division scoring 61 percent of the Mustangs’ goals in November.  He scored 10 goals and racked up 14 points in five games during the month. He is tied for sixth in Class AAA scoring with 20 points (13+7).

“It’s a great honor to be recognized in front of the crowd,” Smith said. “I had 10 goals and led

Mount Lebanon’s Tyler Murovich
our team in scoring. We’re pretty good this year.”

Noonan is the West Division honoree. The junior recorded seven goals and 13 points last month. He is tied for sixth in Class AAA scoring with 20 points (8+12).

The Penguins honor high school hockey players of the month four times each season. The 2005-2006 season marks the 13th consecutive year that the Penguins have paid tribute to local high school hockey players.

(Not pictured is Meadville’s Mike Noonan who could not attend the ceremony due to a game)

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