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Eric Smith capped off his hat trick with a shorthanded goal 3:17 into overtime to lead Pittsburgh Central past Hempfield, 6-5, in a first-round thriller.
After James Pozycki and Smith got Pittsburgh Central to an early 2-0 lead, Hempfield stormed back with four unanswered goals to take a 4-2 lead 1:37 into the third period. Kyle Rosendale notched two of those tallies for Hempfield, one coming on the power play and one coming shorthanded.
But Pittsburgh Central was not ready to concede defeat, as Smith’s second goal with 13:51 remaining in the third period sent the game to overtime before his extra period heroics assured the Vikings a berth in the Class AAA quarterfinals.
James Pozycki, Jesse Yeckle and Kevin Cline also scored for Pittsburgh Central. Anthony Ciocca scored twice for Hempfield.
Brandon Savka made 26 saves for the Vikings, while Alex Androkites made 29 saves for the Black Knights.Class A: Westmont Hilltop 5, Quaker Valley 3
After Quaker Valley jumped out to a 3-2 lead, Westmont Hilltop scored three-straight goals to earn a 5-3 victory at Cambria County War Memorial Arena on Monday.
The Hilltoppers were led by two-goal efforts from Andrew Herbert and Corey Schafer. Zak Kindya also tallied for Westmont Hilltop.
Kevin Kenny, Clayton Bouchard and Ryan Dickson all scored for the Quakers. Adam Ayre picked up the win between the pipes by making 29 saves.
Class A: Central Valley 5, Freeport 3
Tyler Kocis’ four-point night (2G-2A) powered Central Valley past Freeport, 5-3, on Monday at Beaver County Ice Arena.
While Freeport gained a 2-1 lead early in the second period, Kocis and Kevin Guzak, who put forth a two-goal performance, helped mount the Warriors’ comeback.
Dalton More scored a regulation goal and also converted a penalty shot for Freeport.
Nathan Worman made 22 saves for Central Valley.
Class AA: Pine Richland 5, Erie Cathedral Prep 3
Pine Richland’s Julian Rizza scored four of his team’s five goals to lead his team past Erie Cathedral Prep on Monday at the Ice Connection of Pittsburgh.
Adam Spinelli, Anthony Tebaldi and Christopher Coombs scored Erie Cathedral Prep’s three goals, while Nicholas Jenkins scored Pine Richland’s other goal.
Brandon Bagnato made 13 saves for Pine Richland, while Jacob Varo made 29 saves for Erie Cathedral Prep.
Class AAA: Norwin 4, State College 3
Neil Stewart scored the game-winning goal and Ryan Boccabella made 37 saves to help Norwin advance to the quarterfinals, as the Knights defeated State College, 4-3, on Monday at Penn State Ice Rink.
Stewart also scored in regulation, while Timothy Palmer and Donald Barlock also tallied for the Knights. Stefan Horgas, Dalton Bown and Abraham Edson all scored for State College.
Class AAA: Shaler 5, McDowell 3
Jacob Hetz’s hat trick led Shaler past McDowell by a score of 5-3 on Monday at Mercyhurst College Ice Rink.
Hetz scored even strength and shorthanded before adding an empty-net goal to seal the deal for Shaler. Michael Klena and Dalton Shirring also scored for the Titans.
Steve Defibaugh made 28 saves for the Titans.