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Penguins Honor January's PIHL Players of the Month

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins are proud to announce that Joe Kelly of the Cathedral Prep Ramblers, Connor Quinn of the Quaker Valley Quakers, Jess Ligas of the West Allegheny Indians, and Nick Frantz of the Meadville Bulldogs as the PIHL Players of the Month for January 2016.

The Penguins, along with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, honor local high school hockey players each month for their commitment on and off the ice.

A senior forward for Cathedral Prep, Joe Kelly is leading the way in the team’s first season in Class AAA. He had 11 points in his first four games this month. On Jan. 25, he recorded a 3-point game in the Ramblers’ 5-3 win over Pine-Richland and then continued his streak – netting a hat-trick against Shaler three days later.

“My teammates have been putting me in good spots to do some good things,” Kelly said. “It’s been a good month. I just try to get to open ice and make space for my teammates. My line specifically, we’ve got some guys who can dig the puck out of the corners and hit me in the slot.”

Jess Ligas recorded three goals and seven assists through the first three games in January as a senior forward at West Allegany. Ligas lead the way to defeat the Eastern Conference leader Franklin Regional by recording a 3-point game in their 4-3 win. Ligas continues to play a leading role as they contend for the top seed in the Class A Playoffs.

“It’s always fun to be recognized for something you do,” said Ligas. “Not that’s it’s the most important thing, but it’s cool to be honored.

“I’m a decently strong force offensively, and I think I hustle and have a good work ethic.”

Forward Nick Frantz had an outstanding January, averaging 4.25 points per game in four games played. The Meadville freshman has put the Bulldogs into contention for the top seed in the Division 2 Playoffs. Frantz recorded three hat tricks in the month of January. With a total of 11 goals and six assists, Frantz looks to continue his high scoring pace for the duration of the season and into the playoffs.

“If I didn't have my players and coaches surrounding me, I wouldn't be able to make it,” Frantz said. “I like what (Wayne) Gretzky said, ’go to where the puck is going to be, not where it’s at.”

As a senior forward at Quaker Valley, Connor Quinn has helped his tam emerge as a contender for the Penguins Cup in Class AA. Quinn added 18 points (10G-8A) in just five games. Quinn also recorded a hat trick on Jan. 5, in a 5-2 win over Plum and had a five-point game on Jan. 14 in an 8-2 win over Chartiers Valley.

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