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Penguins Mighty Over Rapids, 9-0

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
By: Mark Boyle

The Mighty Penguins cleaned up Saturday afternoon as they beat the Grand Rapids Sled Wings at Blade Runners in Harmarville with a final score of 9-0.

The Penguins’ Daniel McCoy kicked things off early in the first period as McCoy scored the opening goal 2:18 into the period, with assist from Kiefer Mansfield. Just two minutes later, the Penguins scored their second goal of the day by Josh Wirt, assisted by McCoy.

Both teams fought for the puck, but the Penguins regained control when, just under four minutes left in the period, Nevin Gray scored Pittsburgh’s third goal. Gray had assists from Kelsey DiClaudio and Cody Gray.

The second period began and the two teams continued to fly down the ice, chasing after the puck. Almost seven minutes into the second, Mike Kempka of the Penguins managed to find a way around the Sled Wings’ goaltender Tom Carlisle to up the score to 4-0. Kempka was assisted by McCoy, his second assist of the day.

Grand Rapids continued to fight for the puck, but with two minutes left in the period, the Penguins’ Nevin Gray scored his second goal of the day, closing out the period with a 5-point lead. Gray had assists from Mansfield and another from DiClaudio.

The momentum picked up in the third period as Pittsburgh scored four more goals. The first came from Kempka, his second goal of the day, this time unassisted. The next few goals came fast and furious.

Ten minutes into the third, Zach Harding helped the puck find its way to the back of Grand Rapids’ net. Harding had assist from Wirt. Less than a minute later, DiClaudio added another point to the Penguins’ tally. DiClaudio was unassisted. Mere seconds after DiClaudio’s goal, Nick Halapchuk added one more unassisted goal with only three and a half minutes remaining. Halapchuk’s goal brought Pittsburgh’s tally to 9.

The clock ran out, and the final score was set, 9-0.

Overall, seven players from Pittsburgh scored goals, with Nevin Gray and Kempka scoring two each.

Ray Harding, head coach for the Mighty Penguins, is happy with the win.

“We keep practices pretty intense to keep up the momentum for the games,” Harding says.

Angie McCoy, president of Mighty Penguins, says that these players don’t get the feeling of speed ever.

“We have kids with speed in them,” McCoy says. “It’s not just physical. It’s a mental game. They put it all out there.”

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