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Pens Honor PIHL Players Of The Month

by Joe Sager / Pittsburgh Penguins
The Mars High School hockey team is unbeaten.

The Planets (10-0) can thank their bevy of talented players for that.

One of those – Ian Finney – was named one of the PIHL Highmark Players of the Month for November. Elizabeth Forward’s Jeremy Pell, Meadville’s Morgan Nickerson and Bishop Canevin’s Zachary Bogden all earned the award. All four were honored at Thursday night’s Penguins game against the Ottawa Senators. 

Finney, a senior, leads all PIHL Class A scorers with 30 points (14+16) in 10 games. He racked up 11 goals and 15 assists in five games in November for the Planets.

“This is a great honor, but I think it really reflects on the team,” he said. “It’s really my line this year of Mike Mazzatto and Mike Heltman that has made the difference. We’re finishing and it’s good. We’re still undefeated and we want to keep it that way.” 

Pell, a junior, scored five goals and recorded six assists in five games last month, including a hat-trick against Greensburg Central Catholic. He skates as both a defensemen and center for the Warriors.

“It’s a great honor,” he said. “Our team is pretty good. We like each other and we know where we’re going to be, so it’s easy.” 

In the Class AAA West Division, Nickerson, a senior forward, recorded 17 goals and had two assists in six games for the Bulldogs. He is the third player in team history to tally more than 300 points.

“It’s great that the Penguins support youth hockey in the area. We really look up to them as a source of inspiration and it’s great that they give back,” he said. “We’re doing pretty well. We are having an injury-plagued season so far, but once we get everybody back, I think we’ll be fine.” 

In the Class AA West Division, Bogden, a senior goaltender, posted a .976 save percentage in four games and allowed only two goals. He has two shutouts.

“It’s a big shock to get this honor,” he said. “The team is playing well in front of me. The fewer shots we give up, the better our chances are of winning. We just want to keep playing well.”

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