The road to the 2011 Penguins Cup championship looks to heat up early in Class AA, as Greater Latrobe and West Allegheny – last season’s finalists – meet much earlier than they did last year, as they’ll be facing off in the quarterfinals.
Greater Latrobe has dominated Class AA for the past few years, as they’re looking to capture their fourth-straight Penguins Cup championship. Last season, they became the sixth team in the history of the tournament to win three-consecutive state titles.
But it’s Peters Township who enters the tournament as the team to beat thanks to its 17-2-1 record, and they’ll be looking to avenge last season’s semifinals exit at the hands of Greater Latrobe. Bishop Canevin once again enters the playoffs as the No. 2 seed with their 16-4 record. Both teams have received byes into the quarterfinal round.
Class AA first-round action kicks off on Monday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. when Pine Richland faces off with Erie Cathedral Prep at the Ice Connection of Pittsburgh. Elizabeth Forward and Moon will then battle at the Ice Garden at Rostraver Ice Arena at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8 before a busy Wednesday, March 9, which features four games.
Greater Latrobe and West Allegheny will kick off the action at 6:30 p.m. at Kirk S. Nevin Arena. The winners from the two opening-round matchups will then face off against Peters Township and Bishop Canevin that same evening.
Once the Penguins Cup reaches the semifinals, the action will head to CONSOL Energy Center. Those games are scheduled for March 14 and 15, with the AA game slotted for 7 p.m. on both days.
The 2011 Class AA Penguins Cup championship will be determined following the Penguins-Rangers 12:30 p.m. matinee on March 20. The puck will drop for that contest at 7 p.m. Make sure to check www.PittsburghPenguins.com daily for scores, brackets and standings as we track all of the action. Also, starting this year, the PIHL has paired with Pointstreak, an online real-time stats program, to bring fans live scoring on each playoff game. The Penguins purchased the program for the PIHL. There is a link to Pointstreak at www.pihlweb.com.