by PJ Dumnich
Pitt-Greensburg vs. West Virginia D2 courtesy of @pittgbghockey
The Pitt-Greensburg Ice Hockey team hoped to continue their winning ways this past weekend following victories against the Community College of Allegheny County and California University of Pennsylvania in which they improved their record to 7-2.
The Cleveland State University Vikings travelled a long way with their sights set on stealing a victory from the Bobcats on Friday night, but goaltender Ryan Palonis, and the rest of the team, were up to the challenge of stopping them.
It took a little while for the scoring to get under way in this matchup, but Nico Vecchio, assisted by Zac Frantik, found a way to get past Vikings goaltender Chase Cullinan halfway through the first period. Soon after, Dan Merz scored a goal of his own, assisted by DJ Petrovey, to put the Bobcats up by a score of 2-0. The Vikings tried to get back into the game with a goal of their own from Mark Sharpnack, but Vecchio answered on the powerplay with his second goal of the night, assisted by Anthony Maroadi and Dante Youhon.
The Vikings scored the final goal of the period with a goal from Brandon Schmitt, but the Bobcats still lead with a score of 3-2 despite trailing in shot total 16-to-25.
The second period started off strongly with a goal from defenseman Dan DeMarchi, assisted by Youhon and Vecchio, to put the Bobcats up 4-2. After some scrappy play from both sides with two offsetting penalties, Nathan Curran, of the Vikings, scored a goal to keep his team in the game. Merz was quick to answer with his second goal of the night to put the Bobcats up 5-4, but it was followed by Sharpnack’s second goal of the game for the Vikings. Shots were 40-to-23 in favor of Cleveland State to end the second.
To start the third period, Vecchio netted a hat-trick goal, assisted by Frantik and Maroadi, to put Pitt-Greensburg up 6-4. Vecchio didn’t intend on stopping there, though, as he scored his fourth goal of the night one minute later with assists from Petrovey and DeMarchi.
Maroadi scored his own goal shortly after, after assisting on several others, with helpers from Frantik and Vecchio. But, the Vikings found a way to answer some mere seconds later with a goal from defenseman Sam Eisler to make the score 8-5 in favor of the Bobcats.
Vecchio scored his fifth and final goal of the night, assisted by Maroadi and Petrovey, to end the scoring for the Bobcats- but the Vikings would end the scoring for the night with Curran’s second goal. The Vikings lead in shots 69-to-31, but shots alone did not prove to be enough to come out of Center Ice Arena with a victory.
The Pitt-Greensburg Bobcats defeated the Cleveland State Vikings by a score of 9-6.
On the following night, November 8, the Pitt-Greensburg Bobcats took on the West Virginia University D2 Mountaineers.
Ryan Palonis manned the net for the Bobcats again, facing off against Mountaineers goalie Zachary Taylor, who had a very, very long night ahead of him.
Finally finding a way past Palonis after some great saves, WVU was first on the board with a goal from Kevin Turk. Several minutes later, Merz netted his first of the night, assisted by Youhon, to tie the game 1-1. This score would remain until the end of the first period. Pitt-Greensburg trailed in shots 7-to-20.
Starting the second by flying out of the penalty box to be met with a pass from Youhon, Merz scored a breakaway goal for his second of the night. Vecchio answered one minute later with a goal of his own, assisted by Maroadi, to put the Bobcats up 3-1. Joining in on the theme of quick scoring, Petrovey scored a goal 30 seconds after the team’s third.
Catching a remarkable pass from Maroadi, Vecchio pitched in with his second of the night to increase the Bobcats lead, 5-1. Vecchio returned the favor with a set-up pass to Maroadi for his first goal of the night some short time after.
Following coincidental penalties in which four on four play resulted, Merz scored his hat-trick goal, assisted again by Youhon. Following this, Merz took advantage of a WVU penalty to continue his scoring.
Unconventionally, the Mountaineers decided to pull their goaltender, Taylor, with a little over two minutes remaining in the second. Luc Tilley and Merz, with his fifth and sixth goals, took advantage of this curious decision to increase UPG’s lead to 11-1, to end the second. WVU still lead in shots, 21-to-39.
The Mountaineers made a wise decision in starting their net minder between the pipes again to start the third, but Vecchio picked up his hat-trick goal, regardless.
WVU managed to score three straight goals from Edward Sherman, Turk for his second, and Michael Cunavelis, but it was not enough to come back from UPG’s 11 goals. Final shots were in favor of WVU- 26-to-63.
Pitt-Greensburg defeated West Virginia University by a score of 11-4.
As the team stands now, their chances of repeating as champions seems to be strong.
The Bobcats hope to continue their five game winning streak this upcoming weekend against the Community College of Allegheny County and Northern Virginia Community College at Center Ice Arena.