by PJ Dumnich
Earlier in the season, the Pitt-Greensburg Bobcats defeated the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) by a score of 6-1. This time around in their rematch on November 14, the Bobcats hoped for a similar outcome.
Early play suggested that the Bobcats were clicking on all cylinders, despite receiving the first penalty of the night, as CCAC failed to register a shot on goaltender Ryan Palonis until the second half of the first period.
Capitalizing on a CCAC tripping penalty with 5:51 remaining, Anthony Maroadi drew first blood with an assist from Dan Merz, to put UPG up 1-0. This score would remain until the end of the first, which proved to be a relatively calm period when considering the aggressive, penalty-filled play of their first meeting.
The second period began with a more rough style of play and an early Pitt-Greensburg penalty, but CCAC remained off the board. With momentum on their side following the penalty kill, Nico Vecchio scored his first of the night from an assist by defensemen Billy Dixon, with 16:25 remaining in the period, to put the Bobcats up 2-0.
With 15:28 remaining in the second, the Bobcats were once again on the penalty kill. Despite being down a man, Vecchio found a way to score his second of the night with an assist from Merz. They would go on to kill this minor penalty, as well as another that they would receive shortly after. CCAC received a penalty of their own that was successfully killed off, but Ryan Joyce, assisted by Vecchio with 7:10 left in the period, found the back of the net while opposing player Sam Shiffer was just exiting the penalty box. This put the Bobcats up 4-0.
Two offsetting penalties for slashing would result in 4-on-4 play towards the end of the period, but it did not amount to a goal for either side. Play continued, and Maroadi scored his second of the night with 1:18 left in the second, assisted by Vecchio, to make the score 5-0 to end the period.
Near the start of the third, Vecchio capitalized on a CCAC penalty, with an assist from Merz, for his hat-trick goal. UPG would then find themselves with a penalty as well, with 13:30 left in the period, but they were able to come out of in unscathed.
Seven minutes later, Isaac Shannon netted his first of the night with an assist from Dante Youhon. The goal would be followed by two penalties for either side, including a game misconduct for Polinski of CCAC. The misconduct significantly contributed to CCAC’s struggles, with a goal from Merz, assisted by Ryan Joyce, and a goal from Dan DeMarchi, assisted by Vecchio and Tilley, to end the game.
Goaltender Ryan Palonis had his first shutout on the year as UPG finished with a score of 9-0.
The following night, November 15, the Bobcats took on Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). Freshmen goaltender Thomas Clark received his first start since his return from a concussion.
NOVA had a shorter bench than normal, so their chances of victory were weakened before the start of the game. It was evident that fatigue would be a major factor for them to overcome.
Despite this, play was back and forth for the first seven minutes of the game, until Isaac Shannon put UPG on the board with an assist from Nathan Winebrenner and Johnathan Herchko. Two minutes later, Dante Youhon found the back of the net, as well, with an assist from Dan Merz. Both teams would receive a penalty a few moments later, but no goals would come from either powerplay.
To put the Bobcats up by a score of 3-0, Anthony Maroadi scored his first of the night, with an assist from captain Nico Vecchio. NOVA received their third penalty of the night with 2:46 minutes left in the first period, and Zach Frantik took advantage with a powerplay goal that was assisted by Moroadi and defenseman Luc Tilley. The first period ended with a score of 4-0.
At the start of the second, UPG and Nova received matching penalties that resulted in 4-on-4 play. NOVA received another penalty during this time, and freshman defenseman Garrett Woznichak took advantage with a goal from the point, assisted by Merz, for his first goal of the season. The Bobcats lead by a score of 5-0.
However, UPG received a penalty of their own several seconds later that resulted in a NOVA goal, scored by defenseman Daniel Conroy, to result in a score of 5-1.
Not letting Northern Virginia’s goal affect them, Pitt-Greensburg fired right back with a goal from Vecchio, assisted by Merz. Following a home-player misconduct penalty and a unsportsmanlike penalty on the opposing coaches, Vecchio decided to score his second of the night with an assist from Woznichak. Not stopping there, freshman Nathan Winebrenner scored his first collegiate goal with 5:10 remaining in the second, assisted by Shannon and Herchko, to put UPG up 8-1.
Near the end of the second, UPG once again capitalized on a NOVA penalty with a goal from Dante Youhon, assisted by Merz and Winebrenner. Entering the second intermission, UPG lead NOVA 9-1.
To start the third, Vecchio scored his second hat-trick goal in as many nights, assisted by Maroadi and Ryan Joyce. Joyce went on to score a goal of his own, three minutes later, as Vecchio returned the favor with an assist. UPG lead by a score of 11-1, but NOVA scored a goal with 9:57 to slightly ease their pain.
NOVA’s short bench proved to be too much to overcome. Pitt-Greensburg won by a score of 11-2.
The Bobcats travel to take on Allegheny College November 21, followed by a home matchup against Saint Vincent College on November 22.