East Xtra: Hot goal-scorer looking to spread the wealth with Plum teammates

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Plum's Joe Randazzo scored 10 of the team's 16 goals in the first six games this season, but Mustangs coach Dave Stonebraker thought the junior forward could do more.

"We're very happy with the goal scoring," Stonebraker said. "But we want him to be the best well-rounded player he can be. We believe he can rack up just as many assists as he can goals, and he can score a lot of goals. He's a very talented player."

Randazzo had failed to record an assist in the team's six games, despite regularly playing on a line with Andrew Walters, who scored 36 goals last season.

Meanwhile, the Mustangs were just 1-4-1. But in the team's seventh game Monday, the duo clicked well.

Randazzo scored two goals and had assists on two of Walters' four goals as Plum crushed Franklin Regional, 9-3.

"I could have had more goals, but I thought I'd give some to Walters," Randazzo joked.

Stonebraker said he has talked with Randazzo about finding his teammates more often and Randazzo said it is something he is looking to do more in the future.

"I'm trying to pass more, especially if it's going to help the team win more," Randazzo said. "But if I have a shot, I'm going to take it."

Randazzo, who also plays amateur hockey for the Pittsburgh Viper Stars 16U squad, scored 15 goals and tallied 26 points as a sophomore last season.

But after an offseason of quickening his shot release and reconstructing his stride, Randazzo is on pace to shatter those marks this season.

He has scored a goal in every Plum game this season and has tallied at least two goals in five of the seven games. His 12 goals were the most in the PIHL Class AA after Monday night's games.

"He has quick feet and great hands," Stonebraker said. "He can pass and shoot as well as anyone in the league."

With Randazzo and Walters leading the way, Plum has a dynamic 1-2 scoring punch when they are both clicking as they were Monday night. While the team has just two wins, it has been competitive against quality opponents.

The Mustangs tied Section 1-AA leader Moon Area, 3-3, in the season opener, and lost to 2012 Class AA semifinalist Pine-Richland, 6-4, in the third game of the year. Now the team has won two games in a row and has two big games coming up against the two other teams in its section, Hampton and a rematch with Pine-Richland.

Randazzo said the team's goals remain the same as most teams.

"We want to win the Penguins Cup," Randazzo said. "We need to keep winning games, make the playoffs and go as far as we can."

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