Hockey Notebook: Teacher-pupil duel ends in a draw

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Bishop Canevin coach Kevin Zielmanski said he was proud to see another of his former players, Anthony Scolieri, coach against him Monday night.

But that wasn't the first thought that crossed his mind.

"My initial reaction was that I'm getting old," Zielmanski joked.

Zielmanski coached Scolieri in the early part of the 2000s when both were at Central Catholic. Zielmanski said he was a very intelligent player.

"He always knew the game really well," Zielmanski said. "It's probably one of the reasons he got into coaching. He was a smart kid. He got good grades and went to [Carnegie Mellon]."

Zielmanski has now been coaching Bishop Canevin for nine seasons, while Scolieri is in his first season as head coach of Hampton. So Monday's game between the Crusaders and Talbots was the first meeting between the two.

Despite being familiar with Zielmanski's philosophies, Scolieri said it was still difficult to match his mentor.

"I knew what he was going to do, and I knew what we had to do to combat it, but as with most things it was easier said than done," Scolieri said.

Bishop Canevin outshot Hampton, 41-21, but the Talbots earned a 2-2 tie as Cam Raidna stopped 39 shots.

Bishop Canevin (6-0-2 heading into Thursday) remained the only team without a loss in Class AA, while Hampton (6-1-1) rebounded from its lone loss of the season in the previous game to earn a point.

Scolieri said the result gives his team a confidence boost.

"I think it gives my guys an air of confidence and possibly gives us a little respect around the league, but most importantly, it gives us a well-deserved point," Scolieri said.

USC junior moving up

Jacob Puccetti had two goals in Upper St. Clair's first four games of the season while playing on the second line.

But Puccetti moved up to the Panthers' first line for the team's fifth game on Dec. 13 against Norwin due to an injury to Connor Ackerman.

Puccetti took advantage of the opportunity, scoring five goals in the team's 8-5 win against the Knights.

"It was a little bit of everything," USC coach Denis Kirstein said. "He got hot at the right time; he was playing with two talented players in Matt Boyd and Austin Cassidy; he went hard to the net twice, so he worked very hard for those. Scoring five goals is just very impressive."

Kirstein, in his first year as head coach of USC, said he and Puccetti were laughing after the game because Kirstein told the junior forward he had only seen five goals scored in a game once before. It was when Kirstein was coaching Seneca Valley in 2010 and Brandon Platt netted five goals in the Penguins Cup semifinals against Upper St. Clair.

NA bolsters blue line

North Allegheny (8-2-0) is tied with Canon-McMillan for the most points in PIHL Class AAA and is about to get even stronger with the return of one of the top defensemen in the PIHL.

Harry Kramer, who has missed every game this season with a broken collarbone, will be checked out by doctors today to see if he can return to action, according to Tigers coach Jim Black. Black said he expects Kramer to be able to play in the team's game Jan. 3 against State College.

"I know the kids are really excited to get him back," Black said. "It gives us a lot of different options. We can move a defenseman up front if we want to. What it does is that home or away, but especially away, we can put two very good defensive pairings on the ice to match up with the other team's top lines."

Kramer is also a very good offensive player. He finished fourth on the Tigers in points last season with 20.

Week's top matchups

• Moon at Bishop Canevin, 6:10, tonight, Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center

The matchup pits the Section 1-AA leading Tigers (5-2-1) and the Section 2-AA leading Crusaders.

• Greater Latrobe at Erie Cathedral Prep, 8, tonight, Mercyhurst College Ice Rink

Tonight's game will be a rematch of last season's Class AA Penguins Cup quarterfinal, where Cathedral Prep (4-2-0 heading into Thursday) beat Latrobe (6-1-0) by a score of 6-2.

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