Peters Township shuts out State College
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A PIHL Class AAA semifinal Wednesday night between Peters Township and State College featured the two top scorers in the league in the Indians' Trevor Recktenwald and the Little Lions' Stefan Horgas.
But Brian Baker stole the show.
The Peters Township junior goaltender stopped all 28 shots he faced to lift the top-seeded Indians (19-4) to a 3-0 victory at RMU Island Sports Center.
"I just had to stand tall," Baker said.
It was the first time No. 5 State College (16-8) has been shut out in 40 games.
Peters Township coach Rick Tingle also gave credit to the team's defense for not giving the Little Lions too many point-blank opportunities.
"We kept the shots outside, and, if we keep the shots outside, no one is going to score on Bakes," Tingle said.
The teams were scoreless after the first period, but an unlikely source got the Indians on the board 2:35 into the second.
Junior forward Keenan Witmer, who had two goals and three assists in 21 games heading into Wednesday, fired a shot that deflected off the stick of a State College defender and past goaltender Zachary Woytowich.
"I wouldn't have planned on that one, but Keenan took the shot and got it to the net and got the game-winning goal in a semifinal game," Tingle said.
The game remained that way until Alex DeBolt wristed a shot past Woytowich from the right hash with 3:06 left.
Recktenwald added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
The Indians, who have won 15 games in a row, advance to the championship 9 p.m. Wednesday at Consol Energy Center.
Other Class AAA semifinal
North Allegheny's Joe Griffin atoned for a costly penalty with two goals to lead No. 3 North Allegheny (17-4-2) to a 4-3 win against No. 2 Bethel Park (17-6) in the second PIHL Class AAA semifinal at RMU Island Sports Complex.
In the second period, Christian Siak put Bethel Park ahead, 2-1, as the Black Hawks capitalized on a five-on-three power play.
But Griffin, who came out of the box on the goal, scored a short-handed goal 39 seconds later to tie the scored at 2-2.
Then, in the third period, Griffin came up with a loose puck and fired it into the back of the net to give the Tigers the lead.
Charlie Johnson and Cody Black each added a goal and Bradford Thornburgh stopped 35 shots for the Tigers, who advanced to their first Penguins Cup final since they won the title in 2007.
Siak added his second goal with under a minute to play.
First Published March 14, 2013 12:18 am