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Around the PIHL: Stage was set for great Pine-Richland/Latrobe game

» The stage was set Thursday night for one of the best games of the PIHL season. Class AA powerhouse Latrobe was hosting the newest member to the classification, Pine-Richland — a program that isn’t far removed from being mentioned as one of the AAA elite. With both teams coming into the matchup at Kirk Nevin Arena with unbeaten records, an intense and close matchup would have been expected.

Didn’t happen. Latrobe’s Zach LaDuke had a four-point night, and teammates Josh Singley and Brandon Harris had three points each to power the Wildcats to a 5-0 victory. “It was a pretty good game,” Latrobe coach Dan Ridder said. “I thought we matched up pretty well. They actually outshot us.” Shot totals haven’t meant too much to Latrobe. In an Oct. 28 game against Montour, the Wildcats (2-0-1) outshot the Spartans by 30 but had to settle for a 2-2 tie.

» A regular contender in AA, Bishop Canevin (3-0) is off to one of the best starts in the classification. Two of those victories are over teams that reached at least the quarterfinals during last year’s playoffs — Peters Township and Section 3 rival Chartiers Valley. Although not an overwhelming goal-scorer, senior forward Frank Vance has done well in leading the Crusaders’ offense. Senior goaltender Zack Daley also is one of the best players at his position in AA. A major hurdle looms for the Crusaders today, though, with a road game at Section 2 leader Montour.

» New to the PIHL this season, the Harborcreek Huskies, of Erie, are fitting in well so far. Going into a game against Wheeling Park, Harborcreek was 2-0 in Open Class play and had outscored its two opponents 19-2. With the addition of the Huskies, the PIHL has three members from the Erie area, with Cathedral Prep and McDowell being the others.

» Fox Chapel is going to have its unbeaten Class AAA record tested this week. The Foxes (3-0) are hosting another unbeaten team, North Allegheny of Section 2, at 7 tonight at Valley Sports Complex. On Thursday, Fox Chapel travels to Mt. Lebanon for a game against the always-strong Blue Devils.


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