After going unbeaten — and largely untested — through the first nine games of its season, the Kittanning hockey team suffered its first misstep Tuesday night in a 6-2 loss to defending Class A Penguins Cup champion Mars.
Thanks to goals by Josh Miller and Troy Schall, the Wildcats (9-1) grabbed a 2-1 lead in the first period, but Mars (12-0) scored twice before the end of the period to take control of the game. Mars found the back of the net three more times before the final buzzer sounded at the Warrendale BladeRunners.
“Our first half of the game was really good, and in the second half, we kind of fell apart a little bit,” Kittanning coach Jamie King said.
Kittanning, the highest-scoring offense in Class A, was held to a season-low two goals. Mars’ six scores tied a season-high for goals allowed by the Wildcats.
“What makes Mars really good is every mistake we made, they got a good scoring opportunity or put it in the back of the net,” King said.
The Wildcats still have a three-point lead in Section 4 and are pointed toward the playoffs. With no more games remaining in the regular season against Mars, the Wildcats’ only chance for a rematch would come in a postseason meeting.
“Mars is still the favorite in A until somebody beats them,” King said. “We hope to play them again, but we have a lot of season to go.”
Knoch 56, Kittanning 52 — Kittanning’s Dylan Klingensmith scored a game-high 28 points, but Knoch (4-1, 1-0) was still able to hold off the Wildcats (3-3, 0-2) in the Section 1-AAA game. Nathan Stolitza and Sam McCanna each scored 11 for Kittanning, which cut the lead to one point in the fourth quarter before Knoch secured the victory. Jake McTighe and Nathan Junk scored 15 and 10 points for Knoch.
Freeport 64, West Shamokin 36 — Leading comfortably by 29 points at halftime, Freeport (3-2, 2-0) cruised the rest of the way in a Section 1-AA win at West Shamokin (0-5, 0-2). Nine players scored for Freeport, with Darius Frantz’s 13 points leading the way. West Shamokin’s Anthony Rocco had a game-high 14 points.
Apollo-Ridge 49, Springdale 42 — Springdale (1-5, 0-2) jumped to a 17-11 lead after the first quarter, but Apollo-Ridge (4-1, 2-0) held the Dynamos to just one point in the second quarter and went on to win the Section 1-AA contest. Kyler Martin paced Apollo-Ridge with 16 points, and Springdale’s Bill Arch was the only other scorer to hit double figures, with 10.