Ringgold’s Budjos scores twice to lead Team Blue to PIHL Division 2 All-Star win
Last weekend, Brad Budjos injured his shoulder. During the first period of the PIHL Division 2 All-Star Game, he stayed down on the ice for a minute after a collision.
When he got to the bench, Team Blue coach Rick Kalinowski, who is also Budjos’ coach at Ringgold, told his player he might be done for the afternoon. The junior forward had other ideas, scoring twice to lead Team Blue to a 5-2 victory over Team Gold at the RMU Island Sport Center on Neville Island.
“It was really fun going out there and playing with some of my (Ringgold) teammates and also playing with some other really good players,” Budjos said. “It’s really fast paced.”
Fellow Rams forward Justin Day, also a junior, skated with Budjos on Team Blue.
Connellsville senior Greg Hensch got the scoring started, netting an unassisted goal at 5 minutes, 31 seconds of the first period. Team Blue would add three second period goals to take a 4-0 lead.
Budjos got the first of those at 10:42 off an assist from Carrick’s Gavin McKain on the power play.
“I went down and tried to go top shelf, I fanned on it a little bit and it just went in,” said Budjos.
Tommy Walls of Neshannock and Burrell’s Dylan Zelonka, the third-leading scorer in Division 2, netted goals just over a minute apart late in the second period to open up the game for Team Blue. Trinity sophomore Garrett Gellner assisted on both markers.
Junior Terrence Rice from Neshannock put Team Gold on the scoreboard 3:02 into the third period with a power play goal, but Budjos would restore the four-goal lead for Team Blue with a pretty goal in tight at 11:38 of the period.
Budjos maneuvered in down low on the right goal line and lifted a backhander top shelf for his second tally. The goal was not only skillful, it came against his Ringgold teammate, senior goaltender Evan Cook.
“Oh yeah, I let him know about it for sure,” Budjos said.
As for the shoulder injury, Budjos said, “I’m fine now.”
Two goals and an All-Star Game win will help take some of the pain away.
Bob Orkwis is a freelance writer.