Trib HSSN PIHL Player of the Week: Tyler Stewart, Burrell
This week’s Trib High School Sports Network PIHL Player of the Week did something that hasn’t been done all season in the league.
He did it last year, too, when a goal scored by him made ESPN’s “Sportscenter” Top 10 Plays.
This time, one of the goals didn’t do that, but Burrell forward Tyler Stewart did score eight goals in a game and totaled nine points in a 10-2 win over Bishop Canevin on Monday in Division 2.
Assistant coach Cody Brightbill, who served as head coach Monday with head coach Max Rickard out of town for work, said an emphasis for the team was to start fast.
Stewart made that happen. He scored the first of his eight goals 51 seconds into the game and added four more in the first period.
“In the second half, we’ve come out a little bit slow, so that was an emphasis for us,” Brightbill said. “We scored quick and didn’t look back. Tyler was just using his speed and finding open spaces. His awareness is next to none in Pittsburgh, and he has a great shot.”
Stewart scored Burrell’s only goal in the second period before adding two in the third period. Stewart assisted on Burrell’s final goal late in the third.
For the season, Stewart has 39 goals, which would make him one of the top point scorers in the PIHL. But he also has 18 assists, giving him 57 points. It’s the second best total in the PIHL behind Montour’s Ritchy Froehlich Jr., a two-time TribHSSN PIHL Player of the Week. Froehlich has 59 points on 23 goals and 36 assists.
Stewart’s 39 goals would be the highest point total in the other classifications other than Single-A.
Brightbill said Stewart is one of the premier players in the area because of Stewart’s awareness on the ice and his ability to make plays with his speed.
“It’s nice to have someone like him on your team. Every time he’s on the ice, you feel like you have a chance to score or at least for him to make a play,” Brightbill said. “He’s got a good shot and some great moves. He knows where everyone is on the ice and has the eye for the open spaces.”
Stewart also plays a high level of amateur hockey. He’s on the roster for the Esmark Stars 18U team alongside several of the top players in the PIHL.
For the Stars, Stewart has a team-high 11 goals and 19 points in 16 games.
Stewart was also selected to this year’s PIHL Division 2 All Star roster.
The Bucs will looking to maintain one of three unbeaten marks in the PIHL this week. Burrell plays McDowell on Monday, then at Carrick on Thursday.
PIHL Honorable Mentions (Week Of Jan. 21):
• In Triple-A, Ryan Luppe scored three goals and assisted on another, and Alex Willbert had a 24-save shutout for Peters Township in a 6-0 win over Butler on Monday.
• In Double-A, Latrobe’s Gage Handwork had 25 saves in a 2-1 win over Upper St. Clair to take over sole possession of first place in Double-A’s Southwest Division.
• In Single-A, Montour scored 17 goals, with big efforts from Ryan Eisel (three goals, four assists), Froehlich (two goals, three assists), Joseph Bickel (three goals, one assist), Ethan Diffendal (three goals, three assists) and Michael Felsing (three goals, one assist). The Spartans won 17-2 over Sewickley Academy on Monday. In a 12-1 Meadville win over Beaver, the Bulldogs’ John Grasinger scored once and assisted on four other goals. Indiana’s Eddy Williams had four assists in a 7-5 win, and North Hills’ Ethan Isaly made 30 saves on 32 shots in a win against West Allegheny.
• In the same game as Stewart’s eight-goal performance, Burrell’s Giovanni Palombo scored a goal and assisted on five others. Elsewhere in Division 2, Ringgold’s Justin Day scored twice and had three assists, and teammate Noah Schroeder had eight points on five goals and three assists. Jon Chopp had a 34-save shutout for Trinity, this week’s PIHL Team of the Week.
Kyle Dawson is a freelance writer.