GATES MILLS, Ohio — When their hockey playing days are complete, members of the Pittsburgh Pens Elite girls program will have developed a skill necessary to succeed in any business, as they certainly have learned how to “close the deal.”
Shortly after the 19U Pens Elite captured the USA Hockey Mid-American District Girls’ Tier I Championship by netting back-to-back goals within the final 3:37 of the third period in their title-clinching game, Pittsburgh’s 14U and 16U Tier I squads earned their tickets to the 2020 Chipotle-USA Hockey Girls Tier I National Championships by closing out their opponents in either the third period, or in a shootout.
The Pens Elite program swept all three Tier I girls titles available in the Mid-American District.
The 14U Pens Elite will travel to nationals in Blaine, Minnesota, after posting a 2-1 shootout victory in their title game. The shootout was necessary after the Cleveland Barons challenged the defending national champion Pens through regulation and overtime period.
The Barons’ Kylie Coughlin tallied a first period goal in the match, followed by a Pens’ second period goal by Angelina DiGirolamo.
Neither team could score in the third period or the overtime frame. Pittsburgh netted three consecutive shots in the shootout for the victory with DiGirolamo credited for the game-winner.
Pens’ goaltender Lauren Ferrari stopped 16 of 17 shots faced.
Five-goal burst leads 16U Pens to title
After a scoreless two periods of hockey, the Tier I 16U Penguins posted five goals in the final 9:21 of the third period against the Gilmour Academy Gladiators on their way to a 5-0 victory. Three of those goals were special teams power play efforts.
Blueliner Laney Potter provided a hat trick performance while Hannah Humes and Katherine Khramtsov accounted for the other pair of goals. Izee Powell and Lily Stumm were credited with two assists each.
Netminder Sophie Bellina denied all 25 shots she faced while earning the shutout.
Steel City Selects sweep Tier II
The Pittsburgh area’s strength in girls hockey was also evident at the Tier II level as the Steel City Selects earned all three division championships.
The 19U Steel City Selects will be heading to West Chester, Pennsylvania, for Nationals after defeating the Armstrong Arrows 3-1.
Megan Swick lead Steel City’s attack with two goals and Scout Song added a goal. Song also had an assist in the game.
Goaltender Hannah Vogel made 20 saves on 21 Armstrong shots.
Goaltender Abby Manzewitsch thwarted each of the dozen shots she faced in her shutout effort for the 16U Steel City Selects in their 4-0 blanking of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Forward Sydney Banasick accumulated three points (two goals, one assist) while Laura Crnarich and Amanda Sokol each tallied a goal. Cameran Evans earned three assists.
In wrapping up the weekend’s action, the Steel City Selects 14U squad claimed the division championship after three wins and a shootout loss.
Eleven different players scored goals during the tournament for the Steel City Selects. Mckenzie Grimm and Marissa Caswell netted four goals each over the weekend.
The leading goal scorer at the 14U Tier II Division was Bronte Burkart of the Indy Fusion.
Girls Tier I
14U: Pittsburgh Penguins Elite
16U: Pittsburgh Penguins Elite
19U: Pittsburgh Penguins Elite
Girls Tier II
14U: Steel City Selects
16U: Steel City Selects
19U: Steel City Selects
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.