South Fayette 7 Pennsbury 4

 South Fayette scored three goals in just under two minutes late in the third period to score a 7-4 win over Pennsbury in the Pennsylvania Cup Class AA championship game at the Robert Morris Sports Center just outside of Pittsburgh.

Wes Schwarzmiller scored his second goal of the game with 2:57 remaining in regulation to break a 4-4 tie. The game-winning goal came when the senior darted down the left wing and launched a shot from below the circle that caught the top right corner of the net.

Nolan Murphy added an insurance goal for the Lions with 1:33 remaining.

Brayden Imler added an empty-net goal for the Lions (19-3-2) with 1:06 remaining. Allen Schraeder got the win in goal.

Brendan MacAinsh and Justin Marlin scored two goals each for Pennsbury. Each scored once to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead with 5:39 left in the first period before South Fayette scored four straight goals to take a 4-2 lead early in the second period.

Marlin scored for the Falcons with 9:38 left in the period before MacAinsh added his second goal to send the two teams into the third period tied 4-4.

“We found ourselves in a pretty familiar situation,” said Pennsbury coach Ryan Daley. “Down a couple goals midway through the second. We called a timeout and tried to reset the boys and before you know it, we’ve got a tie game going into the third.”

Daley said his team didn’t get as many shot attempts as he would have liked in the late going.”We might have been a little tired, a little fatigued,” he said. “We probably didn’t get as many shots, especially in the third, as I would have liked.”

Pennsbury, which closed the season at 18-7, was making its fourth appearance in a state final.  The Falcons won the Class AA state title in 1985 and lost Class A state championship games in 1993 and 2000.

Pennsbury 2 2 0—4

S. Fayette 3 1 0 3—7

First-period goals: Brendan MacAinsh (P) from Logan Doyle, 3:20; Justin Marlin (P) from MacAinsh 11:20 (sh); Ryan Cirra (SF) from Tyler Brandebura and Jackson Brabdebura, 11:49 (pp); Rtler Brandebura (SF) from Brayden Imler, 12:32 (pp); Brayden Reighard (SF) from Jackson Brandebura, (sh)

Second-period goals: Wes Schwarzmiller (SF unassisted, 2:39; Marlin (P) from MacCainsh, 7:20 (pp) MacAinsh (P) unassisted, 15:59

Third-period goals: Schwarzmiller (SF) from Brady Fleck 14:03, Nolan Mirphy (SF) from Imler, 15:26; Imler (SF) unassisted, 15:52 (en)

Shots: Pennsbury 33, South Fayette 35; Saves: Aaron McDaniel 28, Allen Schrader (SF) 29

Pennsbury 5 Pennridge 3

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP— After a long and arduous journey, Pennsbury has reached the mountaintop. Justin Marlin’s goal with 8:19 left in the third period was the game winner as the Falcons downed Pennridge 5-3 Tuesday night in the Class AA Flyers Cup championship game at Hatfield Ice.

It’s the third Flyers Cup title in school history and the first for the Falcons at the Class AA level.

 Pennsbury (18-6), the fifth seed in the tournament, will face South Fayette, the Penguins Cup champion, for the state championship on Saturday in Pittsburgh.

Second-seeded Pennridge, the defending champion, finished the season at 16-6.

Brendan MacAinsh scored three goals and received the Bobby Clarke Most Valuable Player Award.

“That was exciting,” MacAinsh said of the win. “I’ve been waiting a long time for something like that.”

After a relatively quiet opening sequence, Shane Dachowski put the Rams in front 4:39 into the opening frame, off a feed from Tyler Manto.

Pennsbury goaltender Aaron McDaniel was busy in the opening session; Pennridge generated 12 shots in the first period while holding the Falcons to nine. One of those eight came on a shorthanded breakaway in the waning second of the period but Jacob Winston denied MacAinsh with just under nine seconds remaining.

The game’s intensity level picked up with 5:08 left in the second period when Marlin delivered a hard hit to Dachowski along the right wall in the Pennridge offensive zone. Dachowski stayed down on the ice for a time before being helped to the bench. He would return for the third period No penalty was called on the play and the tempo of the game picked up from there.

Less than two minutes later, Marlin assisted MacAinsh’s game-tying goal which came off a Pennridge turnover. With 75 seconds left in the period MacAinsh put his team in front with a slapshot from the right post that caught iron as it entered the net.

The third period featured the offensive fireworks that might have been expected from two teams that scored 37 goals between them in three previous meetings. 

MacAinsh said the break after the second period to resurface the ice gave he and his teammates a chance to refocus.

 “That break really helped us,” he said. “We’re usually gassed in the (second period). That break makes us come out on fire even more, every time.”

Evan Eisler extended Pennbury’s lead 2:35 into the period but Tyler Manto (during a power play) and Dachowski (during a shorthanded breakaway) scored goals 84 seconds apart to tie the game with 11:14 left in regulation.

Marlin’s goal, which came when he corralled a loose puck the Pennridge zone, proved decisive. The senior defenseman called Tuesday’s result a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and an opportunity to move past disappointments.

“Especially being a senior here,” he said. “We’ve been close (but) this year we weren’t letting it go.

Pennridge coach Jeff Montagna credited the Falcons for their effort.

“They did what champions do,” he said. “We threw everything we had at them. And you know what? Props to Pennsbury and props to (McDaniel).

“I told MacAinsh after the game he’s as good a player that’s come through this league. He’s as good a leader that’s come through this league. If we’re going to lose to somebody, I’d rather lose to him.

Ice chips: The All-Tournament team included MacAinsh, Dachowski, Marlin, McDaniel, Colin Dachowski (Pennridge) and Andrew Falkenstein (Pennsbury)

Pennsbury 0 2 3—5

Pennridge 1 0 2—3

First-period goals Shane Dachowski (Pr) from Tyler Manto, 4:39

Second-period goals: Brendan MacAinsh (Pb) from Justin Marlin, 13:38; MacAinsh (Pb) from Marlin, 15:45

Third-period goals: Evan Eisler (Pb) from Andrew Falkenstein, 2:35; Manto (Pr) from James Rush, 4:22 (pp); Shane Dachowski (Pr) from Kevin Pico, 5:46 (sh); Justin Marlin (Pb) unassisted, 8:41; MacAinsh (Pb) unassisted, 16:59

Shots: Pennsbury 29, Pennridge 37; Saves: Aaron McDaniel (Pb) 34, Jacob Winston (Pr) 24

Pennsbury 7 C.R. South 5

HATFIELD TOWNSHIP— It was a comeback that will be long remembered in the history of the Flyers Cup. Trailing 4-1 midway through the second period, Pennsbury rallied for a 7-5 win over Council Rick South Monday night in a Class AA semifinal Monday night at Hatfield Ice. The fifth-seeded Falcons (17-6) will play for the title on Tuesday at this same rink at a time to be announced. The top-seeded Golden Hawks closed the season at 19-2-0-1.

Andrew Falkenstein led the way for the Falcons with three goals an an assist.

“Honestly, we played like underdogs,” the senior said. “Our younger guys wee playing for out seniors. They put their hearts on their jerseys. They played for us. It was a great battle back.”

At the halfway point of the second frame the Golden Hawks seemed to be in control of things. Jaleel Weiner and James Diiulio scored first-period goals, the latter just as the buzzer sounded, to put South up 2-0 after 17 minutes.

Falkenstein got Pennsbury on the s scoreboard 3:03 into the second period on a shot from the right point It was a power-play goal, which, from South’s point of view proved to be an ominous sign of what was to come. When Kevin Koles and Jeremy Rayher scored goals in a span of 2:32 there little indication of what was to come.

But momentum began to shift when Stevie Grosscup and Brendan Macainsh scored goals 1 minute, 50 seconds apart to make it a 4-3 game.

When South’s Jake Mauer was given a five-minute major penalty for kicking, plus a game misconduct, it opened the door wider for the Falcons. It took MacAinsh 58 seconds to take advantage and tie the game.

South also lost Blaize Pepe, one of the top offensive threats in the waning seconds of the period when he drew a 10-minute misconduct

Falkenstein put Pennsbury in front for good 4:45 into the third period an Justin marlin extended his team’s lead at 10:19.

Illia Mukhin let the Falcons know South was still around when he Beaty Aaron McDaniel with 3:39 left in regulation, but Falkenstein beat Carson Lopez foot the third and last time with 2;01 remaining

MacAinsh, Pennsbury’s captain, said he and his teammates want to keep playing hockey. They’ll get their chance to do so in the Flyers Cup AA final.

“We weren’t ready for this to end,” he said. “We worked so hard all season, why should we let it end now?”

MacAinsh said he was confident the team could overcome the three-goal deficit.

“If anybody was going to come back against a team like that, it was us,” he said. “And them taking stupid penalties. They really took themselves out of the game.”

South coach Joe Houk’s accesment of the evening was to the point.

“We controlled the first period,” he said. “The next thing you know, we had a penalty barrage of stupid decision making  and we go down on a five minute major. We didn’t play like a team tonight.”

Pennsbury 0 4 3—7

C.R. South 2 2 1—5

First-period goals: Jake Weiner (CRS) from Jeremy Rayher , 8:03; James Diiulio (CRS) from Blaize Peppe and Kevin Kole, 17:00 (pp)

Second-period goals: Andrew Falkenstein,(P) from Chris Carver and Logan Doyle, 3:03 (pp); Koles (CRS) from Illia Mukhin, 4:09; Rayher (CRS) from Weiner and Jake Maurer, 6:41; Stevie Grosscup (P) from Brendan MacAinsh, 11:36; MacAinsh (P) from Falkenstein and Marlin, 14:26; MacAinsh (P) from Marlin 16:03 (pp)

Third-period goals: Falkenstein (P) from Sarver, 4:54; Justin Marlin (P) unassisted, 10:19; Mukhin (CRS) from Koles and Carson Lopez, 13:21; Falkenstein (P) from Doyle, 14:59

Shots: Pennsbury 41, Council Rock South37; Saves: Aaron McDaniel (P) 32, Carson Lopez (CRS) 34

Pennsbury 8 C.B. South 2

BRISTOL—It was all systems go for Pennsbury Thursday night. The Falcons lit up the scoreboard at Grundy Arena as if it were a holiday light display in an 8-2 win over Central Bucks South in a SHSHL National Division non-league encounter.

Brendan Macainsh scored four goals and assisted on two others to help Pennsbury to its third straight win and fourth win overall in six starts. Justin Marlin added two goals and two assists. Shane Gleisner and Chris Sarver also scored goals.
The Falcons are averaging five goals a game and have scored 21 times over the course of their last three outings,
Macainsh, a senior and Pennsbury’s captain, says the team’s recent offensive surge stems from aggressive forechecking.

“We weren’t forechecking as much,” he said. “We were just kind of lagging around. We had to pick up our tempo, we had to play the full game, all three periods.”

Justin Marlin put Pennsbury in front just 28 seconds into the first period on a shot from the left point that eluded South netminder Dom Varacallo. Aidan Linso answered for the Titans when he beat Aaron McDaniel with 7:21 left in the opening session, but the Falcons broke the game open in the second frame.

Macainsh, Marlin, Gleisner (with the most picturesque goal of the night off a two-on-one situation), and Macainsh again scored goals in a span of just over six minutes to give Pennsbury a 5-1 lead. 

Sean Cutter ended the streak when he scored for the Titans (3-4 overall during a four-on-four situation but Macainsh completed his hat trick with one minute left in the period.

At period’s end the Falcons led 6-2 although their shot advantage was just 23-21. At that point, South coach Shaun McGinty replaced Varacallo in goal with Jason Magaruth before Sarver and Macainsh added goals for Pennsbury in the final period.

McGinty made it clear afterward that Varacallo did not get the defensive support he deserved.

“They were getting two-on-ones, three-on-ones, they were getting odd-man breaks,” he said. “Our defense struggled, they were subpar, and they were outworked.

“I only pulled Dom because it wasn’t fair to him. He gave up (six goals on 23 shots) but on the two-on-ones and the second chances, I’m not putting that on him. Our defense was subpar, we were losing battles, they outworked us.”

Pennsbury coach Ryan Daley expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance.

“We’ve had some good games this year,” he said, “but I think that was the first time we put three full periods together. It seems like the chemistry is finally kind of getting there.”

C.B. South 1 1 0—2

Pennsbury 1 5 2—8

First-period goals: Justin Marlin (P) unassisted, :28; Aidan Linso (CBS) from Brad Cannon and Justin Montagna, 9:39.

Second-period goals: Brendan Macainsh (P) unassisted, :12 (sh); Marlin (P) from Andrew Falkenstein, 2:02; Shane Gleisner (P) from Logan Doyle, 5:04; Macainsh from Chris Sarver and Connor Kane, 6:14; Sean Cutter (CBS) from Linso, 11:10; Macainsh (P) from Marlin, 16:00 (pp).

Third-period goals: Sarver (P) from Jake McCaw and Macainsh, 6:55; Macainsh (P) from Jake Seiler, 13:20 (pp).

Shots: C.B. South 28, Pennsbury 34; Saves: Dom Varacallo (CBS) 17 and Jason Magaruh (CBS) 9, Aaron McDaniel (P) 26

Pennsbury 7, Council Rock South 4

BRISTOL— All season long, Pennsbury has relied on offensive firepower for its success. The stakes were higher Wednesday night but the methodology was unchanged as the Falcons outgunned Council Rock South 7-4 in the Suburban High School Hockey League National/Continental championship game at Grundy Arena.

Brendan MacAinsh scored four goals and added two assists to help the Falcons (12-2-0-1), the top seed in the playoffs, to their first SHSHL title since joining the league for the 2007-08 season

It was an emotional moment for Pennsbury coach Ryan Daley, who, in his four seasons as head coach, has seen his team rise from the depths of the standings to the championship level.

“If you had told ne four years ago we’d be in this position, I wouldn’t have believed you,” he said. “No way. I couldn’t be prouder of this group of guys. Especially the seniors that were on that team as freshmen and saw the worst of it and now they’ve had the best of it. I just couldn’t be happier for those guys.”

MacAinsh is just a sophomore, so he wasn’t present for much of the Falcons’ rise from the ashes. But the night was no less special for him.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “It really is. To come in as a sophomore and win it in my second year playing. I didn’t get to play much as a freshman but coming in the second year (and helping the team win a championship) is a great feeling.”

After one period the Falcons and the Golden Hawks (9-4-0-2) were all even after Pennsbury’s Logan Doyle and South’s Kyle Schneider traded goals

After needing overtime to win their respective semifinals 24 hours earlier, both teams were impacted by the game’s physicality as the two officials essentially put their whistled in their pockets for most of the night.

The third-seeded Golden Hawks took a 2-1 lead when Julian Wagenmann poked in a rebound of Brennan Wright’s original shot 48 seconds into the second frame.

But MacAinsh tied the game at 3:20 and put his team ahead for good at the 5:11 mark, just 16 seconds into the game’s first power play.

Shane Siegmund extended Pennsbury’s lead with a shorthanded goal with 56 seconds remaining the second period. At that point, it was apparent that the Golden Hawks, who had just 13 skaters dressed, were running low on energy. MacAinsh went on to score two additional goals early in the first three minutes 10 seconds of the third period to extend Pennsbury’s lead to 6-2.

South coach Joe Houk saw the shorthanded goal as a turning point.

“Letting a shorthanded goal in with (56) seconds left in the second period, that’s like a final in the coffin,” he said. “Now, you’ve got to come back (down) by two. You’ve got to get the next one. The next period. we let them score right of the bat again.”

Schneider and Julian Sarne added power-play goals for South in the third period to make the final margin a little closer before Shane Siegmund scored for Pennsbury to wrap things up.

“You can look at it like you’re out of gas and stuff like that but I thought we didn’t battle hard enough tonight,” Houk said. “They won a lot of loose pucks, the harder you work, the luckier you get and they worked their tails off. They were the better team tonight.

Notes: Both teams will open Flyers Cup play on Tuesday at Hatfield Ice. Second-seeded Pennsbury will face number-15 Conestoga at 8:40 while the fifth-seeded Golden Hawks will take on 12th seed Avon Grove at 6:30 … Wednesday’s game was played in 17-minute periods with an ice cut after the second period.

Council Rock South 1 1 2—4

Pennsbury 1 3 3—7

First-period goals: Logan Doyle (P) from Andrew Falkenstein, 4:42; Kyle Schneider (CRS) from Bobby Gilbert and Blaize Pepe, 10:44;

Second-period goals: Julian Wagenmann (CRS) from Brennan Wright and Jeremy Purcell, Brendan MacAinsh (P) from Justin Marlin, 3:20; MacAinsh (P) from Reece Millman, 5:11 (pp); Shane Siegmund (P) from MacAinsh, 16:04 (sh); 

Third-period goals: MacAinsh (P) from Nillman and Colin Michalak, 1:27; MacAinsh (P) from Eddie Bossler, 3:10; Schneider (CRS) from Wagenmann, 6:42 (pp); Julian Sarne (CRS) from Pepe and Wagenmann, 13:11 (pp) Siegmund (P) from MacAinsh, 16:01

Shots: Council Rock South 30, Pennsbury 37; Saves: Jimmy Sweeney (CRS) 30, Marek Jorgenson (P) 26

The Grundy Skate Shop is a full-service hockey pro shop inside the Grundy Arena, offering a great selection of equipment, brands and various services.  We do a full range of repairs as well as offer custom hockey jerseys. Owner Bill Keyser, has over 25 years experience in the industry and specializes in skate sharpening, including profiling. Please visit our Facebook page or stop in and check us out!