The Quest for Another Championship

Expectations for the season are high, but the Ice Hockey Team looks poised to excel as the playoffs approach.

Manas Kathir, Staff Writer


The phrase “Pack the BIC” has caught fire recently, as the defending PIHL champions, the North Allegheny Ice Hockey Team has begun their quest for a repeat. 

The season so far has been successful. The Baierl Ice Complex (BIC) has included a thunderous student section, and the team currently leads the PIHL CLASS AAA with an record of 10-1. They have completed some extremely impressive shutouts against Pine-Richland (5-0), Cathedral Prep (6-0), and Baldwin (3-0). 

“We’re a very good team,” junior forward Matt Irvin stated. “We’ve played eleven games and only lost one. We are on pace to score 100 goals this year, which has only happened with an NA hockey team twice. We are hopeful to win the championship again.”

The Tigers most recent wins came against Mt. Lebanon (5-6), which they dominated 7-2, and against Seneca Valley (6-5) with a score of 2-1. Their victory against Mt. Lebanon was very much a statement win, as the two teams met in the Class AAA Penguins Cup Championship last year. 

“Our team’s great chemistry and unselfishness has helped us out so far this season,” junior defender Trey Gallo said. ”We have a great team this year and have the potential to win the Pens Cup again. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.”

The most recent win for the hockey team against Seneca Valley was very much different, as it was not played at the Baierl Ice Complex. It was actually played outdoors at the North Park Ice Rink. The weather definitely played a role in the low score, as the Tigers won 2-1 with the help of Gallo’s two goals.

The Tigers’ only loss this year comes against Peters Township, who currently sits at second in the PIHL with a record of 8-4. The two teams met last year in the PIHL semifinals and the Tigers took the dub in overtime (4-3).

When the teams met this year, NA led 2-0 before Peters Township gained momentum and surged past the Tigers in the first period with a lead of 4-2. The Tigers were able to get closer to a tie as they ended the second period, trailing 4-3. At the beginning of the third period, senior forward Connor Chi helped to lift NA to tie 4-4, but the Indians ran the rest of the game with three unanswered goals, spoiling the Tigers’ five-game-winning streak. 

Junior forward Nate Spak added, “That loss was tough for us because it was the battle of the best and everyone was looking forward to the game. There is no question we can beat them, but it just went their way that time. We will definitely be ready for the next time we meet Peters.”

But since the loss the Tigers have proven themselves to be extremely hungry, winning six straight. Their journey continues, as they take on Baldwin next Monday at the Baierl Ice Complex. The last time these two teams met, it was a complete Tiger show, shutting out the Highlanders, 3-0.

With the way this team has been playing, they look set for another championship run as playoffs approach. Will they be able to answer the call and win the chip once again? Time will tell.