PIHL Opens Regular Season Monday Night
By Joe Sager
Late October is a time for tricks and treats.
There will be plenty of those for hockey fans on Monday as the PIHL drops the puck on its regular season.
A pair of defending PIHL Penguins Cup champions take the ice as Class AAA titlist Bethel Park welcomes Penn-Trafford at 8 p.m. at Bethel Park BladeRunners. Meanwhile, Class A champ Quaker Valley, also the Pennsylvania Cup winner, takes on Freeport at Airport Ice Arena at 7:30 p.m.
Class AA victor West Allegheny opens its regular season Thursday at 8:40 p.m. at Airport Ice Arena against Moon.
Quigley Catholic won't be able to defend its Open Cup championship, well sort of. The team, which is a co-op program, shifted its name from Quigley to Ambridge this year. Most of the team’s top players last year and this season are Ambridge students. The Bridgers open play Thursday at 6:45 p.m. against Wheeling Central at the Beaver County Ice Arena.
Penguins Radio 24/7 teamed up with PIHL Network to simulcast select Hockey Night broadcasts of PIHL games on Penguins Radio 24/7. As in the past, fans will be able to watch those broadcasts, thanks to Rubino Productions, on PIHLNetwork.com as well.
Thanks to Trib Total Media, Hockey Night broadcasts will increase by 20 more regular season games in 2012-13, compared to last season.
Also, Trib Total Media will present “The Inside High School Hockey on TribLIVE Radio” every Wednesday at 3 p.m. Hosts Matt Popchock and Chris Baginski will talk PIHL hockey and offer interviews and other special segments throughout the season.
The season premiere of “Inside High School Hockey” debuts on PIHLNetwork.com on Friday as well.
As always, you may find PIHL coverage on PIHLNetwork.com, on Twitter (@PIHLNetwork), on Facebook (facebook.com/pihlweb) and on YouTube (youtube.com/pihltv).
Last year, the PIHL Network began broadcasting live hockey with the Pennsylvania Cup championship games and the USA Hockey America’s Showcase.
This season, the PIHL Network will feature live broadcasts of the Open Cup championship, Penguins Cup semifinals, Penguins Cup championship games, Pennsylvania Cup championship games and the USA Hockey America’s Showcase.
Frazier’s program makes its varsity debut, while Canon-McMillan enters a second varsity program into the PIHL. The Big Macs have been a Class AAA power, but the program is fielding an addition Open Division varsity squad this season – the first time in PIHL history a school has had two varsity teams.
Altoona returns to varsity level competition, while Deer Lakes is back at the varsity level after a one-year hiatus. Both programs competed at the junior varsity level successfully last year.
That pushes the number of PIHL varsity teams to 63 – Class AA AAA (15), AA (14), A (12) and Open Division (22).
Outdoor games – Jan. 11 and Jan. 25