PITTSBURGH — As Mars and Freeport wrote the latest chapter in a heated rivalry at Penguins Pond, something had to give.
Neither team had tasted defeat in over a month, but Craig Mazzotta tallied two goals and two assists in helping the Planets to their ninth straight victory on Wednesday with a 4-1 PIHL Class A triumph and halted Freeport’s six-game win streak.
The contest was held at Highmark Stadium’s outdoor rink.
The Planets (10-2-1) jumped out to an early lead thanks to a goal from Mazzotta on the power play with 11:33 to go in the first period. He was assisted by Nick Berteotti.
“I saw open ice,” said Mazzotta, who later notched his 15th goal of the season. “The defense stepped up, I just went around them and I saw an open spot in the top corner.”
The score gave Mars early momentum and the Planets never let go.
Mars extended its lead to 2-0 when freshman Owen Vasbinder deposited a shot into the back of the net off assists from Mazzotta and Max Master with 43 seconds remaining in the opening frame.
The Planets padded the cushion to 3-0 on Mazzotta’s second score of the contest with 7:04 to go in the second period.
Mars added an empty-netter off the stick of Master with 58 seconds left in the third.