Mars hockey bows to QV in Cup finale
March 25, 2013
PITTSBURGH — As an underdog against undefeated Quaker Valley, the Mars hockey team wanted to seize early momentum in Wednesday’s Class A Penguins Cup final. With the Planets on their second power play of the game, Craig Mazzotta’s shot from just inside the blue line fluttered past Quaker Valley goalie Parker Sherry and into the net. The Consol Energy Center’s horn blared, cuing an eruption from Mars fans as the scoreboard showed the Planets with a 1-0 lead. Ecstasy soon turned to agony. The goal was waved off due to a high stick on Nick Berteotti, although the instant replay on the jumbotron appeared to show the puck’s only deflection was off Sherry’s glove. Mars’ frustration then multiplied, as the Quakers killed off the rest of the penalty and Jimmy Perkins turned the tables with a quick goal to give Quaker Valley a 1-0 advantage with 3:16 left in the first period. The Quakers never lost control thanks to a stellar performance on special teams and secured a 5-1 win over the Planets for their second straight Penguins Cup championship. “I’m very proud of the boys,” said Quakers coach Kevin Quinn. “To win each game in the regular season and playoffs to get to this point takes consistency. I thought we had a good, consistent focus all year.” Quaker Valley outshot the Planets (19-4-1) by a 29-18 margin and held Mars scoreless over eight power-play opportunities. The Quakers were 2-for-4 with a man advantage. Both conversions came in the second period to build a 3-0 cushion heading into the final frame. “Our guys just seemed like they were skating in quicksand. We couldn’t get sustained pressure on the power play at all,” said Mars coach Steve Meyers. “Our power play has been our biggest asset probably the whole season and it just fell flat today. We had the chances.” One of those chances was Mazzotta’s momentary goal. Meyers believes it was the wrong call and acknowledged the turn of events weighed on his team. “We were hoping for a fast start, to get a quick one,” said Meyers. “We get one in and it looked good from where I was standing. It looked like the goalie just botched it to me, but they called (the high stick). “Honestly, if that would’ve never happened all together, we would have been much better off,” Meyers added. “You kind of get in that mind-set of, ‘It’s not fair,’ as opposed to ‘Let’s get it back.’ “It’s all part of the game. You have to handle it better.” Perkins admitted the controversy helped refocus the Quakers. “It was kind of a wake-up call,” he said. “They were working hard and they were outplaying us at the start.” Wednesday marked the final PIHL game for Mars seniors Berteotti, Christian Knapp, Max Master, Chad Friday, Dan McCann, Ed Schwadron and captain Reed Salada. It was also the Planets’ sixth consecutive trip to the Penguins Cup championship. “That’s obviously a very good thing for our program,” said Meyers.