Pittsburgh WPIAL Finals Preview

The Pittsburgh season comes to a conclusion tonight.

D2: Hampton vs. Mars

Regular season meeting: 21-9 Mars

Although Hampton is the defending D2 champ, the pressure has to be on Mars as they attempt to complete an undefeated D2 season. Mars is coming off a tight semifinal win 15-11 over Moon. Hampton rolled Quaker Valley 17-9.

What to watch:

  • How does Hampton counter Mars face off dominance of Andrew Moyer and Garrett Reinke?
  • Can Hampton generate secondary scoring or will the burden fall on attackmen Richy Myros and Isaac Capezzuti?
  • Does Mars feel vulnerable/nervous coming off of a semi final game in which they were trailing at half time to a lesser team?

Fans should arrive for the 6PM start at Highmark. Last year’s Hampton Canon Mac final was a 15-12 affair. Expecting a lot of offensive fireworks in this game and a similar goal total.

D1: Mt. Lebanon vs. North Allegheny

Regular season meeting: 18-5

Way back in March, Mt. Lebanon easily dispatched the Tigers on opening night. Based on the way Mt. Lebanon and North Allegheny played in the semifinals, it would be hard pressed to expect a different result from March. Here is what needs to happen for North Allegheny to win/keep the game closer:

  1. North Allegheny face off man Alec Vissotski needs to win 55-60% over Jesse Dodd and whoever else Mt. Lebanon uses on at the face off. No small task for Vissotski as Dodd effectively neutralized Pine Richland’s Jake Freedlander in the semi finals.
  2. Stars need to be the best players for the Tigers. Gavin Hagen, Dillon Dugan, Wes Powell are the house hold names. North Allegheny managed to beat Shady Side without a goal from the trio. That cannot happen tonight.
  3. Win secondary defensive match ups. Everyone is so concerned about Brian Ward and rightfully so but in the quarter finals and semi finals Dan Lee and Connor Brumfield each had 8+ point games. Throw in goals from Nate Bashaw and Owen Chamberlain and you have an recipe for a 10 goal game.
  4. North Allegheny goalie Ean Kuska makes 15+ saves. North Allegheny will need Kuska to stay as hot as he was against Shady Side. (Navy goalie John Connors made 21 saves against Brown and the Mids lost 11-10. That kind of hot.)

North Allegheny faces a tall task tonight.

Hope Highmark is packed to see the final WPIAL game of some very talented Mt. Lebanon seniors.

In the D1 consolation game, Shady Side defeated Pine Richland in double overtime on a goal from Max Jaffe. The Indians also defeated Pine Richland in over time in last year’s consolation game. Shady Side will play 24-0 Wilson in the first round of the state playoffs.

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10 years of Lax Blogging

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