HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY: Indiana rides potent offense to win
If you’re going to beat the Indiana Indians, you’re going to have to score goals.
A lot of them.
Indiana’s offense set a tough pace to match, and its third-period barrage finally broke Greensburg Salem for an 8-6 victory in a PIHL Open Division Section 3 hockey game Thursday night at S&T Bank Arena.
Locked in a 4-4 tie going into the second intermission, Indiana (10-1) let loose four third-period goals to put away the Lions.
“Let’s put it in perspective: We put eight on the board,” Indiana coach Dom Glavach said. “It’s nice to have offense when things go a little shaky in your defensive end.”
Whatever Indiana gained, it kept giving back on its own end. Then the Indians scored three times in the first eight minutes of the third, including two in the first five minutes, to create some separation. Defenseman T.J. Petro’s breakaway goal at the 7:36 mark ended up the game-winner.
Indiana improved to 7-0 against Greensburg Salem (8-5) in the three seasons since it returned to varsity hockey.
In that span, the Lions have just two more losses against all other teams combined, going 41-9-1. Indiana has knocked Greensburg Salem out of the Chiefs Cup playoffs in both of the last two years.
“We kind of have their number,” Glavach said.
Logan Davis had a hat trick and five points, and Vincent DeFazio had two goals and two assists for the Lions. That top-heavy production, with their top three scorers, Davis, DeFazio and Garrett King, comprising their first line, has been a big part in a consistently deep Indiana team’s ability to beat them.
“We find a way to exploit what they don’t have,” Glavach said. “They rely heavily on DeFazio — good player, his dad was very good, and he was behind the bench — but we would play them passively and be defensive against that line and really just attack the others.”
Dominick Glavach opened the third-period scoring, just less than 3 minutes in, on a one-timer from a pinpoint pass from Camden Lydick, who was grinding in the corner. Jess Bartholow and Petro followed, and Noah Moody’s marker was insurance, as the Lions added two third-period goals of their own.
Greensburg Salem’s top scorers didn’t allow Indiana to pull away until then. Five of the Lions’ goals came in the last four minutes of periods, including two in the final minute of the first period to give Greensburg Salem a 2-1 lead. The Lions dominated play for the last 5 minutes of the second, evening the score at 4 before the Zamboni came out.
“Salem played very well,” the Indiana coach said. “We definitely have to get better in our own end, though. Defensively, we have to get back to basics.
“We really made a focused effort to make good decisions again today and just do the little things. For the most part, two-and-a-half periods, we did those things and the scoreboard went in our favor. That half-period where we stopped doing it, against good teams it becomes an uphill battle.”
Bartholow had two goals, and Lydick, Lewandowski and Ethan Boyer also scored for Indiana. Lydick dished out three assists.
Boyer’s goal was a reward for the freshman, whose physical play had been gaining him more ice time in the last few weeks.
“Hard work pays off,” Boyer said. “If you’re hustling to pucks and stuff, you’re doing your job.”
It’s paid off for Boyer’s linemates, too.
“Coach Dom said at the beginning of the game, ‘You guys need to be really physical,” Boyer said, “because once we’re physical on a team, they’ll sort of shy away from pucks.”
“(Boyer) and Jacob Clark tonight, Jacob Clark was probably our most physical guy in the first period, and when that happens, it opens a ton of ice up for Dom, for Cam, for Luke, for Jess — those guys that don’t normally get the space, but everyone’s backing up because you’ve got big guys like them banging.”
Indiana finished strong in its second game in as many nights. The Indians don’t have any more back-to-backs scheduled, but they do have two games to make up, with Hempfield and Ringgold, in an already compact rest of the regular-season schedule.
“It’s just staying focused, getting to bed on time and eating good meals,” Boyer said. “That’s about it. You’ve got to stay mentally prepared for the next game.”