UNIVERSITY PARK — State College rebounded after last week’s tough loss to Norwin with a dominating 9-4 win over Shaler Thursday night in non-section play at Greenberg Ice Pavilion.
State College senior forward Stefan Horgas opened the scoring 29 seconds into the game for the Little Lions. After Sey Yeaple’s initial shot was stopped by Shaler goalie Ian Zacharias, Horgas pounced on the rebound for his 37th goal of the season.
Not to be outdone, Shaler freshman forward Austin Martz responded for the Titans 20 seconds after the Horgas goal by burying a wrist shot pass Little Lion goalie Zach Woytowich to tie the game at 1-1. Shaler would take the lead at the 12:16 mark on Martz’s second goal of the game, and his 15th of the season.
State College would finish the first period with goals from junior Jared Karas and senior Andrew Ebert to take a 3-2 lead into the second.
Stefan Horgas has been nothing short of spectacular for the Little Lions this season. The scoring dynamo has registered 39 goals and 23 assists for 62 points on the season in only 18 games played. With his three goals and two assists Thursday night, Horgas moved to the top of PIHL Varsity AAA scoring chart. Norwin’s Daniel Merz was the leader with 58 points heading into Thursday’s game Pittsburgh Central Catholic.
State College coach Brett Wilson was pleased with his team’s effort after last week’s tough 4-2 loss to Norwin.
“I think we did a really good job,” Wilson said. “The main thing that we saw was energy wise. Last week we came out very flat and that loss was because of it ... The guys didn’t get down with that goal against they just kept coming and I saw a lot more energy out of the team tonight.”
For Horgas, who wants to play hockey somewhere in the fall, tonight’s performance was not about himself.
“I just went out and played like every other game,” Horgas said. “My teammates played well and the goals came.”
Early in the second period, State College would extend their lead to 4-2 with Ebert’s second goal of the game coming on a power play, and made it 5-2 on sophomore Glenn Wild’s rolling shot that fooled Zacharias, as the puck skipped between his legs.
Braeden Harbison and Luke Grossman also scored on the night for Shaler, while Adam Warfield and Luc Michael added goals for State College.
The line of Keras, Warfield and Michael were the recipients of the Hammer Award for their performance in the win.
“That line played very well tonight with energy and goals,” Wilson said.
The Little Lions improved to 2-0 against Shaler on the season with the win and 11-7 overall on the year. They remain atop PIHL’s Varsity AAA Section 3 division. Shaler fell to 8-7-2 and remains in second place in PIHL’s Varsity AAA Section 4 division behind Pittsburgh Central Catholic.
The Little Lions outshot the Titans 46-20 in the game.
State College returns to the ice to host Penn-Trafford at next Thursday at Greenberg Ice Pavilon.
Tom Zulewski is a Penn State journalism student.