The State College ice hockey team took the lead less than five minutes into the game Monday, but could not hold onto that lead in a key league battle that resulted in a 3-1 victory for Pittsburgh Central Catholic at Pegula Ice Arena.
The two teams are part of a logjam of programs that are jockeying for PIHL playoff position in the final month of the regular season. The two teams are among six teams separated by four points in the PIHL standings, for playoff positions 7-12.
The top 12 from the 15-team league make the playoff field.
State College (7-8-1) has 15 points and is tied for eighth, while the Vikings (8-6-0) jumped from a tie for sixth to a tie for fourth with the win to reach 18 points.
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Jared Karas gave the Little Lions the early lead with an unassisted goal 4:19 into the contest.
But the Vikings took over, with goals from John Staley and Jake Tepe later in the period and from Henry Sacchini 50 seconds into the second period. The goalies took over from there, with no more scoring over the final 33:10 of action.
Chris Rosselot made 25 saves in the loss while Brian Burger stopped 29 shots for Pittsburgh Central Catholic.