The Greater Latrobe hockey team got back on track.
Following a rare two-goal victory, the IceCats returned to their dominant ways against another one of the top teams in the classification with a 7-0 rout of host West Allegheny in a PIHL Class AA regular-season game Monday at Robert Morris University’s Island Sports Center Complex.
The IceCats won their 10th consecutive game on Monday, nine of them in lopsided fashion. They’re currently 10-0 and have outscored the opposition, 68-9, in 10 games, an average 7-1 margin. The lone exception came last Monday during a 6-4 victory against Montour, but the IceCats still led 4-0 and 5-2 in that game before their closest win of the season.
On Monday, the IceCats went back to business with a seven-goal shutout of West Allegheny, which is tied with Montour and Franklin Regional for the No. 3 spot in the classification.
The IceCats have scored at least six goals in all 10 games and they’ve hit seven goals in seven of those contests. The lone comparative Class AA goal-differential to Greater Latrobe’s plus-59 margin is Baldwin’s 55-14, a difference of plus-41.
The IceCats play their final game before the holiday break against Armstrong next Monday (7:15 p.m.) at Kirk S. Nevin Arena in Greensburg. Armstrong, which rivaled GL several years ago, is 5-6 overall and tied for the top spot in the Class AA Northeast Division.
Alex Schall, Cole Ferri and Alex Walker all enjoyed three-point games to guide the IceCats on Monday. The Greater Latrobe power play also led the way with three of the seven goals, going 3-for-4 overall.
Greater Latrobe has scored 16 power-play goals this season, three more than No. 2-ranked Montour. The IceCats are also tops in the classification with 29 power-play assists. They’ve been awarded 35 power plays and converted on nearly half of them — 45.7 percent — which is also No. 1 in Class AA. Schall scored one power-play goal on Monday while Ferri and Josh Martino added the others.
Schall led the IceCats with two goals and an assist while Ferri had his power-play goal and two helpers. Walker recorded three assists while Darick Hrtyanski had a goal and a helper.
Martino, Ean Lamolinara and Josh Coffee also scored for the IceCats, who outshot the opposition, 37-17. Colten McCutcheon, Jarred Stein, J.S. Florek and Lane Ruffner — who just signed a tender to play for Wichita Falls in the North American Hockey League — had assists.
Vinny Amatucci stopped all 17 shots faced for his fifth win and fourth shutout of the season.
Amatucci’s five wins are tied for third in Class AA while his four shutouts lead the classification. Amatucci has stopped 96 of 98 shots — allowing just two goals in 255 minutes this season — for a 0.40 goals-against average and a .980 save percentage, tops in Class AA in both categories.
Ferri is tied for the Class AA scoring lead with a league-best 18 goals and 32 points. Walker is third, two back with nine goals and 30 points. Schall is tied for seventh in Class AA scoring with 11 goals and 20 points.
Dating back to last season, Walker has 20 goals and 66 points during a 25-game scoring streak. Walker, who finished fifth in Class AA scoring last season, has 13 goals and 47 points in his last 16 games played.
Ferri, who is riding a 14-game scoring streak, has 26 goals and 49 points in his last 21 games. Stein has points in 17 of his last 22 games. He has 11 goals and 20 points in his last 16 games.
Schall is also riding a 10-game scoring streak. He has points in 13 of his last 14 games with 13 goals and 23 points during that span.
Florek has points in eight of 10 games played and Ruffner is on a five-game scoring streak with nine assists in that span. Ruffner has points in six of his last seven games, while Martino has points in seven of eight played this season.
West Allegheny kept the potent Greater Latrobe offense off the scoreboard for the first period as the teams were deadlocked, 0-0, through 17 minutes. The Indians had the better of the play, outshooting Greater Latrobe by a lopsided 14-4 margin, as Amatucci stood tall.
But then the IceCats broke through for seven goals in the final two periods. Greater Latrobe outshot West Allegheny, 33-3 in the last two periods, as the Indians didn’t record a shot in the third.
Coffee started the party with the game’s first goal — and the eventual winner — 1:50 into the period from Ferri. Schall made it a 2-0 game just 89 seconds later from Hrtyanski and Ferri, while Hrtyanski scored an unassisted goal later in the period.
Martino scored the IceCats’ first power-play goal with 4:13 to play in the period from Walker and Stein. Ferri had the second power-play goal — and the IceCats’ fifth of the period — with 1:47 to play from Walker and Ruffner.
Lamolinara scored from Schall and Walker with 11:56 to play in the third and Schall closed the scoring with the IceCats’ third power-play goal, this one from Florek and McCutcheon.