Meadville Tribune

Breaking News


January 16, 2014

St. Ignatius again the team to beat at Bulldog Invitational

MEADVILLE — Do any of the teams slated to take part in the 18th annual Meadville Bulldog Invitational hockey tournament have what it takes to unseat St. Ignatius?

The Cleveland, Ohio-based Wildcats are the winners of the last four Bulldog Invitational titles, and they own the most titles of any program that has participated in the event with seven overall. The squad also owns the best all-time record at the tournament at 51-19-3, a winning percentage of .719.

Seven other teams, including the host Bulldogs, will take their shot during this year’s tournament, which gets underway today at the George S. DeArment Ice Arena. Meadville and North Hills will get the show going with a game starting a 4 p.m. Action continues through the night on Friday and all day Saturday. And the tourney concludes Sunday with the semifinals and the championship game.

Yet, it’s not going to be easy to knock the Wildcats off their perch. The Great Lakes Hockey League squad enters the tournament with the best regular season record of any of the eight teams in the tourney, going 16-3-4 so far.

However, Ignatius should be faced with some decent competition in its search for its fifth consecutive invitational trophy. Among its toughest opponents should be Bethel Park. The Blackhawks enter with a record of 16-5-0, making them one of the top teams in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League’s Class AAA .

“Yeah, Bethel Park, I think, is going to be real strong,” said Meadville head coach Jamie Plunkett. “They’re having a great year.”

Cathedral Prep also has a shot. The Ramblers, playing in Class AA in the PIHL, are off to a good start this season at 13-6-2. Upper St. Clair also enters with a winning record at 12-7-2.

 Four other squads enter the tournament with sub-.500 records. Among them is another Cleveland School in St. Edwards, which is 11-12-0. St. Ed’s was the Bulldog Invite runner-up last season to St. Ignatius. The Eagles are winners of three Bulldog Invitational titles and they are the last program to win one (in 2009) prior to Iggy’s current run.

Also in the hunt is North Hills (8-11-0), Sylvania Northview (7-10-0) and host Meadville, which is 7-17-4 this season when combining the records for both the Bulldogs and their midget team alter ego, the Crawford County Flames.

Meadville is not only aiming for its first berth into the tournament semifinals since 2011, the Bulldogs are also looking for their first tournament victory since that same year. The ’Dogs have gone 0-2-1 in each of the previous two tournaments.

In order to break that skid, the Bulldogs, averaging just 2.9 goals per game this season, will have to focus on offense.

“Goals had been hard to come by this year,” said Plunkett. “We seem to spend a lot of time in practice emphasizing shooting the puck and going to net because it’s been a real challenge for us this year to score.”

Leading Meadville this season has been Bryan Ray, who has a team-best 18 goals following his two-goal performance against Jamestown (N.Y.) this past Tuesday. Josh Orr follows with 14 goals and leads the team in assists with 15. The next leading scorer is Owen Miller with nine goals.

There will be plenty of other top-notch marksmen on the ice this weekend. For example, Bethel Park’s Christian Siak leads the PIHL’s Class AAA division with 22 goals this season. He’s also got 10 assists. Upper St. Clair has a good scorer in Austin Cassidy, who has 16 goals and eight assists. Cathedral Prep has a decent offensive trio in Ben Eliason (11 goals, 27 assists), Trevor Faulkner (12 goals, 19 assists) and John Colvin (13 goals, 12 assists). And North Hills has a skater to watch in Brett Berner (15 goals, 11 assists).

Once again, it’s going to be a tough field.

“I get criticized sometimes, why do we bring in the teams we do?” said coach Plunkett. “Well, If you want to raise your program up you’ve got to play tough opponents. I know there is a fine line between bringing in quality programs and bringing in programs that are way beyond your skill level. But the people still like coming here. I think the parents put on a great tournament. That’s why we get so many great teams at the end of the day. And we’re also looking to improve the kids and improve the team. If we wanted to win a tournament we could get teams that we could easily beat. But I don’t think that will accomplish our goals at end of the day, which is for the kids to get better.”

Text Only
  • District 1 dominates at East Regional

    Outscoring its opponents 32-0, District 1 moved to 3-0 at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament on Monday with a pair of wins.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kissing the bricks Gordon wins at Indy for record 5th time

    With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again.
    Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight days before his 43rd birthday and on the weekend Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first Brickyard victory.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Roethlisberger OK with choice to wait on new deal

    There are days when Ben Roethlisberger can feel every single hit he’s absorbed during a decade as one of the NFL’s most fearless quarterbacks.
    And there are days when the Pittsburgh Steelers star sees the young faces surrounding him in the huddle and it seems like he can play forever.

    July 26, 2014

  • Teen doping Survey: Teens experimenting with HGH on the rise

    Michael Guerreri wanted to try human growth hormones so he could look like a pro wrestler. Joe Badalanato hoped HGH would help him become a better football player. James O’Brien figured the drug would improve his fastball.
    The three 18-year-olds from suburban Philadelphia told The Associated Press this week that they bought bottles of HGH online in the past year. Turns out, what they bought was fake.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Montoya back at Indy intent on winning for Penske

    Juan Pablo Montoya is back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — one night only, an encore of sorts, in a guest-starring role for Team Penske.
    The Colombian is entered in the Brickyard 400 for the explicit purpose of winning at Indy in NASCAR and giving team owner Roger Penske one of the few trophies missing from his collection.

    July 25, 2014

  • Haley Wise District 1 looking forward to bigger goals

    The members of the District 1 Senior League softball team haven’t spent a whole lot of time playing together.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meadville's magical season comes to an end

    The state run is over for the Meadville Junior League All-Stars.
    Guess they’ll just have to content themselves with a District 1 championship, a Section 1 championship and an incredible turnaround from the year before.

    July 24, 2014

  • AP source: Gordon to meet with league Aug. 1

    The Cleveland Browns may soon learn whether they’ll have Josh Gordon this season.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mitchell Wood FCV’s season comes to an end

    The end of an era.
    So it was with French Creek Valley dropping a 5-4 decision to Albion Post 567 in the Region 8 Tournament at Northwestern High School on Wednesday. For several key players, it was the last time they would put on the blue uniform for head coach Brandon Crum.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meadville falls to NA in Junior League state opener

    The Meadville Junior League All-Stars spent all baseball season perfecting the art of winning.

    July 23, 2014

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow

A South Carolina woman was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The decision has created a debate over “free-range” parenting and whether it’s a good idea or not. What’s your take?

I’m fine with it. If she cannot afford childcare, what choice does she have?
This is horrible and very bad parenting.
I’m torn. It’s not right what she did, but it sounds like the mother had few other options.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide