LMHL Playoffs - Day One
Updated: Mar 25
Written by: David Nicoletti
The LMHL Playoffs are here, and day one showed much excitement at 1ST SUMMIT ARENA. We would have two middle school match-ups to kick everything off, Followed by a varsity match-up to end the night.
Our first match-up was the fifth-seeded Central Cambria Red Devils taking on the twelfth seeded Greater Johnstown Trojans.
Central Cambria would get the ball rolling early, scoring seven unanswered goals in the game's first 12 minute period. Johnstown would, however, get a goal of their own from Blake Shaffer to make it a 7-1 Red Devils game after one period.
The Red Devils would see themselves in some penalty trouble to start the second period. Johnstown would go ahead and take advantage, scoring a power-play goal to make it 7-2. But it would be all Central Cambria from here on out.
Central Cambria would score three more goals, goals that would come from Semelsberger and Martin (2)—ending the game at a 10-2 final score. The final shots on goal would be 32-15 for the Red Devils. Other significant performances from the Red Devils include Nakdad, Cooper, Thomas Smith, and the Frantz brothers.
Up next for our second middle school match-up, we would have the sixth-seeded Somerset Golden Eagles taking on the eleventh seeded Forest Hills Rangers.
The first period would see both teams taking two penalties each, as well as scoring a goal. Somerset’s goal would be on the man advantage, while Forest Hill’s would come at even strength.
Forest Hills would get the edge first in the second, taking advantage of a Somerset tripping call and scoring on the power-play. But the Golden Eagles would take the momentum back and score two unanswered goals, one on a fantastic breakaway and one on the power-play, making it a 3-2 Somerset game after 24 minutes of play.
The third period would see each team be given two penalties; two of them would cause us to see some 4-on-4 hockey. But it wouldn’t affect the game's final score, as the Somerset Golden Eagles would take the game home at a final score of 3-2.
Now the main event of the evening was up next here at the Cambria County War Memorial. For our varsity match of the night, we would have the number one seeded Bishop McCort Crimson Crushers, taking on the ninth-seeded Greater Johnstown Trojans.
The first 17 minutes would be all John Bradley and Bishop McCort, scoring three unanswered goals, and outshooting the Trojans 17-0. One goal would come from forward Benjamin Berkebile, and two would come from Russia/Kazakhstan nationality forward Adis Ultanbekov, McCort’s leading scorer. Forward Lukas Cascino would get all three lone assists off the goals.
Johnstown would eventually get their first shot of the game in the second period, but McCort would add two more goals to make it a 5-0 game after 34 minutes. Bryce Bair would get one of the goals, while Adis Ultanbekov would complete his hat-trick late in the period. Assists would be given out to Benjamin Berkebile, Elijah Sckmar, and Bryce Bair. Shots on goal after two were 32-2 for McCort.
Russian teammates Ilya Zhdanov and Adis Ultanbekov would add two more for the Crimson Crushers in the third period, ending the game as McCort would take it over Johnstown at a final score of 7-0. Final shots on goal would be 42-3 for McCort. Belarus native Nikita Volsky would get the shutout for McCort, stopping all of Johnstown’s three shots.
OTHER GAMES AROUND THE LMHL
#3 Hollidaysburg - 4 vs. #6 Altoona - 3 (NCRC) [Var]
#4 Forest Hills - 8 vs. #5 Central Cambria - 3 (NCRC) [Var]
That concludes day one of the LMHL Playoffs, day two on March 24th will feature only one game on the schedule. As we will see, the eighth-ranked Somerset Golden Eagles take on the ninth ranked Greater Johnstown Trojans in a varsity match-up set for an 8:20 pm puck drop.