Shines vs. PIAS
3-31-18- Saturday at the Mac, it was the semi-final game 10 of the ERHL AA playoffs where PIAS saved the best for last in their third period 2-1 upset thriller over the top ranked Shines. PIAS rose to the occasion as they found themselves in the improbable position of punching their ticket into AA final. Don Bruno had the game-winning-goal for PIAS, who will take the ice again later this evening for the AA championship. Bruno scored first for PIAS at 4:58 in the first period on an assist from Eugene Tapley, putting PIAS up 1-0. Shines’ Doug Keller answered back with an unassisted goal at 3:36 in the first period to tie it up at 1-1. Both teams went scoreless in the middle period, where Shines Tyler Vatz sat out two minutes for a body check and PIAS Ryan McCormick made two visits to the box for tripping. Shines controlled the puck and the tempo most of the game, but the unexpected came late in the third period when Bruno struck gold from the top middle of the crease. Bruno had some time to line up his shot, penning the dear diary goal with a well-placed right-sided wrister, for the go-ahead, 2-1 score at 1:44 in the third. With 1:07 remaining, PIAS Tim Plucinski got whistled for interference. Shines pulled their goalie and circled PIAS cage like sharks in the final minute power play, but PIAS stopper Patrick Zmuda held his breath until it was safe to surface, while also holding the high-rolling Shines to their lowest goaled game of the playoffs.