NORTH PARK – For the second year in a row the North Hills Indians took to the ice under the stars at North Park, and for the second year in a row they were narrowly eclipsed by Moon. But the real winner on the night was the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which received the proceeds of the game.
Appearing in the PIHL Outdoor Charity Series, the Indians were in a generous mood early on, spotting the opposition the first three goals.
From that point on the Indians largely controlled the play, striking twice late in the second period to go into the ice-resurfacing intermission with clear momentum.
Sophomore Tiernan McGrath, returning from missing four games due to injury, tallied the first Indians’ goal, driving home a shot at the right post at 6:59. Tyler Heisel and Brett Berner earned assists.
Then at 2:20, Daniel Csaszar fired home his first goal of the season after taking a feed from Berner and unleashing a shot from 15 feet out. Heisel also earned his second assist.
The game locked into a defensive struggle on the wide open North Park ice in the third period, with the Indians limiting Moon to only five shots on goal. But Moon was able to restore a two-goal lead at 11:24 of the third when their captain, Trevor Handlovich was sprung in to the Indians’ zone on a semi-breakaway after he had been hanging out near center ice waiting for an opportunity to cherry pick behind the North Hills defense. On this occasion, the strategy worked, pacing Moon to a 4-2 lead.
But as they have all year, the Indians refused to quit. Just two minutes later, Csaszar struck again, taking a Ryan Kuchnicki pass near the Moon blue line and skating down the left side of the ice he uncorked a wrist shot that snuck inside the right post to bring North Hills back to within a goal.
With 4:35 remaining, Moon’s Koby Uhrig slapped a puck from the left point that deflected off a stick in front of Indians’ netminder Max Sikorski, and into the back of the net to put Moon up by two yet again. With 1:55 remaining, the Indians battled right back, when Berner found a loose puck and pounded it home to keep hope alive.
Coach Brandon Dudt-Mulzet pulled Sikorski with just over a minute to play for an extra skater, but the Indians were unable to set up an effective attack and Moon scored into the empty net.
The Indians play their last regular season home game Monday night at 9:15 at the RMU Island Sports Center versus Pine-Richland. All alumni are invited to attend as the North Hills Hockey Club celebrates its 40th Anniversary. Discounted t-shirts will be available.