Friday, January 21, 2005

Norwin vs. Penn Trafford - The rivalry on ice


USA v. Canada, Penguins v. Flyers, and Maple Leafs v. Senators are some of the best traditional rivalries in sports. However, if you live around where I do, there is one more rivalry that stands on this list. Norwin vs. Penn Trafford.

Through a stroke of luck, I was searching through the PIHL website and I found the monthly schedule of Western PA hockey. I was glad to see that my High School Alma Mater was playing their rival Penn Trafford today. With the help of some other message board members I found out that Norwin's home rink is in nearby Delmont, PA and Center Ice Arena.

After driving around just to find the place, I got there with about 10 minutes to spare eagerly awaiting my first chance to see Norwin play my favorite sport. Like the idiot that I am, I forgot to bring a camera.

When I was in school, we never ever beat Penn Trafford (PT). I was a football player, so I never really had the chance to get out and see my classmates. It was like

I was eager to get a first look at what exactly the two school's jerseys looked like. The home white PT jersey looked somewhat impressive in it's design. Their colors were Green and Yellow like always with the familiar Indian head. It was a solid green on the shoulders, but with a green and yellow striped triangle at the hips that's gotten to be popular on some designs. On the chest was a circular yellow logo with the PT Warrior head. Then Norwin took the ice, and I was somewhat unimpressed with their jersey design. All they had was solid navy blue jerseys with gold and white stripes at the waist and wrists with the name in block lettering across the chest. Nothing fancy. No knight head or lance or anything knightly was used. Also, neither team used names on the back.

Norwin's play was about as uninspiring as the jersey. PT won the opening face off and took control of the game from that moment on. When I was doing commentary for the Penn State Icers, I had said that Townson U. was playing like they were on a permanent penalty kill. The same could be said for Norwin. With a young team, they chose a defensive style with PT spending most of the first period in the zone.

Soon afterwards, I learned some of the rules. There was no touch up icing. It seemed to help with the flow of the game. There was no time wasted. However, the first period ended with only one good scoring chance for the Norwin Knights as they were outshot 21-6 and losing 1-0. Each teams huddled up at the bench area and didn't go off to the locker rooms. The zamboni didn't clean the ice, but PT was sure cleaning up against Norwin in this game. I changed my position on the bleachers to the back row where I could get a better view of things. The bleachers are set up where you have to look through a chain link fence, a walkway space and then through the glass boards. I stood up and got the overhead view of what was left of the game.

Norwin lost 3-0 and was badly outshot 45-16. No fights and I am probably guessing that it's not allowed. There were a few skirmishes leading to a 5-3 powerplay for Norwin, but it didn't help much.

Before I left, I took a look at the rest of Norwin's schedule. Delightfully, I saw that Norwin will be playing State College high school in the same Center Ice Arena on February 3rd. PT already played State College earlier in the year and took care of them soundly. I hope to see some of you at the next game!
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