The History of West Allegheny Ice Hockey

Roman Giacomino, Journalist

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West Allegheny Ice Hockey has quite an interesting history. Since not many kids play ice hockey, it isn’t a very popular sport at the school. The team all started in the early 90’s with a group of kids who enjoyed playing the sport. One of these high school students was Mike Kennedy, who is now the assistant coach for the ice hockey team today. Mr. Kennedy played on West Allegheny’s first ice hockey team and was actually the first player to score a goal for West A. Another alumni who has played on West Allegheny’s ice hockey team is John Kalt, a 2011 graduate. He has gone from a team leader as a player, and is now the head coach of West Allegheny’s Junior Varsity Ice Hockey Team. The ice hockey team was never good enough to win a championship in its first several years of existence and the season records went up and down. Furthermore, the team remained unpopular, having minimum players and a small fan base made up mostly of parents.

Closer to present day, the team has a few titles earned, players who have been awarded Pennsylvania International Hockey League’s (PIHL’s) player of the month, and multiple players who have played in the all-star game. This change in momentum was gradual. Last season, two very skilled players were selected for PIHL’s player of the month, which is a difficult award to achieve. These players, Sean Weber and Jess Ligas, were both seniors at the time. Both Sean and Jess played on offense, specifically right wing. Sean Weber was a league leader in points and Jess was a skilled puck handler. Their names were announced during a Pittsburgh Penguins game and they were congratulated on the ice of Consol Energy Center. This season, West Allegheny had 3 players make it into the all star game, which is reserved for some of the best hockey players. These players were varsity team captain Lorenzo Giacomino, varsity team assistant captain Zach Gunn, and varsity forward Thomas Durkin. Though they weren’t all on the same team during the game, they all claimed that it was a fun experience. West A’s Ice Hockey team has only won one championship in 2012, defeating Erie Cathedral Prep at Consol Energy Center. They have been close to glory before but lost in 2010, to Greater Latrobe’s ice hockey team. The team almost earned to a trip to Consol Energy Center again last year, only suffering a few losses and being a powerful team in the Single-A Division. In spite of this, the team lost in the semi-finals at Robert Morris University’s ice complex against South Fayette’s highly skilled team.

Following that season, the Varsity Ice Hockey team has gained a new coach, Brian Boehm. He was brought in to make the team better and to possibly win a championship in the 2016-17 hockey season. Sadly, instead of a championship win, the outcome was the opposite. They finished the season with a record of two wins and 17 losses. Although, most team members were not disappointed, everyone was aware that the team was young and had a lot to learn. Varsity captain Lorenzo Giacomino said at the end of the season, “What comes with a young team is the potential to be great.”

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The History of West Allegheny Ice Hockey