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Vikings News 2020-2021

CCVHC Hosts Elegant Banquet at Longue Vue Club

On May 11, the Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Club hosted a banquet to honor the 2020-21 players at the Longue Vue Club in Verona, PA. 

The banquet also honored the Club's Class of 2021.  The five graduating seniors are Ethan Iaccio, JoJo Palahunik, Alex Pampena, Alejandro Pietz and Adam Tabaka. Central Catholic High School held its baccalaureate mass and commencement on June 2, 2021 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial in Oakland.

The banquet featured a full-service dinner buffet, to be followed by an awards ceremony and other activities.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Club was unable to hold a banquet in 2020.

Class of 2021 at CCVHC Banquet

CCVHC Class of 2021 at the CCVHC End-of-Season Banquet. From left, Adam Tabaka, Alex Pampena, Alejandro Pietz and JoJo Palahunik.


CCVHC Hosts Banquet and Tryouts

Although "May" is not normally considered a big month for ice hockey, this year -- like everything else this year -- is not a normal year.   So, Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Club (like nearly all youth hockey programs nationwide) has been very busy this month. 

When USA Hockey pushed back the "2020-21 National Championship" schedule for certain age groups, it had a nationwide trickle-down effect as it compressed the available weeks for teams to schedule their 2021-22 tryouts.   Similarly,  when the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League (PIHL) extended its season deep into April, it forced teams to delay banquets and other commemorations to May, as well. 

CCVHC 2020-21 Banquet. The end-of-season banquet to celebrate the 2020-21 Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Club players was held on May 11, 2021 at Longue Vue Club (6 pm - 9 pm). Despite limited availability at local venues in May, as well as Covid-19 occupancy restrictions, it has been CCVHC's goal to honor its players who all demonstrated, in the face of adversity and uncertainty, true strength, grit and character. See below for more information.   

CCVHC 2021-22 Tryouts. Tryout sessions for the Junior Varsity and Varsity teams for the  2021-22 season were held on May 17, May 20, May 24 and May 27. All sessions were from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at Alpha Ice Complex in Harmarville, PA.  Online registration for tryouts is now closed.  

The tryout registration for the 2021-22 CCVHC Middle School/Bantam is OPEN. Tryouts for that team will be held in late July - early August.

All current tryout information was posted on the CCVHC website. Please check frequently for any updates. If you ever have any questions about CCVHC tryouts, please contact Head Coach Bill Connelly ( 

For the 2021-22 season, returning to "a normal hockey schedule" was also a Club priority.  So that there is ample time for the CCVHC board members, coaches and volunteers to prepare for the upcoming season, CCVHC Junior Varsity and Varsity tryouts are typically held in May.  After the 2021-22 JV and Varsity teams are announced, CCVHC will be seeking volunteers to serve on various open committee and, subject to CCHS administration approval, board positions. CCVHC welcomes your help!  *We are still seeking committee volunteers!*

CCVHC's Alger and Dold named PIHL All-Stars

Central Catholic Vikings Hockey varsity players Beckam Alger, '23, and Jakob Dold, '23, were named to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League (PIHL) All-Star roster for their achievements over the 2020-21 season. 

Forward Alger finished the season with 11 points (5 goals; 6 assists) over the course of 16 games. He was trailed closely by forwards Dante Scalise, '24, and George Coyle, '24, who both also tallied 11 points, but over 18 games.

Goalie Dold, '23, recorded a .905 save percentage over 17 games, which included two shut-out victories.  Dold was recognized for one of those wins this season by Pittsburgh Hockey Digest

CCVHC honored its 2021 viking seniors on March 2 ... and routed Butler for good measure

Each senior was recognized by CCVHC Head Coach Bill Connelly and CCVHC coaches, James Eller, Michael Petrella, Gabe Antoni and Dylan Junker. If you were unable to attend senior night, please see the program below for information about all of the graduating seniors.

The Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Club proudly recognized its five seniors on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at Alpha Ice Complex in Harmarville, PA prior to the team's home game against Butler.

From left,  Alex Pampena, Alejandro Pietz, Captain Jojo Palahunik, Ethan Iaccio, and Adam Tabaka.

Not to be denied on this special night, the Vikings went into total "storm chaser" mode, blanking the the Golden Tornado squad, 12-0. For detailed game stats, click HERE.  

The CCVHC Varsity team lines up for Senior Night 2021.

Dold stops 34 in Central Catholic Feb. 2 shutout over Mt. Lebanon


Feb. 2, 2021. HARMAR TWP., PA — Goaltender Jake Dold (CCHS, '23) stole the show on Tuesday night as the Central Catholic Vikings shut out the Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils 2-0 at Alpha Ice Complex on Tuesday night. The sophomore stopped all 34 shots he faced in the contest.

The two teams started out slow but eventually found their legs as the period progressed and the Blue Devils started to pressure the Vikings, peppering starting netminder Dold with shot after shot. Central Catholic eventually found an opening, and with just over 11 minutes eclipsed Emmet Martin (CCHS '24) found a puck along the side of the cage and softly put in on net, beating Austin Martin and giving the Vikings a 1-0 lead.

Central Catholic came out flying in the second but couldn’t find the net as Mt. Lebanon blocked several shots and pressured the Vikings to the perimeter. JoJo Palahunik (CCHS, '21) was able to find a centering pass at the top of the slot and fire a wayward shot on goal that George Acklin (CCHS, '23) redirected past Martin at 13:06 of the frame.

The Blue Devils had an apparent goal waved off in the first two minutes of the third, and again on an early whistle during a Palahunik minor half-way through the frame. The Vikings were able to withstand the final minutes of the Mt. Lebanon attack, blocking shot after shot in the waning moments.

Reprinted by permission, Brian Mitchell, Pittsburgh Hockey Digest. 

CCVHC Goaltender Jakob Dold, CCHS 23. Photo by Brian Mitchell.

CCVHC Coordinates Impressive Red Door Ministry Donation Campaign

Lindsey McCarthy and Jackie Alger
CCVHC Service Project Committee

Central Catholic High School's founding Saint, St. John the Baptist de la Salle’s expression to “Live Jesus in our hearts forever” was the driving force for the 2020-2021 Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Club’s Service Project. 

With the unusual situation of the 2020-21 hockey season and Covid-19 restrictions, the hockey program had to find a service project in which all hockey players from the four CCVHC team could participate, making it their own individual, personal success, yet still coming together as a club to accomplish big things. 

In coordination with CCVHC Head Coach Bill Connelly and Service Project Committee members, parents Lindsey McCarthy and Jackie Alger, the teams were excited to work with the Red Door Ministry, further developing a relationship that has been close to Central Catholic High School for several years. 

Considering the many needs of the Red Door, and under the guidance of Sr. Emily Lepage, the Central Catholic hockey teams were able to collect more than $1,500 in McDonalds gift certificates, 500 bags of clothing, 40 bags of personal hygiene items, and many, many boxes of packaged food for the homeless supported at the Red Door.  In total, in January 2021, the teams were able to fill a 15-foot U-Haul box truck.  Pretty impressive! 

Many thanks go out to the boys, parents, and the many individuals who made this service project a huge success.  A special shout out to South Hills Movers and its president, Robert E. Lee, who graciously supplied us with more than 100 boxes to help separate all the items for the Red Door to make distribution of the items easier for the ministry volunteers. 

CCVHC Helps Red Door Ministry

CCVHC recognizes its 2021 viking seniors

CCVHC is proud to recognize its five seniors! From left, defenseman Ethan Iaccio, and forwards Alejandro Pietz, Jojo Palahunik, Alex Pampena and Adam Tabaka.

This year, all individual and team photographs were taken on the Canada Ice underneath the new CCVHC home rink banner. 


Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Practices Resume

The Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Club (CCVHC) teams have resumed practices this week after the three-week "pause" ordered by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf expired on Monday, January 4, 2021. 

Given the length of time that teams were unable to practice, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League (PIHL) has elected to resume game play January 11, 2021.  According to PIHL, "This will allow the teams to get in some practices before their first games."

Please check the CCVHC calendar frequently as practice and game dates, times and locations are subject to change. 

Gov. Wolf Outlines New Restrictions to Slow Spread of COVID-19; Puts PA School and Club Hockey on "Pause" through Early January

Stating that the current surge of COVID-19 cases is much worse than it was in the summer months, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced today (Thursday, Dec.10) that he is imposing a three-week period of new restrictions to slow the spread of the virus and ease the burden on the state’s hospital systems.

These restrictions take effect at 12:01 a.m on Saturday, Dec. 12, and end at 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. 

 *According to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League (PIHL), all games set for Thursday, December 10 and Friday, December 11 will be played, as scheduled. Should PIHL issue any changes  that affect CCVHC games for today or tomorrow, they will posted promptly.*

As it relates to Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Club, the restrictions include:

K-12 School Sports and Youth Sports

  • All sports at K-12 public schools, nonpublic schools, private schools and club, travel, recreational, intermural, and intramural sports are paused.

Gyms and Fitness Facilities

  • Indoor operations at gyms and fitness facilities are prohibited.
  • Outdoor facilities and outdoor classes can continue, but all participants must wear face masks.

In-Person Extracurricular School Activities

  • Voluntary activities sponsored or approved by a school entity’s governing body or administration are suspended, but these extracurricular activities may be held virtually. This includes, but is not limited to, attendance at or participation in activities such musical ensembles, school plays, student council, clubs, and school dances.

CCVHC practices and other scheduled events between Dec. 12, 2020 and Jan. 4, 2021 will be deleted from the CCVHC calendar/marked as being cancelled. As PIHL games are posted to the CCVHC calendar through an automatic "feed" to which CCVHC has no access, these events will remain on the CCVHC calendar until removed by PIHL. 

Central Catholic Transitions to In-Person/Hybrid learning on Dec. 7

On December 7, Central Catholic High School will return to in-person instruction. Here is the school's 11-20-2020 online learning update

Specifically,  classroom instruction will be in a "hybrid" model starting December 7 through December 18, with "pause days" on December 9 and 16. 

Based on the conditions in Allegheny County and in CCHS, the school will determine what to do following the Christmas break. Winter sports practices  resumed on November 27. 


PIHL postpones Vikings November 5 game at Mt. Lebo

PIHL has postponed Central Catholic's game at Mt. Lebanon, which was to take place Thursday night. 

Mt. Lebanon High School reported 2 cases of Covid-19 yesterday, November 3. As a result,  the school has closed the facility through Monday. All athletic and extracurricular activities through that date are also either cancelled or postponed. 

Pursuant to its established Covid-19 return-to-play policy, PIHL is treating games that cannot be played as originally scheduled for this reason in the same way that it has for games that cannot be played due to severe inclement weather or other factors, such as a power outage at a rink.  In such cases, the affected game is rescheduled to a later date. 

More information about the Mt. Lebanon High School closure is in Post-Gazette, which reported the closure. 

Had this game been played as scheduled, Central Catholic would have had to play three games in the first three days of possible game play to start off the 2020-2021 season (November 2, 3 and 5). In PIHL, games may be scheduled any weekday evening, except Wednesdays. 

PA updates Covid-19 rules for sports

On November 19, the Pennsylvania Department of Health updated its order from earlier in the week mandating that CCVHC players wear masks/face coverings not only when inside the rink and in the locker room, but also on the ice for practices and games.  PIHL's November 21 safety policy revision is below. 

Specifically, pursuant to the revised PA Guidance for Sports, athletes who wear a helmet and mouthguard while playing the sport are no longer required to wear a face mask as doing so would, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  make it difficult to breathe. COVID-19 Guidance for Sports (

Prior to the issuance of this update, on November 18, Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Club received the following safety policy statement from PIHL requiring every individual who participates in a PIHL sanctioned practice or game, including coaches, athletes and referees, must wear a face covering at all times, including in the locker room, on the bench and during game play, unless subject to an exception set forth in the order.

PIHL states it is each Member Association’s responsibility to make sure its players and coaches are aware of this Face Coverings Policy and to disseminate within its organization any changes in this policy. 

It is also each Member Association’s responsibility to require compliance with this Face Coverings Policy at all PIHL sanctioned events by its coaching staff and players to ensure the safety of the players, coaches, their families and the general public. 

The PIHL Safety Policy Requiring Face Coverings is subject to change and may be updated as more information becomes available or as further laws, orders, policies or procedures are issued by local, state or federal authorities.

Pittsburgh Hockey Digest Livestreams Select Varsity Games

Pittsburgh Hockey Digest broadcast Central Catholic Vikings Hockey's home opener on November 3, 2020 in its entirety. Please follow the link below to watch the game.  Select games are carried through the season. 

CCVHC 2020-21 Varsity Season Starts Nov. 2; has 3 tough games in first week

Facing the most challenging schedule in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League (PIHL) AAA division, the CCVHC Varsity team begins its 2020-21 quest for the Penguins Cup next week. 

The Central Catholic’s varsity team is the only PIHL AAA team that will have to play three back-to-back games in the first four days of league play.

On Monday, November 2, the team will travel to Baierl Ice Complex to face off against North Allegheny. On Tuesday, it will host Seneca Valley – its first home game of the season -- at Alpha Ice Complex. The puck drops at 9 pm for this election night home contest.  On Thursday, the team is back on the road to face Mt. Lebanon.

In the 11-team AAA division, while two teams will have no games next week (Pine Richland and Peters), all other teams except one will have only one game during the first week of varsity play. Bethel Park, the only other AAA team with multiple games in the first week, will play on Monday and Thursday evenings.

Leading the team will be five seniors, forwards Alex Pampena, Jojo Palahunik, Alejandro Pietz and Adam Tabaka and defenseman Ethan Iaccio.

For the varsity team, starting game play in the beginning of November represents roughly a four-to-six week delay in game play.  

While the PIHL  junior varsity and middle school divisions started playing games on October 4 in a PIHL-created "modified game format" (4v4, non-checking games that consisted of four 8-minute periods), the teams then transitioned to 5v5 "regular hockey" the following week after PA changed the limitation on indoor sports "gatherings" from a strict 25-person maximum to a maximum based on the percentage of capacity.   While playing games pursuant to the "modified game format," among many other restrictions on game play so as to conform to the 25-person rule, no parents or other spectators were permitted in the rink. 

Although many rinks (but not all) now allow spectators at varsity games, each rink will have its own rules and these rules can change frequently. Moreover, some rinks are requiring spectators/players to sign COVID-19 waivers prior to allowing anyone to enter the rinks.  

Prior to attending any varsity game, please either check with the CCVHC varsity team manager or contact the specific rink for guidance. 




Three Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Club teams -- Middle School, Junior Varsity-2 and Junior Varsity-1 -- took to the ice on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at Alpha Ice Complex for their first "regular" 5v5 hockey games of the 2020-21 season. 

Central Catholic Vikings to Field four PIHL teams in 2020-2021

This season, the Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Club (CCVHC)  is pleased to announce that the program will be able to field FOUR club teams: Varsity, Junior Varsity -1, Junior Varsity -2 and Middle School/Bantam (registration still open). 

All four teams will compete in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League (PIHL) for the 2020-21 season. 

Listed below are the members of the 2020-21 Varsity, Junior Varsity -1, Junior Varsity -2 and Middle School/Bantam teams. 

Congratulations and welcome to CCVHC!


George Acklin
Beckam Alger
Cameron Cardiff
George Coyle
Loch Davis
Jake Dold
Sam Gaffney
Tyler Gaffney
Michael Huwar
Ethan Iaccio
Emmet Martin
Colin McCarthy
Mario Misiti
Jojo Palahunik
Alex Pampena
Alex Paluso
Alejandro Pietz
Ethan Pievach
Rocco Salvitti
Dante Scalise
Adam Tabaka

Junior Varsity - 2

Teddy Acklin
John Angiulli
DJ Burek
George Carnes
Vito DeSantis
Colin Hughan
Benjamin Jackson
Nicholaus Jesso
Aaron Krackow
Jack McDyer
Aidan Morgano
Jacob Ochwat
Jordan Romano
Adam Sarkis
Joseph Silvaggio
Aaron Williams
William White


Junior Varsity - 1

Douglas Berthold
Aidan Brady
Matthew Bzdziak
Ricky Castracani
Nathan Cox
Anthony D'Orazio
Joel Fabian
Clayton Kepperling
Teddy Law
Patrick Lettieri
Trip McSorley
Joshua Moline
Antonio Moret
Jack Nolan
Jack Sabo
Alex Sarkis
Jacob Seifarth
Ian Zahorchak
Christian Zavacky



Benjamin Balla
Kristofer Bandurski
Griffin Conner
John Donahue  
William George Jr          
Nikolas Halaburka
Phineas Hammer
Noah Hritz
Lukas Jesso
Brian Kalanish
Jack Marcello
Luke Nuzzo
Santino Strobel
Gino Texter

Gavin Watson
Matthew Weber
James Zdarko
Benjamin Zierski

Do you have any news to share? Let us know! ...

Ian Zahorchak, CCHS '23, a forward 2020-21 CCVHC junior varsity - 1 team is playing in the USA Hockey 16U Tier II National Championships in Grand Rapids, MI with his amateur team, the 16U North Pittsburgh Wildcats.  Competition begins April 29, 2023. For more information, go to the tournament website.   

Congratulations & Good Luck!