Just a few teasers to get a "taste" of the CCVHC 2021-22 Banquet, marking the end of the Club's 49th Season, which was held at Longue Vue Club on Sunday evening ... Thank you to all players, parents and coaches who attended, making it a flat-out fantastic evening! Thank you, banquet committee!
A special thank you to CCHS Principal Bro. Tony Baginski and our Longue Vue host, CCHS Alum Dave McSorley, '62, for their staunch support of our program!
CCVHC Sled Hockey Volunteer Opportunities!
The sled hockey component of the USA Hockey "Disabled Hockey Festival" continues this weekend at various rinks throughout the Pittsburgh area.
Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Club members will be volunteering all weekend long, both on-ice as sled hockey pushers and off-ice in scorekeeping and other capacities.
Volunteers are still needed! Please see https://www.midamhockey.com/usahdfest to volunteer. Even if you cannot volunteer, if you have some free time over the weekend, come out to watch some of the games. Please support these amazing athletes!
Ricky Castracani, CCHS '23, works with New York Sled Ranger Nunes. After the Rangers and the Mighty Penguins battled to a 3-3 tie at the end of regulation, Nunes scored the first goal of the nearly 7-round thrilling shoot-out. The Sled Rangers took the 4-3 victory in their first round robin game of this weekend's national sled hockey tournament.
During the 2022 USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Festival, a group of 12 Central Catholic Vikings Hockey players scrimmaged a team whose players are all deaf/hard of hearing and other CCVHC players volunteered as sled-hockey pushers for the sled hockey games, scorekeepers and fulfilled other needed roles during the multi-week international festival.
During the scrimmage, to give the CCVHC players an opportunity to experience what it is like to play an ice hockey game without being able to hear, earplugs were given to our players to wear.
CCVHC participants in the Deaf/Hard of Hearing scrimmage ... Thank you to CCVHC coaches Bill Connelly and Bro. Paul! Thank you to goalies Patrick Lettieri, Ben Balla and skaters Nic Jesso, Luke Jesso, Phinneas Hammer, James Zdarko, Anthony Smith, Cain Phillip, Colton Jackson, Ricky Castracani, DJ Burek, Antonio Moret and Cam Cardiff (who played for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing team in one of its other games) for being part of USA Hockey and CCVHCs commitment to ensuring that Hockey is for Everyone and Everyday is a Great Day for Hockey!
CCVHC Encourages Children To Experience the Thrill of Ice Hockey
Throughout the 2021-22 hockey season, CCVHC volunteers showed up in "full force" to help out all four Pittsburgh Penguins "Try Hockey for Free" sessions at Hunt Armory Ice Rink. Players from every team -- Middle School, JV-2, JV-1, and Varsity -- helped hundreds of kids ages 4-9 don hockey equipment and skate for the very first time.
CCVHC volunteers included: Ben Balla, DJ Burek, Ricky Castracani, Ben Cox, Nathan Cox, Phineas Hammer, Coline Hughan, Michael Huwar, Colton Jackson, Clayton Kepperling, Aaron Krackow, Patrick Lettieri, Luke Nuzzo, Cain Phillip, Ethan Pievach, Nathan Radkowski, Alex Sarkis, Dante Scalise, Joe Silvaggio, Anthony Smith, Santino Strobel, Massimo Sunseri, Gavin Watson, William White, Matt Weber, James Zdarko. CCVHC also thanks parents Doug Burek and Bill Sunseri who dusted off their skates to help out, too! Joining the CCVHC players to help out were coaches Bill Connelly and Bro. Paul.
Central Catholic's Junior Varsity-1 team lost to Mt. Lebanon, 1-0, in the PIHL championship on Thursday night at Ice Castle. Mt. Lebo scored the lone goal in the game with just over two minutes left in the 3rd period.
The atmosphere in the rink was truly electric ... School principal, Bro. Tony Baginski and CCVHC coach Bro. Paul were there to cheer the team on! The CCHS student section was packed and vocal. Many of the fans even came wearing the home jerseys of the JV-1 players and carrying signs.
Just as it has been with all of the playoff games, and much of the regular season, it was a showdown between the defensive cores of each team. Goaltender Patrick Lettieri, '23, was exceptionally stingy, allowing just two goals in three games.
In the end, however, one cannot win if one does not score. For CCVHC, unfortunately, despite good scoring opportunities, coupled with an apparent goal waived off in the 1st, the team just did not have the puck luck.
CCVHC appreciates all of the fans who showed up to the game to cheer the players on! It was a wonderful season!
The CCVHC JV-1 team defeated North Allegheny on March 22 in thrilling fashion, shutting out the top-seeded team, 1-0.
With the win, the team advances to the PIHL playoff championship round on Thursday, March 31 against Mt. Lebanon. The puck drops at 8:20 pm at Ice Castle Arena in Castle Shannon, PA.
Unflappable between the pipes, goaltender Pat Lettieri, '23, notched the shutout. Anthony D’Orazio, '24, scored the night’s lone goal, with the assist from Riccardo Castracani, '23.
Prior to last night, the team had faced NA twice in the regular season, tying once (0-0) and losing once (4-0). CCVHC stayed composed and took the win that mattered!
For more game photos and video, see https://www.facebook.com/CCHSVikingsHockey
Championship Game -- CCVHC Fans! Photo by Bill George.
Team consoles one another in championship loss. Photo by Bill George.
Championship Game. Photo by Bill George.
Semi-final game v. North Allegheny. Photo by Bill George.
Semi-final game v. North Allegheny. Photo by Bill George.
Vikings Hockey JV-1 Team Faces NA in Semi-Final!
Noah Hritz ... game winning goal!!
The Central Catholic Vikings Hockey JV-1 team takes on first-seed North Allegheny in Round 2 of the PIHL playoffs tonight, March 22, at Alpha Ice Complex in Harmarville, PA. Puck drops at 7:50 pm. Come support your fellow Vikings!
** Gino's Pizza across from the rink will give a 10% discount for CCVHC fans! Show your CCHS spirit and wear your Vikings gear to the game! **
If you missed the St. Hatrick's Day PIHL Quarterfinal ... The JV-1 hockey team advanced to tonight's semi-final in thrilling fashion, beating Seneca Valley, 2-1, in a shoot-out that went to seven rounds.
Goaltender P. Lettieri recorded 29 saves in the hard-fought battle. A. Williams notched the tying goal (C. Kepperling and J. Ochwat with the assists) midway through 2nd. After a scoreless 3rd and a nail-biting 3v3 OT, the shootout went to seven rounds.
Lettieri stayed composed between the pipes … the 3 CCVHC shoot-out tallies … one by A. Moret and two from N. Hritz — the 2nd being the game-winner— sealed the deal for Cental's on St. Patrick's Day.
Check out these great photos!!
To see photos from the Quarterfinals, go to Simply Sisters Photography (https://www.simplysistersphotography.com). Click on "Client Login." In the field after "Central Catholic High School" enter the following password: CentralHockey2021-2022
Please note that this gallery includes every game shot by Simply Sisters Photography for all four of our club's teams this season. Simply Sisters is the exclusive photographer of Central Catholic High School. So, for pictures from the St. Patrick's day QF, scroll to the very bottom of the gallery. Enjoy!
(Please note, any photos taken by parents are shared within sportsengine.)
CCVHC Varsity to Tackle Rams in March 7 PIHL Playoff Quarterfinals
Although Pine Richland took the win in Central Catholic's two regular season meetings, the contests were closely matched. Anything can happen in the playoffs!
The puck will drop Monday, March 7 at 8 pm at Baierl Ice Complex in Warrandale, PA. Admission is $5 for adults and students. Children under age 12 are free.
CCVHC celebrates its '22 seniors; beats Baldwin 4-1
varsity team clinches PIHL playoff berth
The Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Club varsity team defeated reigning AA Pens Cup and State Champion Baldwin 4-1 on Feb. 21, clinching a Pennsylvania Intershcolastic Hockey League playoff berth in the process.
Prior to the game, CCVHC celebrated its six 2022 seniors -- Varsity Captain Alex Paluso; Junior Varsity-1 Captain Aidan O'Shane; Cam Cardiff; Michael Huwar; Colin McCarthy and Mario Misiti.
The emotions were high as Central Catholic High School Principal Bro. Tony Baginski opened the ceremony by delivering the "athlete's prayer" and each player cycled through an honor guard of junior varsity and middle school players.
The stirring Senior Night ceremony helped carry the team's emotion into the game. Striking first, early in the first period, CCVHC went up 1-0 on an even-strength goal from George Acklin and Dante Scalise. After Baldwin rallied to tie the game up a few minutes later, Varsity Captain Paluso tallied the go-ahead goal, with assists from Beckam Alger and Rocco Salvitti. Ultimately, this power play goal proved to be the game winner.
Refusing to let up its intensity, insurance goals were scored in the 3rd period by Acklin and Sam Gaffney, with an assist from Huwar. Standing tall between the pipes, goaltender Jake Dold faced 40 shots on goal.
With this win, the last regular season home game, the varsity team clinched a PIHL AAA playoff berth. The team will finish its regular season with two awry games against AAA powerhouses North Allegheny and Pine Richland on Feb. 24 and Feb. 28, respectively.
For video and pictures from the Feb. 21 game and senior night, check out the CCVHC Facebook page ... https://www.facebook.com/CCHSVikingsHockey
Special thanks to all of the parents on the Senior Night Committee who worked so hard over the past several months to make this a special night for all! We appreciate your effort on behalf of the kids!
On Wednesday, February 2, the Central Catholic Varsity hockey team faced off against the North Catholic boys varsity hockey team for the first time in more than 15 years!
In addition, the game helped to raise funds to benefit Catholic education in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The game took place during Catholic School's Week (January 31 – February 4) and showcased one of the numerous athletic opportunities available to students in the diocese.
Both teams and coaches were excited to play the game and renew the rivalry. When asked about the game, Coach Jonathan Hoffmann said, "We all know the history of this great rivalry between North and Central that extends from the football field, to the basketball court, and now to bring it back to the ice is special."
Similarly, Vikings' head coach, Bill Connelly, said, "In talking with Coach Hoffmann, we are extremely grateful for those that have laid the foundation for our programs, as well as made this opportunity possible to meet up with North Catholic and bring high school hockey back within the city limits of Pittsburgh."
Not only was the game a great way to raise money for Catholic education, it is also a great opportunity for players on the two teams to play against one another. Coach Connelly said, "In some cases, our players are former teammates, and in other instances current friends. We hope that they will enjoy this opportunity as we will, but also remember that even in competition, we all continue to be students of faith and service."
The game took place on February 2, 2022 at 7:00pm at the Hunt Armory Rink in Shadyside (324 Emerson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15206).
The location has a lot of history behind it, as it is the first indoor community ice rink to open within the city of Pittsburgh in 25 years ... making it the perfect location to host such a significant game!
All proceeds from the night went towards supporting Catholic education in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Due to capacity limits, tickets will be available by presale only.
Unable to attend, but want to watch the game? The game will be livestreamed on the North Catholic Sports Network. https://boxcast.tv/view/celebrating-catholic-education-benefit-game-723765
Interested in supporting this educational mission of Catholic School's week and the memory of a Central Catholic High School hockey player, Paul J. Sciullo II, who was killed im the line of duty as a Pittsburgh Police officer in 2009? Then, please consider making a donation to the Paul J. Sciullo II Memorial scholarship fund. https://www.centralcatholichs.com/pages/give
Under Donation Designation, select Endowment, and choose Paul J. Sciullo II Memorial Fund.
Scroll below for more information about Sciullo. Also see, https://www.centralcatholicvikingshockey.com/remembering-paul-sciullo.
2021 Central Catholic Hockey Alumni Games & Paul J. Sciullo II Memorial fundraiser held 12/21/21 at Hunt Armory Ice Rink
Hunt Armory interior (photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Penguins).
The puck dropped at 6:40 pm on December 21, 2021 at the Hunt Armory Ice Rink in Shadyside for a hockey double-header of epic proportions!
The Central Catholic High School hockey alumni faced off against the Pittsburgh Police Hockey Icemen for Game 1 of the double-header. Game 2, at 7:50 pm, featured two CCHS alumni hockey rosters (players listed below).
Alumini player and current Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Head Coach Bill Connelly, '04, observed:
"Highlight reel goals were scored by Ryan Haag, Hugh Gallagher, Ronan Junker and Tim Schuster - with plenty of great saves by Nate Cava and Coyne McDermott.
As tradition, flowers were presented to Mrs. Sciullo while both the alumni and police team saluted Paul’s family.
Playing the game in the Armory added a special atmosphere for both the Alumni and Police teams. Police team members shared stories of having their training held at the Armory. For an event that is used to celebrate the legacy of Paul, it was certainly special to play the game in a building that connected both teams in rich history.
It’s always great to see so many families come back to the rink that I’ve been grateful to know both as a player and a coach. Beyond that, seeing generations of Vikings laugh and skate together, sharing stories of their time at Central, as well as stories to remember and honor Paul is truly something that we all feel so fortunate to be a part of. We’re already looking forward to next year’s game, as the Sciullo family is with us in our hearts every day in between."
* * *
The alumni games are held annually in the honor of Paul J. Sciullo II. A 1991 CCHS graduate and Pittsburgh Police Officer, Sciullo (1972-2009), along with fellow officers Stephen Mayhle and Eric Kelly lost their lives on April 4, 2009, in one of the deadliest days in the history of the Pittsburgh Police Department.
Scuillo played for CCHS Vikings Hockey from 1988-91, graduating as its varsity captain. After graduating from Duquesne University in 1995, he joined the Pittsburgh Police force in 2007.
CCVHC President Kevin Acklin, '94, reflected, "We honor the memory of our friend and teammate Paul Sciullo, who lived his life as an example of public service and remains and inspiration for all of us. While Paul made the ultimate sacrifice for safety of the residents of Pittsburgh, his beloved parents Max and Sue gained all of us as their sons."
With the exception of 2020, this game has been held annually since 2009. "This event holds an incredible special place in our hearts," said Todd Bowlus, '92. "Paul was my teammate, friend, and Captain. He embodied everything that you would want in all three of those things. It’s truly an honor to wear the name Sciullo on our backs for this game. Every day, Max and Sue Sciullo, and the Sciullo family, continue to be in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. Those of us lucky to know Paul will forever be impacted by him, and we take the utmost pride in passing along stories about him to those who did not know him.
"After missing the 2020 game," game organizer Brian Dolan, '01, said, "we're excited to have a completely sold out Alumni game for 2021!" He said he is thrilled that these games will be a reunion of-sorts for a few classes (2001, 2002, and 2004) and that there is a strong showing of recent graduates. "Us old guys might wish we were young after the game! It's going to be competitive hockey, I hope the goalies are ready!"
As there were no gate fees (and even if you could not attend the games), please consider making a donation to the Paul J. Sciullo II Memorial scholarship fund. https://www.centralcatholichs.com/pages/give
Under Donation Designation, select Endowment, and choose Paul J. Sciullo II Memorial Fund.
For more information about Sciullo and the annual alumni game, please see, https://www.centralcatholicvikingshockey.com/remembering-paul-sciullo .
2021 Alumni Game Players
(as of 12/21/21)
Tony Trovato, '87; Ray Cervenak Jr, '94; Justin Beachnau, '99; Brian Dolan, '01; Hugh Gallagher, '01; Athony Scoleri, '02; Timothy Schuster, '02; Jim Donahue, '03; Bill Connelly, '04; Andrew Petnuch, '04; John Chmiel, '04; Joe Coulter, '04; Jake Roberts, '07; Jon Coulter, '09; Anthony Parrucci, '13; JK Freyvogel, '13; Nick Tabaka, '15; John Staley, '15; Jeff Race, '02; Ryan Haag, '17; Nick Veltri, '17; Michael Sewecke, '20; Dominic Veltri, '20; Dayne Martin, '20; Max Ciganik, '20; Alex Pampena, '21; Jacob Bon, '19; Ronan Junker, '19; Bill Freyvogel, '94; Mike Zajko, '01; Quinn Gable, '01; Michael Facchiano, '20; Jack Null, '19; Christian Caparelli, '19; Chris McCambridge; Alexi Hooks, '19; Coyne McDermott, '19; Nate Cava, '18.
Central Catholic Vikings Hockey welcomes Coach Tony Trovato, '87, as head coach of its Middle School-Bantam team for the 2021-22 season.
Coach Trovato has been involved with USA Hockey since 1978. He has played in both the PAHL and Travel Hockey throughout his career. He played high school hockey for Central Catholic for all four years, winning a WPIHL Championship in 1987. See team pictures from his high school years to the right/below.
He then went on to play college hockey at the University of Pittsburgh at the ACHA Division I level, winning a WPCHA championship in 1988.
He also had the distinction of playing for the All-Army hockey team while serving his country from 1990 to 1992, playing against college and semi-pro teams. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division and served in the Persian Gulf War (Operation Desert Shield/Storm).
He is currently a Level 4 on-ice official and has been an on-ice official since 1988. He has officiated at every level of hockey from the NHL to youth amateur games. He has officiated both national and state level championship games.
He is currently a certified Level 4 USA Hockey coach. He has been both an assistant and head coach at the AAA and AA levels. He has taken his teams to the post season at every level.
CCHS Towers Yearbook, 1986-87
CCVHC Varsity Team
Row 1. M. Bocchicchio, P. Ludwich, J. Wiley, T. Moreland, T. Trovato, M. Sciarrino, J. Jackson, A. Reyes, M. Grande. Row 2: Coach Trapinzio, Coach Alpern, Coach Semplice, E. Medsger, R. Strompie. R. Vyas, K. Zielmanski, M. Messner, M. McSteen, K. Stanton.
FUN FACT!!! Coach Trovato skated in the Pittsburgh-filmed movie, Sudden Death! Curious? ... see below!
Middle School Head Coach Tony Trovato
CCHS Towers Yearbook, 1984-1985
CCVHC Varsity Team
Varsity Hockey Team: Front Row: G. Usiak, S. Wisniwski, T. Trovato, R. Harper, T. Moreland, D. Feldstein. Rear row: Coach Semplice, M. Messner, R. Yoyas, L. Lisjak, T. Ford, R. Dickerson, C. Anchors, M. Sciarrino, Coach Betterman.
CCHS Towers Yearbook, 1985-86
CCVHC Varsity Team
First Row (L to R): M. Grandy, D. Feldstein, J. Cohen, R. Cicco, E. Medsger, T. Trovato, S. Wisniewski. Second Row (L to r): B. Mathie, R. Vyas, S. HArney, T. MOoreland, S. Burke, K. McClung, M. Messner L Lisjak, M. Sciarrino, Coach Semplice.
Vikings Welcome New JV-2 Asst. Coach, Bro. Paul Avvento
Bro. Paul Avvento
Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Club is pleased to welcome Brother Paul Avvento to its coaching core.
Bro. Paul, who is in his first year teaching 10th and 11th grade history at CCHS, will be assisting Junior Varsity -2 team Head Coach John Beiber.
Bro. Paul's love for hockey began when he was eight years old. "At first, I played defense and at 11 became a full time goalie," he said. "I played in several leagues, and every Sunday my friends and parents would play at a large parking lot. After a few weeks other kids from the neighborhood would stop by, and 'Firehouse Hockey' became a staple for us."
In college, Bro. Paul transitioned to ice hockey to play for Manhattan’s club team. After college, he continued playing roller hockey after college before returning to ice a few years ago. After playing competitively on several teams, he plays in local pick-up leagues and fills-in for goalies, when needed.
While this is Brother-Coach Avvento's first year coaching ice hockey, he has been in education for 13 years. Bro. Paul received his bachelor's degree in Education from Manhattan College and his master's degree in Education Leadership from St. Mary's College of California. He is excited to be teaching CCHS student athletes both in the classroom and on the ice!
Indeed, CCVHC is fortunate that two of its coaches are at CCHS on a day-to-day basis. Coaching CCVHC junior varsity teams for eight years, Guidance Counselor and Coach James Eller received received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In addition to holding a Masters in Education, Coach Eller is a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor.
Coaches Eller and Avvento are excited to develop joint programming to support and guide all of CCVHC's players. "I think it will be amazing that Bro. Paul can bring an even more in depth spirituality component for the boys," said reflected Coach Eller. "I think it’s invaluable that they will have the opportunity to have a Christian Brother as a coach/moderator. I’m really looking forward to him joining our Central Catholic organization."
CCVHC Announces Middle School-Bantam Team
(based on registrations as of August 31, 2021)
Owen Van Ackeren
Vikings Announce 2021-22 Junior Varsity and Varsity Teams
Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Club (CCVHC) is proud to announce its teams for the 2021-2022 season! Roll Vikes!!
Junior Varsity -1 Skaters
William George Jr
Junior Varsity -2 Skaters
We are working hard over the summer to prepare for the season ahead. It will be here before we know it! We anticipate being able to provide information about practice schedules by mid-July.
If you have any hockey-related questions, please do not hesitate to contact CCVHC Head Coach Bill Connelly (email@example.com).
If you have any questions related to USA Hockey or PIHL requirements for rostering, please contact CCVHC Registrar Stefanie Moret (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you have any related to player accounts, season dues or anything that is of a financial nature, please contact CCVHC Treasurer Michelle Dold (email@example.com).
All required baseline concussion testing and USA Hockey mandated SafeSport training (for players BY 2004 and older) must be completed prior to the start of the 2021-22 season (August 1, 2021).
Finally, please consider volunteering for one of the many committee positions we have available. With four teams -- and more than 70 players registered -- it is virtually impossible to accomplish all that we need, and want, to do for the young men registered in the program. Your assistance is vital!
To volunteer for a committee, please click on the the link below:
Please check the Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Club (CCVHC) website frequently over the summer and throughout the school year for updated information about the program an various activities.
Once again, CONGRATULATIONS!
Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Students and families are invited to visit Central Catholic during our annual Fall Open House! Tours will take approximately one hour. Please limit your group to a maximum of four people so we can maintain social distancing. This event is for boys in the 6th, 7th or 8th grades. Please note: The Diocese of Pittsburgh requires that anyone over the age of 2 must wear a mask while inside any school buildings, regardless of vaccination status.
Middle School-Bantam hockey players are invited to attend Central Catholic High School's Open House is scheduled for November 7, 2021.
Open to all middle school-aged boys, whether or not they currently play for the CCVHC Middle School-Bantam team, these are great opportunities to find out more about Central Catholic High School as a college preparatory high school option during the hockey season.
Please see this link -- https://www.centralcatholichs.com/pages/prospective-students -- for more information about fall admission events and to register.
Mark your calendars and register now!
Central Catholic VIkings Hockey ... Class of 2021 on Senior Night
Fun and games .. End of Season Banquet 2021
Captain Michael Seweke and Alternate CJ Simione, Class of 2020
Central Catholic Vikigns Hockey Club worked with Simply Sisters Photography, the school-contracted photographer, to take photos of both the Feb. 21, 2022 Senior night ceremony and the varsity game against Baldwin afterwards.
The photos have been uploaded into an album on Simply Sisters Photography's website. To see the album of all CCVHC game photos (MS; JV2; JV1; V) taken by Simply Sisters Photography, including senior night, go to:
Alternatively, to access this gallery without using the link, proceed as follows:
Simply Sisters Photography will be Central Catholic Vikings Hockey Club's photographer for the 2021-22 season. In addition to team & individual photos, they will also be shooting a select number of games for all four CCVHC teams throughout the season. (To see information about individual photos, please go to https://www.centralcatholicvikingshockey.com/page/show/6026859-ccvhc-photos
** Parents, Simply Sisters will only be shooting only a few PIHL varsity games. So that we can have as many photographs of as many games as possible throughout the season, we welcome -- and encourage -- you to take photographs, as well. Please share those photos with us (firstname.lastname@example.org). These photos may be used throughout the season in various ways (website, banquet, yearbook) and we appreciate your support! Thank you! **