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About the Canadiens - 01-09-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

A preview of the Canadiens.

When and where: 7 p.m., EST, Molson Centre Bell Centre.

TV: Root Sports (Pittsburgh market), NHL Network (rest of the United States), Sportsnet, TVA.

Record: 23-16-3, 49 points. The Canadiens are in third place in the Atlantic Division.

Leading Scorer: Left winger Max Pacioretty, 33 points (17 goals, 16 assists).

Last Game: 2-1 home win against the Devils. Goaltender Mike Condon made 19 saves for the Canadiens.

Last Game against the Penguins: 4-3 road shootout loss Nov. 11. Defenseman P.K. Subban (right) had two assists for the Canadiens.

Canadiens Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Pacioretty. He has a five-game scoring streak.

Ex-Penguins on the Canadiens: General manager Marc Bergevin, assistant coach J.J. Daigneault, head coach Michel Therrien.

Ex-Canadiens on the Penguins: Defensive development coach Sergei Gonchar, special assistant to the head coach Jacques Martin, player development coach Mark Recchi .

Useless Canadiens Trivia Vaguely Related to the Penguins: Condon is expected to start and will be the second consecutive former Wheeling Nailers goaltender to face the Penguins. Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling made 17 saves against the Penguins in a 3-1 home win Wednesday.

The last time the Penguins played the Canadiens, this happened: 

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (14-11-3, 2.29 GAA, .926 SV%) for the Penguins. Mike Condon (12-9-3, 2.36 GAA, .908 SV%) for the Canadiens.

Injuries: For the Penguins, right wingers Beau Bennett ("upper body") and Pascal Dupuis (blood clots) are on injured reserve. For the Canadiens, defenseman Jeff Petry ("upper body") is out. Defenseman Tom Gilbert ("lower body"), goaltender Carey Price ("lower body") and right winger Dale Weise ("upper body") are on injured reserve.

Potential lines and defensive pairings: The Penguins lines and pairings at today's morning skate were

14 Chris Kunitz - 87 Sidney Crosby - 39 David Perron
72 Patric Hornqvist - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 81 Phil Kessel
34 Tom Kuhnhackl - 13 Nick Bonino - 17 Bryan Rust
11 Kevin Porter - 7 Matt Cullen - 16 Eric Fehr

58 Kris Letang - 3 Olli Maatta
8
 Brian Dumoulin - 12 Ben Lovejoy
6 Trevor Daley - 28 Ian Cole

-The Canadiens held an optional morning skate. Their lines and pairings at practice yesterday were:

67 Max Pacioretty - 14 Tomas Plekanec - 11 Brendan Gallagher
42 Sven Andrighetto - 27 Alex Galchenyuk - 43 Daniel Carr
81 Lars Eller - 51 David Desharnais - 41 Paul Byron
32 Brian Flynn - 17 Torrey Mitchell - 21 Devante Smith-Pelly

79 Andrei Markov - 76 P.K. Subban
28 Nathan Beaulieu - 6 Greg Pateryn
74 Alexei Emelin - 45 Mark Barberio

Notes:

-The Penguins have killed 21 consecutive opposing power plays.

-Defenseman Kris Letang has nine points (three goals, six assists) in his past four games.

-Left winger Tom Kuhnhackl is expected to make his NHL debut.

-Subban had 197 career assists.

-The referees are (No. 40) Steve Kozari and (No. 9) Dan O'Rourke. The linesmen are (No. 70) Derek Nansen and (No. 83) Matt MacPherson.

(Photo: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

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Empty Netter Assists - Kuhnhackl expected to debut - 01-09-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Left winger Tom Kuhnhackl (above) is expected to make his NHL debut on the third line with center Nick Bonino and right winger Bryan Rust.

-“If [Capitals left winger Alex Oveckin doesn't] backcheck, you know, it will be hard. If he stays only blueline, it will be hard.” - Center Evgeni Malkin joking about playing with his friend in the All-Star Game.

-Penalty killing has been center Kevin Porter's ticket to staying in the NHL.

-Head coach Mike Sullivan speaks:

-Two goals by right winger Josh Archibald led the Wilkes_Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 4-3 win against the rival Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Goaltender Matt Murray made 17 saves in the victory.

-Highlights:

-Forward Anton Zlobin scored a goal for the Wheeling Nailers in a 5-2 loss to the Orlando Solar Bears.

-Happy 38th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Mathieu Garon. Acquired midway through 2008-09 in a deal which sent goaltender Dany Sabourin, center Ryan Stone and a draft pick to the Oilers, Garon's Penguins career amounted to four games, a 2-1-0 record, 2.91 goals against average and .894 save percentage that season. In the postseason, he appeared in one game and made eight saves on eight shots while earning his first Stanley Cup ring. During the 2009 offseason, he joined the Blue Jackets as a free agent.

-After the Jump: Ryan Johansen's Predators career gets off to a fast start.

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Penalty killing key for Porter to stay in the NHL - 01-08-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Since taking over as head coach, Mike Sullivan has been up front about wanting to use bottom-line forwards primarily on the penalty kill. Since Sullivan took over Dec. 14, the team's primary four penalty killing forwards have been Nick Bonino, Matt Cullen, Eric Fehr and Kevin Porter.

A free agent signing this past offseason, Porter emerged out of the preseason as a favorite of former head coach Mike Johnston and was a regular presence on the penalty kill until the recovery of other players' injuries forced him to be assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League Oct. 30.

Porter gained the trust of Sullivan during his time as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins' head coach. When Sullivan was promoted, Porter was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the next day and has been in the lineup ever since. 

"He's a smart player," said Sullivan. "I think he sees the ice well. He has good recognition skill. He has good awareness away from the puck. He can skate so I think because of that, he's a good penalty killer. I think he's really grasped the concepts that we're trying to implement. His reads have been really good. He's willing to block a shot. So with all those types of things it lends to being a good penalty killer and he's done a great job in that regard since he's been here. " 

In 19 games this season, Porter has averaged 1:57 of short-handed time on ice per game.

Recently, Porter talked about the team's penalty kill and how important that duty is to his career:

---

What's been different with the penalty kill from Mike Johnston to Mike Sullivan?

"There's a couple subtle differences but for the most part, it's the same structure. They both worked very well obviously. Our [penalty kill] has been good. I think it also is how we compete and battle. The guys on the [penalty kill] know it's an important role."

Are you allowed to divulge any of those changes or are they top secret?

"[Laughs] No, they're not really secrets. Just positioning of the defensemen on the weak-side post to the strong-side post where we can jump and put more pressure on. Just little things like that. It's nothing major. Just subtle differences."

Sullivan has stressed using bottom-line players more on the penalty kill in order to save top-liners like Crosby and Malkin some wear and tear.

"Yeah, I think so. There are times when I was killing with [Malkin] earlier on in the year. But those guys play a lot of minutes. They're going to play 20 minutes, 25 minutes some nights depending how many power plays we get. It's good to rest them. Let them do their thing on the power play. You're not worried about them breaking ankles or getting hurt with a shot. I obviously like it because I get out there a little bit more."

How important is being an effective penalty killer for you in order to stay at the NHL level?

"I think it's huge. Right now, there's only a handful of guys that penalty kill [on the Penguins] and I'm one of them. I've kind of found that role and I need to be good in that role or someone else is going to start penalty killing. I focus on that throughout the game. That's a big part of my game right now."

Have you been a regular penalty killer with other teams in your professional career?

“Yeah. Throughout my career I've slowly but surely become a penalty killer. In college, I was more offensive. I still penalty killed there but throughout my pro career I moved more towards the defensive [game] and penalty killing.”

(Photo: Matt Kincaid/Getty Images)

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Brit honors favor Bridge of Spies, Carol and Revenant

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

carolblog0108

NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED FOR THE EE BRITISH ACADEMY FILM AWARDS 

bridgeofspiesblogBridge of Spies and Carol each receive nine nominations. The Revenant is nominated in eight categories. Mad Max: Fury Road has seven nominations. Brooklyn and The Martian are each nominated six times. The Big Short, The Danish Girl and Ex Machina receive five nominations. Star Wars: The Force Awakens receives four nominations. 

Bridge of Spies is nominated in the following categories: Best Film, Director for Steven SpielbergOriginal Screenplay, Original Music, Cinematography, Editing, Production Design and SoundMark Rylance is nominated for Supporting Actor.

Carol is nominated for Best Film, Director for Todd HaynesAdapted ScreenplayCinematography, Production Design, Costume Design and Make Up & HairCate Blanchett is nominated for Leading Actress and Rooney Mara is nominated forSupporting Actress.

The Revenant receives nominations for Best Film, Director for Alejandro G. Inarritu, Original Music, Cinematography, Editing, Make Up & Hair and Sound, whilst Leonardo DiCaprio is nominated for Leading Actor.

Mad Max: Fury Road is nominated in the following categories: Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, Costume Design, Make Up & Hair, Sound and Special Visual Effects.

Brooklyn is nominated for Outstanding British Film, Adapted Screenplay, Costume Design and Make Up & Hair, with two further nominations for Saoirse Ronan in Leading Actress and Julie Walters in Supporting Actress.

The Martian is nominated for Editing, Production Design, Sound, Special Visual Effects and Director for Ridley Scott, with Matt Damon nominated for Leading Actor.

The Big Short receives nominations for Best Film, Director for Adam McKayAdapted Screenplay and Editing, with Christian Bale nominated for Supporting Actor.

The Danish Girl is nominated for Outstanding British Film, Costume Design and Make Up & Hair, with Leading Actor and Leading Actress nominations for Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander respectively.

Ex Machina is nominated for Outstanding British Film and Special Visual Effects, with nominations for Alex Garland in Original Screenplay and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or ProducerAlicia Vikander receives a further nomination for Supporting Actress.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is nominated in Production Design, Sound, Original Music and Special Visual EffectsAnt-Man completes the nominations for Special Visual Effects.

Spotlight completes the Best Film nominees, with two further nominations in  Supporting Actor for Mark Ruffalo and Original Screenplay. Also nominated in Supporting Actor is Benicio del Toro for Sicario, which receives two further nominations for Original Music and CinematographyIdris Elba completes the nominations in Supporting Actor for Beasts of No Nation.

Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet are nominated in Leading Actor and Supporting Actress respectively for Steve Jobs, which is also nominated for Adapted Screenplay. The nominations for Leading Actor are completed by Bryan Cranston forTrumbo.

The Hateful Eight is nominated in Original ScreenplayOriginal Music, and Supporting Actress for Jennifer Jason Leigh. Also nominated in Leading Actress is Brie Larson for Room, which receives a further nomination for Adapted Screenplay. The nominees for Leading Actress are completed by Maggie Smith for The Lady in the Van.

The Animated Film nominees are Minions, Shaun the Sheep Movie and Inside Out, which also receives a nomination for Original Screenplay.

Amy receives nominations for Outstanding British Film and Documentary. Also receiving Documentary nominations are Cartel Land, He Named Me Malala, Listen to Me Marlon and Sherpa.

45 Years and The Lobster are also nominated in the Outstanding British Film   category, whilst the nominations for Costume Design are completed by Cinderella.

Theeb is nominated for Film Not in the English Language and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for Naji Abu Nowar (Writer/Director) and Rupert Lloyd (Producer). Also nominated for Film Not in the English Language are The Assassin, Force Majeure, Timbuktu and Wild Tales.

Second Coming (Debbie Tucker Green, Writer/Director), The Survivalist (Stephen Fingleton, Writer/Director) and A Syrian Love Story (Sean McAllister, Director/Producer; Elhum Shakerifar, Producer) complete the nominations for Outstanding Debut.

The British Short Animation nominees are Edmond, Manoman and Prologue. The five nominations for British Short Film are Elephant, Mining Poems or Odes, Operator, Over and Samuel-613.

The nominees for the EE Rising Star Award, announced earlier this week, are Bel Powley, Brie Larson, Dakota Johnson, John Boyega and Taron Egerton. This audience award is voted for by the British public and presented to an actress or actor who has demonstrated exceptional talent and promise.

The EE British Academy Film Awards take place on Sunday 14 February at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. The ceremony will be hosted by Stephen Fry and will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD, preceded by a red carpet show on BBC Three. The ceremony is also broadcast in all major territories around the world.

A FULL LIST OF THE NOMINATIONS IS BELOW

BEST FILM
THE BIG SHORT Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Brad Pitt
BRIDGE OF SPIES Kristie Macosko Krieger, Marc Platt, Steven Spielberg
CAROL Elizabeth Karlsen, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley
THE REVENANT Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Inarritu, Arnon Milchan, Mary Parent, Keith Redmon
SPOTLIGHT Steve Golin, Blye Pagon Faust, Nicole Rocklin, Michael Sugar

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
45 YEARS Andrew Haigh, Tristan Goligher
AMY Asif Kapadia, James Gay-Rees
BROOKLYN John Crowley, Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey, Nick Hornby
THE DANISH GIRL Tom Hooper, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Anne Harrison, Gail Mutrux, Lucinda Coxon
EX MACHINA Alex Garland, Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich
THE LOBSTER Yorgos Lanthimos, Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Efthimis Filippou

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER 
ALEX GARLAND (Director) Ex Machina
DEBBIE TUCKER GREEN (Writer/Director) Second Coming
NAJI ABU NOWAR (Writer/Director) RUPERT LLOYD (Producer) Theeb
SEAN MCALLISTER (Director/Producer), ELHUM SHAKERIFAR (Producer) A Syrian Love Story
STEPHEN FINGLETON (Writer/Director) The Survivalist

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
THE ASSASSIN Hou Hsiao-Hsien
FORCE MAJEURE Ruben Östlund
THEEB Naji Abu Nowar, Rupert Lloyd 
TIMBUKTU Abderrahmane Sissako
WILD TALES Damián Szifron

DOCUMENTARY
AMY Asif Kapadia, James Gay-Rees
CARTEL LAND Matthew Heineman, Tom Yellin
HE NAMED ME MALALA Davis Guggenheim, Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald
LISTEN TO ME MARLON Stevan Riley, John Battsek, George Chignell, R.J. Cutler
SHERPA Jennifer Peedom, Bridget Ikin, John Smithson 

ANIMATED FILM
INSIDE OUT Pete Docter
MINIONS Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE Mark Burton, Richard Starzak

DIRECTOR
THE BIG SHORT Adam McKay
BRIDGE OF SPIES Steven Spielberg
CAROL Todd Haynes
THE MARTIAN Ridley Scott
THE REVENANT Alejandro G. Iñárritu

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
BRIDGE OF SPIES Matthew Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen 
EX MACHINA Alex Garland
THE HATEFUL EIGHT Quentin Tarantino
INSIDE OUT Josh Cooley, Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve
SPOTLIGHT Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
THE BIG SHORT Adam McKay, Charles Randolph
BROOKLYN Nick Hornby
CAROL Phyllis Nagy
ROOM Emma Donoghue
STEVE JOBS Aaron Sorkin

LEADING ACTOR
BRYAN CRANSTON Trumbo
EDDIE REDMAYNE The Danish Girl
LEONARDO DICAPRIO The Revenant
MATT DAMON The Martian
MICHAEL FASSBENDER Steve Jobs

LEADING ACTRESS
ALICIA VIKANDER The Danish Girl
BRIE LARSON Room
CATE BLANCHETT Carol
MAGGIE SMITH The Lady in the Van
SAOIRSE RONAN Brooklyn

SUPPORTING ACTOR
BENICIO DEL TORO Sicario
CHRISTIAN BALE The Big Short
IDRIS ELBA Beasts of No Nation
MARK RUFFALO Spotlight
MARK RYLANCE Bridge of Spies

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
ALICIA VIKANDER Ex Machina
JENNIFER JASON LEIGH The Hateful Eight
JULIE WALTERS Brooklyn
KATE WINSLET Steve Jobs
ROONEY MARA Carol

ORIGINAL MUSIC 
BRIDGE OF SPIES Thomas Newman
THE HATEFUL EIGHT Ennio Morricone
THE REVENANT Ryuichi Sakamoto, Carsten Nicolai
SICARIO Jóhann Jóhannsson
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS John Williams

CINEMATOGRAPHY
BRIDGE OF SPIES Janusz Kamiński
CAROL Ed Lachman
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD John Seale
THE REVENANT Emmanuel Lubezki
SICARIO Roger Deakins

EDITING
THE BIG SHORT Hank Corwin
BRIDGE OF SPIES Michael Kahn
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Margaret Sixel
THE MARTIAN Pietro Scalia
THE REVENANT Stephen Mirrione

PRODUCTION DESIGN
BRIDGE OF SPIES Adam Stockhausen, Rena DeAngelo
CAROL Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Colin Gibson, Lisa Thompson
THE MARTIAN Arthur Max, Celia Bobak
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Rick Carter, Darren Gilford, Lee Sandales

COSTUME DESIGN
BROOKLYN Odile Dicks-Mireaux
CAROL Sandy Powell
CINDERELLA Sandy Powell
THE DANISH GIRL Paco Delgado
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Jenny Beavan

MAKE UP & HAIR
BROOKLYN Morna Ferguson, Lorraine Glynn
CAROL Jerry DeCarlo, Patricia Regan
THE DANISH GIRL Jan Sewell
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Lesley Vanderwalt, Damian Martin
THE REVENANT Sian Grigg, Duncan Jarman, Robert Pandini

SOUND
BRIDGE OF SPIES Drew Kunin, Richard Hymns, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Scott Hecker, Chris Jenkins, Mark Mangini, Ben Osmo, Gregg Rudloff, David White 
THE MARTIAN Paul Massey, Mac Ruth, Oliver Tarney, Mark Taylor 
THE REVENANT Lon Bender, Chris Duesterdiek, Martin Hernandez, Frank A. Montaño, Jon Taylor, Randy Thom 
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS David Acord, Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, Matthew Wood, Stuart Wilson

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
ANT-MAN Jake Morrison, Greg Steele, Dan Sudick, Alex Wuttke
EX MACHINA Mark Ardington, Sara Bennett, Paul Norris, Andrew Whitehurst 
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Andrew Jackson, Dan Oliver, Tom Wood, Andy Williams
THE MARTIAN Chris Lawrence, Tim Ledbury, Richard Stammers, Steven Warner 
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Chris Corbould, Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, Neal Scanlan

BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION 
EDMOND Nina Gantz, Emilie Jouffroy
MANOMAN Simon Cartwright, Kamilla Kristiane Hodol
PROLOGUE Richard Williams, Imogen Sutton

BRITISH SHORT FILM 
ELEPHANT Nick Helm, Alex Moody, Esther Smith
MINING POEMS OR ODES Callum Rice, Jack Cocker
OPERATOR Caroline Bartleet, Rebecca Morgan
OVER Jörn Threlfall, Jeremy Bannister
SAMUEL-613 Billy Lumby, Cheyenne Conway

THE EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public) 
BEL POWLEY
BRIE LARSON
DAKOTA JOHNSON
JOHN BOYEGA
TARON EGERTON

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The "point" of a relationship at North Hills ......... Central's Hamlin an All-American

Written by Mike White on .

Nick Smith and Jamie Halloran are an item. Dating. Boyfriend-girlfriend. 

Is there a point to their relationship? Yes, on the basketball court.

Smith is the point guard for the North Hills boys team. Halloran is the point guard for the North Hills girls team. It isn't all that often that point guards of the boys and girls team are an item. And it isn't often that dating points are doing such terrific things on the court and leading their teams to big things at the same time.

Nick Smith and Jamie 2015North Hills boys and girls teams have never been so successful together at this point of the season. You can point to Smith and Halloran as major reasons.

Smith is one of the top junior guards in the WPIAL and is among the top 20 scorers, averaging 22 a game. He averaged 15 last year as a sophomore. At the current pace, he has a good chance to be the first 1,000-point scorer at North Hills since 1987 graduate Mike Yoest. (Halloran and Smith are pictured at North Hills).

Smith has helped North Hills to a 6-4 record and a 3-1 mark in Class AAAA Section 3. North Hills, Central Catholic and North Allegheny all have only one loss in section. North Hills has a big section game tonight against Pine-Richland.

As for Halloran, she is one of the leading scorers in Class AAAA at 18 points a game and she has led the North Hills girls to its best start in 17 years. The Indians are tied for first place in Section 3 with a 5-0 record. The last time North Hills was 5-0 in section was the 1998-99 season. North Hills will play North Allegheny for first place Monday.

If the North Hills boys beat Pine-Richland tonight, the Indians will go to North Allegheny Tuesday in a tie for first. Monday and Tuesday mark the conclusion of the first half of section play in the WPIAL for boys and girls. North Hills has never had its boys and girls teams playing for first place in the section at the halfway mark. 

As for Smith and Halloran, I don't know if they have ever played one-on-one. It says here that Smith might have trouble with Halloran's toughness.

On guard in Section 3

In the latest WPIAL scoring statistics, three guards in Class AAAA Section 3 are right next to each other among the top 20 scorers. Smith is at 22.4, Pine-Richland's Andrew Petcash at 22.1 and North Allegheny's Curtis Aiken 21.8.

Smith and Petcash square off tonight. They are two of the best junior guards in the WPIAL and used to play on the same AAU team.

Hamlin an All-American

MaxPreps.com came out with its All-American football team and the WPIAL has a player on it. Central Catholic stud defensive back Damar Hamlin was a first-team pick.

Hamlin helped Central Catholic win WPIAL and PIAA Class AAAA titles this season. As far as a college choice, Hamlin is one of the top uncommitted defensive backs in the country. He has narrowed his choices to Pitt, Penn State and Ohio State. He will visit Ohio State next weekend, Penn State Jan. 22 and Pitt Jan. 29.

A Wise athlete

The Post-Gazette Athlete of the Year isn't announced until June. But you can certainly throw Darius Wise's hat into the ring.

Wise was a top junior football player at Beaver High School. He played quarterback and became only the fourth player in WPIAL history to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 1,000 yards in the regular season.

Now Wise is the sixth-leading scorer in WPIAL basketball at 23 points a game.

Top games Saturday

There are three boys basketball events around the area Saturday. The Shootout at Seton Hills University is a five-game event, including an interesting matchup at 4 p.m. between rivals Jeannette and Greensburg Central Catholic.

The Don Graham Classic is a two-game event at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic.

The Clash of the Titans has two games at Lincoln Park, including Lincoln Park vs. First Love Christian.

Besides that, there is a Class AAAA showdown Saturday night at Chartiers Valley. The Colts play host to Baldwin and the winner takes over first in Class AAAA Section 4.

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