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Vulcans Mourn Loss of Alex Orange

By Phil Locante 06/07/2023, 4:30pm EDT

California, PA – The Vulcans are saddened to announce the unexpected passing of current player Alex Orange on June 4, 2023. Alex was a member of the Vulcans for one season however he managed to make significant contributions both on and off the ice for the program. 

Alex was from Washington Township, PA where he attended Kiski Area High School. While at PennWest he was studying Digital Media and was involved across campus. If Alex was not on the ice he enjoyed taking part in various outdoor activities and rescuing cats.

Those that wish to pay their condolences to the family can do so at the Curran-Shaffer Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. on Friday June 9th from 3 – 7 pm or Saturday June 10th from 10 – 11 am. There will be a Celebration of Life beginning at 11 am on Saturday June 10th at the Curran-Shaffer Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.

The family has asked that if you wish to honor Alex please make contributions to the Kiski Valley Cat and Kitten Rescue, PO Box 19, Apollo, PA 15613.

The Thrill of Victory: A CHE Title For The Ages

By Phil Locante 03/09/2023, 10:00am EST

The Vulcans raise the CHE title belt and are bringing another back home to California, PA.

Kent, OH – Resilience is the word that can describe not only the 2022-23 Vulcans (19-11-1, 12-5-1) but the entire club. According to Oxfords English Dictionary, that would mean “the capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties; or toughness.” Many could argue that it has been on display for the Vulcans for nearly two years. However, for this group, it was never felt more this season than while sitting in the locker room during the second intermission trailing St. Vincent College (17-9, 10-8) 2-1 in College Hockey East (CHE) Finals.

General Manager Jamison Roth stated, “Winners know how to win, leadership and culture are the difference, and consistency wins championships.” There was that and a team that had something else to play for. The Vulcans came out in that third period and put truth behind Roth’s words showing their resilience once again, quickly scoring two goals in the opening three minutes of the final period. A quick spark to give the Vulcans a lead in the contest, one they would never give up on their way to a 5-3 victory, earning them the championship belt for the first time since the 2020 playoffs.

It was a team effort on Sunday, with four players recording goals in the contest. Sunday’s game began with a lot of emotion and energy from the semi-final victory against the University of Pitt-Johnstown (5-3), a team that swept the Vulcans during the regular season. Much of it carried into the title match, with Mike Farkal providing an early spark just minutes into the contest on a Vulcan powerplay for an early 1-0 lead. The Polar Bearcats would become the beneficiaries of the following two goals in the game. The first came late in the first period on a powerplay, while the second came halfway through the middle period to give them the 2-1 lead.

As has been the case with much of the season, the Vulcans did what they do best: outscore their opponent at the end of the game. Following the two quick goals just minutes into the third period off the sticks of Emery Anden and Farkal, the Vulcans would add more. Halfway through the final period, the Vulcans doubled their lead when Matt Karpuzka added one in the back of the net, making it 4-2. Both Anden and Karpuzka managed to record their first of the postseason with those goals.

Late in the third, the Polar Bearcats cut into the Vulcans lead with just over a minute remaining. Shortly after, they pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker for a last attempt at sending the final into overtime; however, Tony Manuel sealed the fate with an empty net goal moments later, stamping a victory on the CHE Final for the Vulcans. The Vulcans were slightly outshot, with the Polar Bearcats recording 44-40 on the afternoon.

Over the weekend, Vulcan goaltender Adam Serakowski stopped 121 of 129 shots for a .938 save percentage. Offensively, Farkal led the way with the most goals at four, while Manuel posted the most points with five.

Sunday was the culmination of another successful season for the Vulcans showing the resilience of a group that has endured so much over the past few years. It ended up winning the title after suffering defeat last year, only the second time other than 2014 that the Vulcans did not bring home the title since 2007. This victory marked the club's 14th CHE Playoff championship; however, it may have only been more fitting if it were the club's 19th.

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Vulcans Announce 2023 Mini-Camp

By Phil Locante 02/28/2023, 10:00pm EST

The time has come for our annual mini-camp, and we would love to have you as part of the weekend events both on campus and on the ice! Our opening date on Saturday, March 25th, coincides with a Pick PennWest Day, which provides prospective student-athletes a great opportunity to visit campus and chat with admissions, student life personnel, financial aid, and more!

March 25th

  • Campus Tour/Welcome From Staff and Barry Bilitski: 1:00 to 2:30 pm
    • Begins at the Welcome Center at the Natali Student Center (near the bookstore) and will end at the Convocation Center Recruitment Room.
  • Meeting: 2:30 to 3 pm
    • Convocation Center Recruitment Room
  • Break: 3:00 to 4:00 pm
  • Ice Time: 4:45 to 6:15 pm
    • Rostraver Ice Garden

March 26th

  • Ice Time: 10:15 to 11:45 am
    • Rostraver Ice Garden

All ice activities take place at the home of the Vulcans, the Rostraver Ice Garden.

Students can register to be part of the March 25th Pick PennWest Day, which goes on in the morning up until the start of the hockey mini-camp.

You can register for the Vulcans mini-camp here!

For additional questions, please be sure to contact Jason Greenway or Larry Briggs.