When Brady Cochrane moved from Canada into the Peters Township School District before his freshman year, there was one thing he missed the most from his hometown of Calgary, Alberta.
If you guessed his friends, family or his favorite hockey team, the Edmonton Oilers, you’re dead wrong.
Cochrane missed the coffee.
“We don’t have Tim Hortons in America,” Cochrane said. “That’s rough. Nothing compares.”
While Cochrane might have to settle for Starbucks or Caribou, his game this season for the Peters Township hockey team has been anything but decaffeinated.
Cochrane is one of several stellar sophomores in the lineup and plays wing on Peters Township’s second line.
Unafraid to venture into high-traffic areas, Cochrane scored three goals during a 7-3 win over Central Catholic in the PIHL Class AAA Penguins Cup quarterfinals, two on rebounds, the other on a wrister from the left circle.
“Brady has a nice, quick wrist shot,” Peters Township coach Rick Tingle said. “He got it on net a couple of times, and they went in.”
Tingle also pointed out that it wasn’t just Cochrane; plenty of credit should go to Cochrane’s linemates: Sam Barnes and Giovanni Carbonara.
Five of the Indians’ seven goals came from freshman and sophomores – not bad for a team that will play State College in the Class AAA semifinals tonight at RMU’s Island Sports Center riding a 14-game winning streak.
“You can’t give all the credit to Brady,” Tingle said. “He was the one who was putting them in, but his line was working hard; they were doing well in the defensive zone, which is what we want them to do. The breakout was looking nice, and they got some scoring opportunities.”
Cochrane now has 10 goals on the season, as he became the fifth Peters Township player with double-digit scores.
He’s impressed his American-born teammates in numerous ways, but one of the biggest has been his willingness to take a hit to make a play.
“You saw (against Central Catholic) he’s crashing the net and burying three goals,” Indians captain Trevor Recktenwald said. “He just works hard every shift. I know I get on him sometimes. I maybe yell at him a couple times, but he responds; he goes out there and scores.”
Cochrane’s father works for Sonic Energy Services and was transferred here nearly two years ago.
The plan was originally to stay for two years, though Brady admits that since the family has enjoyed it so much here – he said the hockey, believe it or not, is a step above what he was used to – they might alter that plan.
Cochrane does miss some parts of life in Canada, “but there’s not much you can do about it. You get used to the customs of a new place.”
Which, in Cochrane’s case, means settling for Starbucks.
“I know I don’t miss the weather,” Cochrane said. “Last year we had a great weather here. We just had a blizzard in Calgary, so I’m pretty happy to be here.
“I guess it hasn’t been much better here, but it’s usually sunny days compared to there.”
Would be tough to find one player on Peters Township’s roster who would argue with that statement.
Inside the matchup
(1) Peters Township (18-4) vs. (5) State College (16-7)
RMU Island Sports Center, Neville Island
PIHL Penguins Cup Class AAA semifinals, 5:45 p.m.
Winner plays (2) Bethel Park or (3) North Allegheny
About Peters Township: Indians are riding a 14-game winning streak, including a 7-3 victory over Central Catholic in the quarterfinals. … senior captain Trevor Recktenwald leads the Indians with 71 points and 30 goals. … Goalie Brian Baker is 15-3 with a 2.11 goals-against average and .915 save percentage. … Peters Township has won four Penguins Cup titles, the most recent in 2005. … Teams met Dec. 4, 2012, with Adam Alavi scoring a pair of goals during a 4-2 win for the Indians.
About State College: Little Lions have won 12 of their past 13 games, a stretch that includes victories over Mt. Lebanon and Seneca Valley in the first two rounds of the playoffs. Against Seneca Valley, Sey Yeaple scored 6 minutes, 29 seconds into overtime to secure the win and complete a hat trick. … Stefan Horgas leads Class AAA with 82 points, including 54 goals.