Bachman stellar in goal

Butler senior hockey netminder Clay Bachman was happy no one was sending objects hurtling in his direction anymore.
Forty-seven pucks were fired at him Tuesday night at the RMU Island Sports Complex during the Golden Tornado’s 3-1 PIHL Class AAA semifinal win over
Peters Township.
Bachman was happy he and his teammates skated off the ice in one piece.
“Johnny (Fair) blocked four shots in the last minute,” Bachman said. “I don’t know how he’s standing right now.”
How Bachman handled the assault is a big reason the sixth-seeded Golden Tornado (
13-8-3) are headed to their first appearance in the Penguins Cup finals at 7:15 p.m. Saturday at Consol Energy Center.
The second-seeded Indians (
17-5-2) were the PIHL’s second-highest scoring team in Class AAA with 107 goals, an average of 4.5 goals per game.
“I don’t have the vocabulary to describe how well (Bachman) played,”
Peters Township coach Rick Tingle said. “We were the second-highest scoring team in the league. When we take shots, we normally score. We took a lot of shots, a lot of quality shots, and he shut them all down.”
Sam Barnes started the assault for
Peters Township, hitting a slap shot from the top of the circle Bachman had to catch with his glove 3 minutes, 49 seconds in.
Adam Alavi, who had a number of good chances, also was stopped by Bachman’s glove with
5:34 left in the first.
“Clay is our rock. He’s our heartbeat,”
Butler coach Patrick Hammonds said. “This team will rise or fall with him. Our boys absolutely love playing for him and they give themselves up for them. We wouldn’t get here without him.”
Bachman finished the regular season third in Class AAA in save percentage (.909) and sixth in goals against average (2.79) among all goalies playing 10 games or more.
Peters Township went scoreless on five power-play opportunities.
The Indians also had a 6-on-4 advantage for the final 90 seconds.
“We keep working and there was a lot of action tonight, which kept me on my toes,” Bachman said. “My heartbeat was going. It was exciting.”
His teammates shared his joy.
Junior forward Connor Scott thought it was the best performance he’s ever seen in net.
“I don’t think you’ll ever see an effort like that in net for a long time,” Scott said. “It’s unbelievable to have him on this team.”
In the next round, Bachman will need the same sense of urgency. Canon-McMillan leads the league with 113 goals — 4.7 per game — and defeated top-seeded
North Allegheny 7-0 in the semifinals.
Until then, Bachman plans to relax a little.
Nothing else should be heading his way.
“It’s a relief now,” Bachman said. “It’s kind of nice. It was crazy. Oh, my goodness.”