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Predators Sign Sanborn, NY Native Thomas McCollum

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Goaltender is Veteran of 307 AHL Games, Including 26 with Milwaukee
Press Release @PredsNHL / NashvillePredators.com

Nashville, Tenn. (February 19, 2019) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Tuesday that the club has signed goaltender Thomas McCollum to a one-year contract for the remainder of the 2018-19 season worth $650,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the AHL level.

McCollum, 29 (12/7/89), has appeared in 26 games for Milwaukee this season – his first with the club – going 9-8-7 with a 2.77 goals-against average and two shutouts. A veteran of 10 AHL campaigns, he has spent time with Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Charlotte and Stockton, posting a 144-115-20 record in 307 contests, including two 20-win campaigns. McCollum has featured in 31 career AHL postseason games and won the 2013 Calder Cup as a member of the Grand Rapids Griffins. The 6-foot-3 goaltender made his NHL debut with the Detroit Red Wings on March 30, 2011 and has appeared in three NHL contests, stopping 29 of 33 shots.

Originally drafted in the first round (30th overall) by the Red Wings in the 2008 NHL Draft, McCollum spent three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League before turning pro, suiting up for Guelph and Brampton from 2006-09. The Amherst, N.Y., native also competed for the U.S. at the 2009 World Junior Championship, appearing in five games, and the 2007 World Under-18 Championship, where he earned a silver medal.

Western NY Women’s Collegiate January Recap

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By Janet Schultz

Emma Ruggiero (Janet Schultz Photo)

Buffalo State College

In the regular season finale Buffalo State took Potsdam 3-2. With two points Emma Ruggiero finished her Buffalo State career tied for 10th in school history with 52 points. Buffalo State closes the season 7-16-2 overall and 4-11-1 in the conference.

Bri Gawronski (Janet Schultz Photo)

Buffalo State’s Bri Gawronski (Dunkirk, NY/Mt. Mercy/Monsignor Martin Girls Varsity) has been selected the Northeast Women’s Hockey League (NEWHL) Goalie of the Week February 5 after her strong weekend of play at Oswego. The sophomore individualized studies major backstopped the Bengals to a split against the Lakers this past weekend, making 88 saves in the two games while posting a .978 save percentage and a 1.01 goals against mark. She made 43 stops in a 3-1 win on Friday and turned aside 45 of 46 shots she faced in a 2-0 loss on Saturday that included an empty-net goal.

RIT

A new experience has arrived for fans during men’s and women’s hockey games at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Fans can now go behind the scenes at the Gene Polisseni Center through a virtual reality experience that allows them to get up close and personal with the players. The experience uses Oculus headsets to show two videos. One is a student-built, 3D environment where fans walk into the Arena and onto the ice. The second is a 360-degree video that brings fans behind the scenes with the players. Fans listen to a speech by the coach, hang out in the locker room with players, and can feel the thrill of walking onto the ice in front of thousands of fans.  “We wanted a way to connect RIT hockey fans with the player and build that relationship,” said Director of Strategic Marketing for RIT Student Auxiliary Services, Denishea Ortiz. “This is a perfect opportunity to combine RIT’s values of innovation and collaboration while enhancing the game-night experience for our fans.” Professional and college sports team are rapidly adapting virtual reality technology for both the fan experience and as a training tool for players. In 2017, RIT’s MAGIC Center teamed up with the Buffalo Bills to develop a virtual reality program that would give fans a unique look at New Era Field. RIT Arenas Virtual Reality is the only collegiate fan experience of its kind in western New York. The virtual reality experience is free to game ticket holders. Tickets for RIT Hockey games range from $5 to $15 for general admission and can be purchased at RITtickets.com, at the Gene Polisseni Center Box Office, or by calling 585-475-4121.

Terra Lanteigne (Janet Schultz Photo)

Junior goaltender Terra Lanteigne (Hatchet Lake, Nova Scotia/Charles P. Allen) of the RIT women’s hockey team was named the College Hockey America Goaltender of the Week on Monday, for the week ending Feb. 17, 2019. It is Lanteigne’s seventh weekly honor of the 2018-19 season and ninth overall of her collegiate career. Lanteigne was brilliant in a pair of games over the weekend, leading RIT to three key points against Syracuse. Overall, Lanteigne allowed just one goal, stopping 83 shots in 125 minutes of play. On Friday, she stopped all 40 shots in a 1-0 win over the Orange for her third shutout of the season. Saturday, Lanteigne made 43 saves on 44 shots in a 1-1 tie.

Lanteigne is now second nationally with 1,001 saves, third with a .943 save percentage and has a 2.05 goals against average. She is 11-14-4 on the season. Lanteigne now has 2,218 saves, 75 shy of the all-time program record, held by Ali Binnington, who played at RIT from 2011-15. Senior forward Kathryn Kennedy (Hamilton, Ontario/) of the RIT women’s hockey team was named the College Hockey America Player of the Week on Tuesday, for the week ending Jan. 21, 2019. It is Kennedy’s first weekly honor of her collegiate career. Kennedy recorded her second straight multiple-point effort with a goal and an assist in RIT’s 4-2 win over Mercyhurst. Kennedy recorded her second straight multiple-point effort with a goal and an assist in RIT’s 4-2 win over Mercyhurst.

Nazareth

 Nikolle Van Stralen scored a short-handed goal with 5:18 left in the third period to lift the Nazareth College women’s hockey team to a 3-1 victory over William Smith in the regular season finale at the Cooler. The win secured second place in the final United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) standings for the Golden Flyers and the team will have a bye in the first round of the UCHC playoffs. Nazareth is 19-4-2 overall, 13-4-1 UCHC.

Freshman Adrianna Brehm earned three wins last week to improve her record to 14-2-1 and has been recognized for the second time this season as the United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) Goaltender of the Week for February 6.

University of Buffalo (ACHA)

The University of Buffalo heads to playoffs with Maddy Norton on the UB scoring leader board with 45 goals and 13 assists this season. She is followed by Frangelica Bautz with 10 goals/23 assists and Mamie Talty with 7 goals and 18 assists.

Minding the UB net is Finley Vanhouten with an 11-0-1 record in 13 games and Makenna Walp with a 4-1-0 record in five games played.

UB is 15-1-1.

Maddy Norton (Janet Schultz Photo)

Northern NY Women’s College January Recap

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By Janet Schultz

Kolb in Action at Potsdam (Chris Lenney Photo/Potsdam)

Potsdam

(We thank Potsdam for these weekly updates)

Recap Feb 11-17

Oswego State scored three second period goals to defeat the women’s hockey team 4-1 on Friday night. Senior captain Rylie Murray (Berkley, Mich./Honeybaked) scored for the Bears and sophomore goaltender Samantha White (Oceanside, Calif./Anaheim Lady Ducks) made 21 stops. With the Lakers up 3-0, the third period was more evenly played, with the defenses and goalies controlling the play. With nearly four minutes left, the Bears went on their third man advantage of the contest. At 16:28, Murray scored on a blast from the point that sailed over the head of Lakers goalie Rachael Farmer. Junior defenseman Delphine Léonard(Anjou, Quebec/Dawson College Prep) assisted on the goal. With 1:36 left, Potsdam called timeout and pulled White for an extra attacker. However, Oswego sealed the win with an empty-net goal from Leah Czerwinski 18 seconds later.

With the first home playoff game in program history on the line, Bears junior assistant captain Alexa Pfeiffer(Sylvania, Ohio/Little Caesar’s) came through with a 34-save shut out in the women’s hockey team’s 1-0 victory over Oswego State on Saturday. Junior defenseman Léonard scored the game-winner at 6:38 of the third period on the power play. The win was the 20th of Pfeiffer’s career, tying her with Jen Conophy ’13 for the program record. Oswego went on the power play again less than three minutes into the third, but continued to struggle. At 6:07, the Lakers were whistled for cross checking and Potsdam earned its sixth man advantage of the day. Oswego won the ensuing faceoff, but sophomore forward Natalie Wasielewski(Carnegie, Pa./Pittsburgh Penguins Elite) dug the puck out of the corner and sent it to Murray at the right point. Murray then fed Léonard at the left point and she ripped a high shot over Farmer for a 1-0 lead. The Lakers and Bears traded abbreviated power plays with time winding down, but again with no luck. With 1:21 left, Potsdam was called for a final penalty. The Lakers called timeout and pulled Farmer for an extra attacker. With seconds left, Pfeiffer stonewalled Oswego junior forward Eryn Stewart (Stonewall, Manitoba/Central Plains Midget Capitals) point blank to slam the door. Pfeiffer is now 4-1 in her career against the Lakers. Oswego was 0-for-7 on the power play and Potsdam finished 1-for-7. The victory gives the Bears the two seed in the next weekend’s NEWHL Semifinals, where they’ll host three seed SUNY Cortland. Potsdam is 2-1-1 in three meetings with the Red Dragons this season. Game time is TBA. Prior to the contest, seniors Murray and assistant captain Tatum Walber (Orchard Park, N.Y./Buffalo Regals) were honored for their careers on Senior Day.



After playing its third game in the third location in three days, the women’s hockey team bowed 3-2 at Buffalo State in its regular season finale. Junior forward Miranda Kolb (Watertown, N.Y./SUNY Cortland) scored twice for the Bears and junior goalie Kayla McCabe (Watertown, N.Y./Syracuse Nationals) made 32 saves. The Bengals led 3-1 after 40 minutes. Potsdam was unable to capitalize on a five-minute power play to open the third and after the Bears killed off the Bengals’ fifth man advantage, they closed to within one. Freshman forward Stephanie Dunlap (Bath, Mich./Meijer U19 AAA) set up Kolb’s second marker at 16:55. Sophomore Alexis Clark (Niagara Falls, N.Y./Buffalo Bisons) picked up the second assist. Kromer was called for hooking at the same time and the Bears went on their fourth and final man advantage. With 1:48 on the clock, head coach Jay Green called timeout and pulled McCabe for an extra attacker. The Bears had two chances in the final minute, but Bengals goalie Bri Gawronski handled each to hold on to the win.

Recap January 28-Feb 3

The women’s hockey team scored four unanswered goals to defeat SUNY Cortland 4-1 on Friday night. Senior defenseman Rylie Murray (Berkley, Mich./Honeybaked) and junior forward Lucy Condon (Waterloo, Ontario/Waterloo Ravens) each had a goal and an assist. The beginning of the final period was evenly played between both teams. Midway through the third, Murray put the Bears up 3-1 after redirecting a shot by junior defenseman Shelbi Thacker (Chesterfield, Mich./Honeybaked) from the right point. Junior forward Miranda Kolb (Watertown, N.Y./SUNY Cortland) was the other skater to assist Murray’s goal. A couple minutes later, Thacker got the puck outside of her defensive zone for senior Tatum Walber (Orchard Park, N.Y./Buffalo Regals) as she passed it to sophomore forward Alexis Clark (Niagara Falls, N.Y./Buffalo Bisons) who increased the lead off a shot inside the right circle. Cortland outshot Potsdam 5-2 for the remainder of the game, but not a single shot hit the back of the net and the Bears won, 4-1. Thacker and Walber each finished with two assists to end the night. Junior Alexa Pfeiffer (Sylvania, Ohio/Little Caesar’s) ended with 33 saves. The women fell 1-0 at SUNY Cortland on Saturday afternoon. Bears sophomore goaltender Samantha White (Oceanside, Calif./Anaheim Lady Ducks) finished with 34 saves. The Red Dragons finally broke the stalemate at 1:40 of the second period as Emily King netted an even-strength marker. Potsdam had two more man advantages in the second, but still couldn’t solve Cortland goalie Chelsea Allain, who made 13 saves. White stopped 14 shots in the middle stanza.

January 21-27

Sophomore goaltender Samantha White (Oceanside, N.Y./Anaheim Lady Ducks) picked up her third career shutout as the women’s hockey team defeated SUNY Canton 3-0 on Tuesday night. Junior forward Miranda Kolb (Watertown, N.Y./SUNY Cortland), sophomore forward Natalie Wasielewski (Carnegie, Pa./Pittsburgh Penguins Elite) and sophomore defenseman Keira Thacker (Oakville, Ontario/Hamilton Hawks) each scored for the Bears. At 12:06, a Kangaroo was whistled for tripping and Potsdam took advantage. Junior defenseman Delphine Léonard (Anjou, Quebec/Dawson College Prep) kept the puck in the zone at the left point and fed it to senior forward Tatum Walber (Orchard Park, N.Y./Buffalo Regals). Walber put the puck into the slot and Kolb scored as she fell. Just 31 seconds later, Wasielewski knocked home a loose puck at the left side of the net to make it 2-0. Sophomore forward Allie Banas (Buffalo, N.Y./Buffalo Bisons) and junior forward Lucy Condon (Waterloo, Ontario/Waterloo Ravens) each assisted on the goal. Potsdam added to its lead with an even-strength marker at 7:03. Thacker scored her first collegiate goal from the right point after a pass from freshman forward Stephanie Dunlap (Bath, Mich./Meijer U19 AAA) deflected to her. White stopped all 17 shots she faced and Canton junior goalie Brooke Susac (Bowmanville, Ontario/Clarington Flames) finished with 20 saves. Potsdam was 1-for-4 on the power play and the Kangaroos were 0-for-4.

January 14-20

Sophomore forward Natalie Wasielewski (Carnegie, Pa./Pittsburgh Penguins Elite) scored twice as the women’s hockey team defeated Buffalo State 3-1 on the road. Sophomore Alex Clark (Niagara Falls, N.Y./Buffalo Bisons) also scored for the Bears and junior assistant captain Alexa Pfeiffer (Sylvania, Ohio/Little Caesar’s) made 30 saves to pick up her 18th career win. It was all Bears in the second period as they fired 18 times on Buffalo State goalie Bri Gawronski and only allowed four shots on Pfeiffer. Wasielewski gave Potsdam the lead back at 6:44 with an assist from junior forward Lucy Condon (Waterloo, Ontario/Waterloo Ravens). Almost 10 minutes later Clark made it 3-1 at 16:12 with assists from freshman forward Stephanie Dunlap (Bath, Mich./Meijer U19 AAA) and sophomore defenseman Emily Burke (San Jose, Calif./San Jose Jr. Sharks). The score was unchanged at the second intermission. The Bengals picked up the pressure in the third period. They created several chances on two power plays, but couldn’t solve Pfeiffer. Buffalo State pulled Gawronski with 38 seconds left, but got no closer. Gawronski finished with 27 stops. Potsdam was 1-for-1 on the power play and the Bengals were 0-for-3.

Plattsburgh

Kaitlin Drew-Mead (Plattsburgh Photo)

The Plattsburgh State women’s ice hockey team retained its No. 2 ranking in the D3hockey.com Women’s Top-10 Poll and its No. 3 ranking in the USCHO.com Division III Women’s Top-10 Poll. The Cardinals received 137 points and four first-place votes in the D3hockey.com poll and 126 points and four first-place votes in the USCHO.com poll.

The Cardinals wrapped up a perfect Northeast Women’s Hockey League (NEWHL) season and extended their winning streak to 11 games, sweeping Buffalo State. They defeated the Bengals, 5-1, on Feb. 15 before completing the sweep with a 7-1 victory the following day.
 

Plattsburgh’s women’s hockey players earned several honors during January.

First Kassi Abbott was named NEWHL Goalie of the Week for the sixth time this season and the fifth consecutive week on January 6. This was Abbott’s 10 career NEWHL Goalie of the Week honor.

Sophomore Forward Annie Katonka was named NEWHL Player of the Week for January 13 after posting six goals, including four on the powerplay in a 2-1-0 week. She also took D3hockey.com National Team of the Week honors.

For the same period Moe Tsukimoto was named NEWHL Rookie of the Week. This was her second Rookie of the Week honor. She tallied four points on three goals and one assist and fashioned a +3 rating in the 2-1-0 week for the Cardinals.

On January 11 Taylor Whitney was selected as NEWHL Rookie of the Week for tallying four points in a sweep of Cortland. She had her first collegiate hat trick in an 11-1 victory.

In February honors went to Hannah Kiraly who was named to the D3hockey.com National Team of the Week, her sixth career honor and first this season.

Sophomore forward Kaitlin Drew-Mead (Niagara Falls, N.Y./Buffalo Bisons/Monsignor Martin Girls Varsity) of the Plattsburgh State women’s ice hockey team has been named the Northeast Women’s Hockey League (NEWHL) Player of the Week for the period ending Feb. 3, 2019, as announced Tuesday by the conference office. This marks Drew-Mead’s first-ever NEWHL Player of the Week honor. Drew-Mead scored a natural hat trick in the first period to lead the Cardinals to a 5-3 victory over Amherst College on Saturday afternoon at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena. It marked the first hat trick of her career. Drew-Mead tallied her first goal at 4:47 of the opening period before scoring again 15 seconds later. She punctuated the natural hat trick with 17:26 elapsed in the first, taking a shot that deflected off the goalie’s glove and into the back of the net.

She was also named to the D3hockey.com National Team of the Week. For the season, Drew-Mead has accrued 15 points on nine goals and six assists.

Clarkson

With two games remaining in the regular season, Clarkson owns a 15-5 conference record, three points behind-league leader Princeton and one point back of second-place Cornell. Ranked fourth in the nation, Clarkson owns a 24-7-1 overall record and will host Princeton and Quinnipiac in their last games of the regular season.

Honors went to Clarkson athletes with Kassidy Sauve being named as ECAC Goaltender of the Month for December. She also received Goaltender of the Week honors February 4.

Loren Gabel was named WHCA Division I Player of the Month for January after registering 17 points in January. She took home the ECAC Player of the Week honors January 28. She had a four-point night and her 100th career goal in a 4-2 victory over Harvard.

St. Lawrence

Justine Reyes became the 29th member of the Paul Flanagan ’80 Century Club after scoring her 100th career point in her 131st career game with an assist on the Saints first goal of a 3-2 loss to Rensselaer.

Senior Goaltender Grace Harrison was named ECAC Goaltender of the Month for December after leading the nation in GAA (0.76) and save percentage (.970) in four starts, going 3-0-1 with a 29 save shutout in a scoreless tie with Harvard. She is now tied for second on the Saint’s all-time shutout list with 16.

Canton

(We thank Canton for the weekly updates)

Noelle Niemiec (Mckenzie Mattison Photo/Canton)

After a huge weekend senior Noelle Niemiec (Staten Island/New Jersey Rockets) has been named the Colonial Hockey Conference (CHC) Co-Player of the Week. Niemiec had a monster weekend posting six points on three goals and three assists to lead the Roos to an unbeaten weekend. She totaled a goal and two assists in Friday’s 4-1 win v. Becker. She had an even bigger performance in Saturday’s 3-3 tie scoring twice and assisting the team’s other goal. Niemiec’s third goal of the weekend tied the game with just 26 seconds remaining in regulation. The senior wraps up the regular season leading the team with 15 points and nine assists.
 

Weekly Recap February 18

Noelle Niemiec had a standout weekend posting three goals and three assists as the Roos went unbeaten with a 4-1 victory and 3-3 OT tie v. Becker on Friday and Saturday. Niemiec tallied a goal and two assists and Jessica Pele had three assists in Friday’s victory. Niemiec posted two goals and an assist and Ashley Gillies recorded a goal and assist in Saturday’s tie. Brooke Susac combined for 37 saves on the weekend. The Roos have earned the four seed in the Colonial Hockey Conference playoffs and will host the University of New England February 23.

Weekly Recap February 11

The Roos dropped a pair of conference contests at Endicott; 5-1 and 3-0. Jessica Pele scored the lone goal on the weekend, her sixth of the season.

Weekly Recap February 4

Kelly Leathem scored her third goal of the season to lead the Roos to a 1-1 overtime tie at Morrisville State (12-6-2) on Saturday. Whitney Bernier scored her second goal of the season in Friday’s 2-1 loss. Noelle Niemiec assisted both goals on the weekend, while Brooke Susac stopped 50 of the 53 shots she faced on the weekend.

            Junior Brooke Susac was named CHA Goaltender of the Wek after a pair of strong road performances. She made 50 saves on 53 shots as they went 0-1-1 at Morrisville.

Weekly Recap for January 28:

The women’s hockey team earned a crucial weekend sweep by scores of 2-1 and 4-2 at the University of New England, a team previously atop the Colonial Hockey Conference standings. Ashley Gillies scored and Jessica Pele netted the game-winner with 5:03 remaining in Friday’s win. Brittany MinerSarah Kosnaskie, Gillies and Breanna Bedborough all scored in the victory. Brooke Susac combined to make 39 saves on 42 shots on the weekend. The Roos dropped their only other game of the week, 3-0, at SUNY Potsdam.

Ashley Gillies was named CHA Player of the Week and to the D3hockey.com National Team for January 28. She had three points on two goals and an assist as the Roos picked up a sweep of the University of New England. She scored the game winner in the 4-2 win and netted the first goal in the 2-1 victory.

Eastern NY Women’s College Recap/January

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By Janet Schultz

Ellis Smith Action (Michael McLaughlin/Manhattanville Photo)


Manhattanville

In her 92nd career game, senior defender Ellis Smith (Buffalo, N.Y./Nichols School/ Niagara Junior Purple Eagles (WNYAHL))scored her first collegiate goal for the Manhattanville College women’s hockey team Saturday, Feb. 16, the only goal of the day in a 1-0 win over the Chatham University Cougars in Manhattanville’s 2018-19 regular season finale.

For the third time Nicole Mensi (Mamoroneck/Northwood School) was named Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Player of the Week for January 7. She started with two shots in a 1-1 tie with Endicott College at the WSYB/Catamount Radio Invitational on January 5. In the second round she scored both goals for Manhattanville in a 2-1 victory over Castleton and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

On January 14 Senior Goalie Roe Pijaca took the Defensive Player of the Week honors for four solid performances in UCHC play. She had a 1.55 gaa and a .0951 save percentage in games against Utica and Elmira.

Sophomore forward Tianna Lopes (West Vancouver, British Columbia/Pacific Steelers (JWHL)) of the Manhattanville College women’s ice hockey team picked up three weekly honors for the Valiants for her play last week. She was first selected as the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Offensive Player of the Week, the conference announced today, Monday, Jan. 21. Then, Tuesday, Jan. 22, the United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) named her the Player of the Week. Most recently, Lopes was selected to the D3Hockey.com National Team of the Week Thursday, Jan. 23. The Valiant winger helped lead her squad to a 5-2 win over Trinity College this past Tuesday, Jan. 15, with a pair of special teams goals — one on the powerplay and one shorthanded. Lopes and the Valiants then played to a series split with UCHC rival William Smith College over the weekend. She notched an assist during the 4-2 win over the Herons Saturday, Jan. 19, and then assisted on all three Manhattanville goals in a tough 6-3 loss Sunday afternoon, Jan. 20. This is Lopes’ first-career weekly honor from either D3Hockey.com, the UCHC or MAC.

In February Ali Howard (Rye/Rye) and Tianna Lopes (British Columbia) took MAC honors after Lopes netted her first career hat trick and Howard assisted on each of Lopes’ three goals and blocked four shots. Lopes took Offensive Player of the Week and Howard, Defensive Player of the Week.

Union College

Union (4-26-2 overall) closes out their regular season February 22/23 against Colgate and Cornell. Senior Day will be Feb. 23.

RPI

Blake Orosz (RPI Photo)

Senior captain Lovisa Selander made 57 saves to lead the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) women’s hockey team to a 2-1 victory over fifth-ranked Princeton University at Hobey Baker Rink. With the win, the Engineers clinch berth in the ECAC Hockey Tournament, improving to 13-14-5 overall (10-9-1 ECAC Hockey). The loss sends the Tigers to an 18-4-5 mark (15-2-3 ECAC Hockey).

Selander   broke the women’s hockey NCAA Division I record for career saves with her 11th first period stop against Harvard University. A senior captain from Sollentuna, Sweden, she finished the day with 54 and now has 3,853 for her collegiate career. Through 26 games this season, Selander is 10-12-5 with a 2.03 goals against average and a .944 save percentage. Playing 1592:44 minutes, she has made 918 total saves with three shutouts.

ECAC Hockey has announced its weekly (Jan 21) award winners from women’s hockey and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) student-athlete Blake Orosz has been named Player of the Week after leading the Engineers to a victory over area-rival Union College. A junior forward from Chase Mills, N.Y., Orosz recorded four points, including her first career hat trick in RPI’s 4-1 win over the Dutchwomen. She led the team with a +4 rating and eight shots, scoring one goal in each period, including the eventual game-winner – 5:05 into the second. She finished off the game by providing the primary assist on the team’s fourth goal. The multi-point game was her fifth of the year and she now has six points (4 goals, 2 assists) over the last two contests. Orosz has played in all 23 games for the Engineers and leads the team in a number of offensive categories, including goals (10), points (19), power play goals (2), game-winning goals (4) and plus/minus (+9). She is second in shots (72) and third in assists (9). Through 11 ECAC Hockey contests, the former Nepean Wildcats standout has seven goals and five assists for 12 points, with a +6 rating.  Through 89 career games at RPI, Orosz has 19 goals and 20 assists for 39 points. She collected seven goals and five assists as a sophomore and two goals and six assists in her rookie campaign.

January College Report/Central NY

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By Janet Schultz

Grace Schnorr (Cortland Photo)

Cortland

Sophomore Grace Schnorr (Camillus/Little Caesars) scored early in the first period to set a Cortland single-season goal record and added two assists as the Cortland women’s ice hockey team wrapped up its regular season with a 5-0 victory versus Lebanon. The Red Dragons improved to 14-8-3 and finished their non-conference schedule with a 9-0 record. They now head to the NEWHL semi-finals.

Schnorr was selected as the Northeast Women’s Hockey League (NEWHL) Rookie of the Week for the week ending Jan. 6. It is her second this season – she was also honored in early December. Schnorr scored two key goals in Cortland’s come-from-behind 3-2 overtime win at William .  The Red Dragons trailed 2-0 after two periods before Schnorr found the net 30 seconds into the third period and again with 6:46 left in regulation to tie the game. Schnorr leads Cortland this season with seven goals in 12 contests.

Schnorr, who is playing her first year of collegiate ice hockey, leads the Red Dragons in scoring with 14 points on a team-best 11 goals and three assists. In the two wins, she collected two goals and one assist. Schnorr opened the weekend by assisting on Cortland’s second goal and adding a breakaway goal in the third period in the Red Dragons’ 3-0 win. She then netted the game-winning goal in the third period when she converted a breakaway as Cortland registered the 2-1 come-from-behind victory.

Cortland sophomore Chelsea Allain (Saratoga/Canterbury School) has been chosen as the NEWHL Goalie of the Week for the week ending Jan. 13. Allain made a career-high 40 saves to earn her second shutout of the season as Cortland won at Nichols College, 3-0, in non-league action. For the season, Allain has a 4-0-1 record, a 0.88 goals-against average and a .966 save percentage in eight appearances. Those totals include her 16-save effort in a 2-1 win at Canton on Tuesday, Jan. 13, that was not included in consideration for the recent NEWHL weekly awards. Allain currently ranks third nationally in Division III in save percentage and fourth nationally in GAA.

Allain recorded a 2-0 record with a 0.50 goals-against average, 64 saves, a .985 save percentage and one shutout as the Red Dragons swept a pair of home conference games versus Buffalo State. During a 3-0 win on Friday, she stopped 32 shots to register her third shutout of the season, tying the program single-season mark set during the 2001-02 campaign. Allain followed up with another 32 saves in a 2-1 victory on Saturday. For the season, she has a 6-1-1 record with a 1.38 GAA and a .953 save percentage. She ranks sixth nationally in save percentage and 14th in GAA.

Allain and Schnorr were also honored by the NEWHL January 17.

Ariella Haas, Elmira Photo

Elmira

Elmira clinched the 2019 East-West Hockey Classic Championship with a 4-1 victory over Plattsburgh State. At the conclusion of the tournament Ariella Haas and Stephanie Martin were selected to the All-Tournament Team and Katie Granato, who had three goals, was voted as the Tournament’s MVP.

Granato and Haas took UCHC Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week honors, respectively, for their play at the East-West Tournament.

The Awards continued coming with Granato and Meg Lahey being selected to the D3hockey.com National Team of the Week following the East-West Tournament.

Haas was named UCHC Player of the Week and Stephanie Martin took Goalie of the Week January 29. Haas (Albany) compiled eight points, including 7 goals in three games and Martin backstopped the Soaring Eagles to a pair of wins against William Smith, making 14 stops and holding them scoreless on five power-play chances for her sixth shutout of the season. She was also named to the D3hockey.com National Team of the Week on February 1.

Elmira has clinched home ice throughout the UCHC Playoffs, earned a bye in the opening round, and will host the semi-final and championship rounds on March 2 and 3. They end their regular season 22-2-1 overall and 18-0-0 in the conference.

Syracuse

The Orange opened the New Year with Freshman Forward Lauren Bellefontaine named the CHA Rookie of the Month for the second time this season. She earned the honor for her play in the month of December.  She leads all CHA freshmen in scoring through the first half of the season with 5 goals, second in assists with 6 and first in points with 11. Her five goals and 11 points both rank as second most on the Orange. Bellefontaine received the Rookie of the Month Award for the third time, when she took the honor for the month of January.

Defenseman Shelby Calof was named CHA Rookie of the Week for Jan. 28 after her two-point performance in a win over Penn State.

After sweeping the weekend series at Mercyhurst, the Syracuse women’s hockey team has swept College Hockey America’s weekly awards, the conference announced Monday, Feb. 11. Senior defenseman Allie Munroe has been named Player of the Week for the first time this season, while freshman forward Abby Moloughney was recognized as Rookie of the Week for the first time. Junior goaltender Ady Cohen rounded out the trio, picking up Goalie of the Week honors for the first time in her career.

Utica

The Utica College women’s hockey team wrapped up the regular season with a 3-0 win over visiting Wilkes University at the Adirondack Bank Center. With the win, Utica improves to 16-8-1 on the year.  The Pioneers will head into the UCHC Conference tournament quarterfinals. UC will find out its quarterfinal opponent pending the outcome of the William Smith-Nazareth game.


Colgate

Colgate Women’s Hockey senior forward Jessie Eldridge was named the ECAC Hockey Player of the Month for December, as announced by the league office Thursday.

The Raiders’ leading scorer had a dominant month, where Colgate played a trio of games. Eldridge had multiple points in all three contests, including a career-high four point game on Dec. 8 against Syracuse. Throughout the course of the three games, she finished with four goals and four assists to boost her season total to 23 points.

Eldridge has been nominated for the 2019 Hockey Humanitarian Award. She is one of four females in the group of 17 that spans both divisions in NCAA hockey. She is also the only nominee in ECAC Women’s Hockey. She has been at the forefront of some of the most memorable moments in program history, but has also been part of off the ice endeavors that will leave a lasting impact. She has spent many hours with such programs as Learn to Skate at Colgate and helps local children with disabilities to learn to skate. She is also organized an Autism Awareness Fundraiser for this month.

Rosalie Demers was named ECAC Rookie of the Week after she had a point in both games on the road vs Harvard and Dartmouth in January.

Senior Forward Shae Labbe was named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week Feb. 18 after she scored the first goal of the game in contests against Yale and Brown and added four assists on the weekend.

Mikaela Ditonto (Elmira Photo)

Oswego

The Oswego State women’s ice hockey team split its weekend series with Potsdam after a 1-0 loss on the .  With the loss, Oswego earns the fourth-seed in the NEWHL Championship, which begins Feb. 23.

Kate Randazzo and Mikaela Ditonto  were selected to the D3hockey.com National Team of the Week and as the North East Women’s Hockey League (NEWHL) Goalie of the Week, respectively, for the week ending Jan. 20.

Randazzo, the captain of the Lakers, tied herself in the record book for most assists in a single contest, posting four in the team’s 5-1 win over Plymouth. The junior originally posted the recorded on Oct. 27, 2017 as Oswego downed New England College 5-0. While dishing out an impressive amount of helpers, Randazzo also led the team in the plus/minus category, recording a plus-3. The four assists tripled the defensemen’s tally for the season (6), placing her second on the team for most assists.

Ditonto recorded her first-career win, stopping 32 of Plymouth State’s shots, helping the Lakers to a 2-1 victory on Jan. 17. This was the senior’s fourth career game played, in which she let up just one goal, a Panthers’ power play goal. This is the first time the Orchard Park, N.Y. has been recognized by the league. Ditonto played for the Frontier/Orchard Park girls varsity team.

Cornell

 Senior goaltender Marlène Boissonnault of the Cornell women’s hockey team was tabbed the Mac Goaltending Goalie of the Week, the ECAC Hockey office announced January 21. Boissonnault picked up her 13th career shutout against Harvard, as the Big Red cruised to a 6-0 win over the Crimson on Saturday. The shutout put Boissonnault in sole possession of No. 3 on Cornell’s all-time list. She had been tied with Kathryn LoPresti (1985-88), who recorded twelve in her career. This marks the second time this season that Boissonault was tabbed the league’s goalie of the week with the other time coming on Oct. 29.

Kristin O’Neill, a junior forward on the Cornell women’s hockey team, was named the ECAC Hockey Player of the Week for Feb. 4..  Additionally, O’Neill was tabbed the NCAA First Star of the Week. O’Neill led the nation in multiple categories last week including points (8), goals (5), power play goals (3), power play points (4) and game-winners (2). Highlighted by her second-career hat trick against Rensselaer, the junior from Oakville, Ontario, had multipoint efforts in three games.

Hamilton

The Hamilton College Continentals set a program record for wins in a season with their 2-0 NESCAC victory over the Connecticut College Camels at Conn. College’s Dayton Arena on February 16.

Hamilton (15-7-2, 9-5-2 NESCAC) eclipsed the previous mark of 14 wins set in 2016-2017. The Continentals’ weekend sweep of the Camels (Hamilton edged Conn. College 2-1 on Friday night) helped them tie for second place in the conference standings and earn the No. 3 seed for the 2019 NESCAC Women’s Hockey Championship. The Continentals will host No. 6 seed Colby College in the quarterfinals at Russell Sage Rink on Saturday, Feb. 23.

Five Hamilton College players scored a goal and the Continentals cruised to a 5-0 win against the University of Southern Maine Huskies in the 2019 Saint Michael’s College Delta Hotels Burlington Ice Hockey Classic at Cairns Arena on Saturday afternoon. Hamilton (8-3-0 overall) claimed the tournament title after the Continentals posted their second five-goal victory in as many days. Hamilton recorded a 7-2 triumph against Buffalo State College on Friday. Nancy Loh ’22 racked up three goals and three assists in the two games and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Taegan Blackwell ’19 made the all-tournament team after she posted a total of four assists.

William Smith

Julia Mings (William Smith photo)

The William Smith College ice hockey team was defeated by Nazareth 3-1 in a United Collegiate Hockey Conference contest at The Cooler. The Herons wrap up the regular season with a 16-7-2 overall record and a 12-4-2 mark in conference play. Tonawanda’s Julia Mings scored the lone goal for the Herons.

Coming off a seven-point weekend, sophomore forward Julia Mings (Tonawanda/NJPE) was named the United Collegiate Hockey Conference Player of the Week for January 15.  She led William Smith College to a pair of shutout victories over King’s College, scoring six goals and adding an assist.

William Smith College first-year Gaby Henry was named the United Collegiate Hockey Conference’s Rookie of the Week for February 5. In addition, the Herons are receiving votes in the latest D3hockey.com poll. Henry backstopped William Smith to a 2-1 win over Utica at The Cooler on Sunday afternoon. In her first collegiate start, the Reston, Va., native stopped 26 of the 27 shots she faced as she earned her first collegiate victory. Henry stopped the final 17 shots she faced, including 10 in the third period as the Pioneers were searching for the equalizer.

Morrisville

The Colonial Hockey Conference (CHC) selected its weekly award winners and named Morrisville State sophomore forward Mackenzie Lombardi (Hamilton, ON) to its honor roll for the week ending Jan. 27. Lombardi notched her second hat trick of the season in a 7-3 defeat of Neumann University, collecting a total three goals and an assist for four points as the Mustangs swept the weekend.

2019 Federation Girls Hockey Semifinals

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By Randy Schultz

AMHERST, NY — The semifinals of the Western New York Girls Ice Hockey Federation almost turned into two major upsets Thursday afternoon at the Northtown Center. In the first game Frontier-Lake Shore-Orchard Park (FLOP), the defending Federation champions, squeezed by Kenmore-Grand Island, 1-0.

In the second game Williamsville, who just a few days ago was crowned the New York State Girls High School Hockey champions, lost in an upset to a defensive-minded Lancaster-Iroquois-Depew (LID) team, 3-0.

In the first game the two teams were scoreless in the first period. FLOP finally broke the deadlock when Keegan Shanahan scored at the 5:34 of the second stanza. The only goal of the game was assisted by Mary Kromer and Gabby Messing.

Tori Cottrell posted the shutout in goal for FLOP, stopping 21 Kenmore-Grand Island shots. At the other end of the ice Carolyn Bourgeault turned aside 21 of the 22 shots she faced.

In the second game LID jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Bethany Horvatis scored at the 2:06 mark of the first period. Morganne Dee assisted on the goal.

The score remained that way until the 12:13 mark of the third period when LID’s Jersey Phillips scored from the point to make it 2-0.  It was an unassisted goal.

Less than two minutes later LID iced the game when Horvatis netted her second goal of the game into an empty Williamsville net.

Dylan Gorski was outstanding in goal for LID, stopping all 27 Williamsville shots she faced. Elizabeth Timby stopped 18 of the 20 shots she faced.

FLOP and LID now move on to the Federation championship game to be played on Sunday, Feb. 24 at Harborcenter in Buffalo. It is currently scheduled for a 7 p.m. start time.


Remembering Dr. James Rusin

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BY RANDY SCHULTZ –

When the Williamsville High School Girls hockey team won the NYSPHSAA 2019 Girls Ice Hockey Championship on February 9, the late Dr. James Rusin was certainly looking down from a more heavenly place with a huge smile on his face.

Dr. Rusin, who died back in 2013 following a battle with cancer, was a teacher, coach, Director of Athletics for the Williamsville School System for 43 years. Thirty-three of those years were spent as the Williamsville AD.

And it was Dr. Rusin, more than anyone else, who was the person who helped develop girls high school ice hockey in Western New York.

“Interestingly enough, when I first met Jim he came across as more of a basketball guy,” recalled Rick Hopkins, a health and physical education instructor in the Williamsville School System and head coach of the Williamsville girls high school hockey team. “His son was an outstanding basketball player.

“He saw how crazy the people of Amherst and Williamsville were over hockey. I think once he saw that he fell in love with the sport.”

Several years earlier Dr. Rusin, along with three other individuals, were instrumental in establishing the sport for high school boys.

“Dr. Rusin was one of the people instrumental in helping establish the Western New York Boys Ice Hockey Federation. There were people out there who thought the Boys Hockey Fed would never amount to anything.

“But Jim had great vision. The Boys Ice Hockey Fed has been a great success.

“If it hadn’t been for their success, the girl’s varsity hockey would have never happened.”

It was when Hopkins got involved in house and travel league hockey with his daughters that he approached Dr. Rusin with the idea of a girls high school varsity hockey league.   

“He said ‘that’s a great idea,’” remembered Hopkins. “’What do we do?’”

What Hopkins did, with a huge assist from Dr. Rusin, was assemble a group of parents, coaches and administrators who had a deep passion for the game of hockey and had been involved in travel or house league hockey.

“Jim made it happen the right way,” continued Hopkins. “He felt that we had enough players here in Western New York to get our own league going.

“From that point he went out and talked to other Athletic Directors from other school in the area and got them to the table to talk.

“And there were some of the AD’s who thought Jim was crazy and a girls high school hockey league would never happen.

“And here we are, nine years later, from that moment he dropped the opening games puck. I would say that we are now pretty established with eight teams making up the league.

“His enthusiasm was contagious. No matter if he was working with teachers, other AD’s and athletes, he could get people enthused.

“Jim Rusin was a man who got things done. And because of his enthusiasm for the sport, a lot of high school-age girls have gotten the opportunity to play hockey.

“That was what he wanted and that legacy lives on.”

Cortland Grad Nate Leaman Reflects On His 300th Coaching Win

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By Warren Kozireski–

Now in his eighth season behind the bench for the nationally ranked Providence Friars, head coach and former Cortland Red Dragon Nate Leaman registered the 300th win of his coaching career Dec. 29th versus Brown.

“No, nothing big,” Leaman said regarding the signature win in the first round of the Ledyard Bank tournament at Dartmouth back in December. “Just that now we get to play for a trophy and a championship tomorrow and that’s what is important.”

162 of his first 300 came as the coach of Providence where he also guided the Friars to the national championship in 2015. They have made the NCAA postseason in each of the last five seasons and entered the holiday break ranked tenth in the nation.

He was head coach at Union College from 2003-2011 where he remains their all-time winningest hockey coach. He was named the Spencer Primrose Award winner as National Coach of the Year in 2011.

Leaman played for the Cortland Red Dragons from 1993 through 1997 and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2014. He still stands 20th all-time in scoring with 28 goals and 57 assists.

He also served as an assistant coach for the 2007 U.S. National Junior Team, helping the team win a bronze medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Sweden.

Leaman has been active in USA Hockey, also serving as an assistant coach on the U.S. National Under-18 Team that captured gold at the 2005 IIHF World U-18 Championship in Plzen, Czech Republic. He also coached teams at USA Hockey’s Select 14 Player Development Camp in 2001 and 2002.

Potsdam Athletics To Host Montreal Canadiens Alumni

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PPOTSDAM, N.Y.-The Montreal Canadiens Alumni will invade Maxcy Ice Arena for an exhibition game on Sunday, March 3 at 3 p.m. The squad of former National Hockey League players will square off with a local team, the HabNots, consisting of friends of SUNY Potsdam.

General admission tickets are $20, but fans looking for a more personal experience can also buy VIP tickets for $50. Included with VIP tickets are a player meet-and-greet with autographs, light appetizers, cash bar and first choice of seats to watch warmups and the game. The VIP reception will take place at 1 p.m. The arena doors open for VIP ticket holders at 2 p.m. followed by general admission at 2:30 p.m.

Both general admission and VIP tickets can be purchased by contacting the President’s Office at (315) 267-2100. Tickets can also be purchased from local sponsors and HabNot players.

Over 700 players have competed for the Montreal Canadiens since they were established prior to the 1917-18 season. They are the winningest franchise in NHL history with over 3,300 victories, a winning percentage of close to .600 and their legendary 23 Stanley Cup Championships.

The Canadiens Alumni will confirm the members of their roster for the game in the weeks preceding the contest. Past players to compete for the Canadiens Alumni include Guy Carbonneau, Stephane Richer, Chris Nilan as well as many others and they have often been coached by Hall of Famer Guy LaFleur.

Call now to get your tickets and see a piece of NHL history come to SUNY Potsdam.

Slate Hill, NY Native Nick Abruzzese USHL Forward of The Week

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Nick Abruzzese scored twice in Chicago’s game in Sioux Falls on Friday before dishing out three assists to help the Steel to a 5-3 victory over the Sioux City Musketeers on Saturday night. With his five-point weekend, the Harvard commit climbed to the top of the USHL scoring race and now leads the league with 54 points (18G, 36A) through just 41 games.

His 36 assists are second among all USHL players, he is tied for the team lead with his 18 goals and he leads the Steel with his 36 assists and 54 points, 10 assists and 19 points more than the next highest total. Since Jan. 1, Abruzzese has recorded 20 points (10G, 10A) in just 13 games, tied for the second-highest point total among all USHL players during that stretch.

There have only been 10 games this season in which he has not recorded a point, compared to the 16 times this year in which he has recorded multiple points in a game. This is the second time this season Abruzzese has been named USHL Forward of the Week, as he previously earned weekly honors on Dec. 3.

The Slate Hill, NY native is in his second USHL season and put up 36 points (13G, 23A) during the 2017-18 campaign. He was ranked 200th among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s January Midterm Rankings and was acquired by Chicago on May 3, 2017 after originally being drafted by the Lincoln Stars in the 15th round, 241st overall in the 2016 USHL Phase II Draft. Prior to his time in the USHL, Abruzzese played for the New Jersey Junior Titans (NAHL) and North Jersey Avalanche (T1EHL).

South Buffalo’s Crowley In Last Stretch For Cortland

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By Warren Kozireski–

SUNY Cortland forward Mike Crowley is wearing one of the C’s this season for the Red Dragons and it is more than because he is the only senior remaining on the roster. The results on the ice—leading the team in scoring heading into the final two weekends of his collegiate career—and being an example off the ice make him a role model for what is now a full-fledged rebuild of the roster.

Nine freshmen and nine sophomores outnumber the upperclassmen and Crowley is one of the main players the coaching staff is turning toward to set the tone. Dressing for every single game over the last three seasons (he had three games remaining in 2018-19 when this was written) in just one indicator of his character.

“Some kids didn’t want to come back and play and a couple didn’t do so well academically, but I’m just happy to be here still,” Crowley said in early February. “I hope guys look at me bring a lot of energy, come to the rink every day happy to be here and just strive to get better every day.”

His three goals and 13 assists through the first 21 games this season is back to the pace he set during his sophomore year when he finished with 23 points including 18 assists. Part of that is playing major minutes in all three situations.

After staying home to play for the Buffalo Regals/West Seneca and Jr. Sabres programs from 2009-10 to 2011-12 with one season with Bishop Timon High School, the now 24-year old Crowley jumped to the NAHL first with Soo, then Lone Star and one final season in Springfield before beginning his collegiate career. In total he tallied 57 points in 164 NAHL games.

Crowley will finish with over 90 games played with the Red Dragons over his four seasons and earlier this season surpassed the 50 point mark in his career.

As for a favorite memory during his collegiate career, the son of Peggy and Pat points to a game last season when Cortland defeated a nationally ranked Geneseo team in overtime Dec. 2, 2017.

“That was pretty cool and my freshman year I scored my first college goal against Oswego (the first goal of the game Nov. 6, 2014); they were ranked, so that was pretty cool for me.”

Phantoms Recall Williamsville, NY Native Branden Komm

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Lehigh Valley, Pa. – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms, proud AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, have announced today that they have recalled G Branden Komm from the Reading Royals of the ECHL.

Komm, 27, appeared in four games for the Phantoms this season and is 1-2 with a 3.28 goals against average and 0.901 save percentage. Komm made his AHL debut in Hartford on January 5, 2019 and made 25 saves against the Wolf Pack. Komm earned his first AHL victory after making 34 saves on January 25, 2019 against the Laval Rocket.

The 6-foot-1 goaltender has played 15 games this season for the Reading Royals and holds a 5-6-1-1 record with a 2.81 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage in the ECHL this year.

A native of Williamsville, New York, Komm is in his fifth professional season after four years at Bentley University. He has played in 118 games in the ECHL during his career and owns a 52-44-10 record. Komm was traded to the Royals on February 13, 2018 from the Manchester Monarchs and signed a one-year AHL contract with the Phantoms on August 31.

WNYGVIH Fed Champion Series Underway

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By Janet Schultz

For eight years no one has really been able to predict what would happen from the first game to the Championships, both of them.

Yes, for those unfamiliar with girl’s hockey in WNY, the Western New York Girls Varsity Ice Hockey league plays two championships. One is for the Section VI title that will take the winner to the NYS Championship and the second is for the League. The difference being that NYS rules don’t allow the private school to play in with the publics in playoffs, thus eliminating Monsignor Martin from play. So WNYGVIH holds a federation tournament in which they are part.

Most recently Williamsville took the Section VI championship and then went on to win the NYS title. Now it’s time for the second round!

On Tuesday (Feb. 12) night at Amherst Northtowns there were four games, back-to-back. Coming in at first seed was Frontier/Lakeshore/Orchard Park which had a 12-1-1 record. They were followed by Monsignor Martin, Williamsville, Lancaster/Iroquois/Depew, Clarence/Amherst/Sweethome, Hamburg/Eden/West Seneca, Kenmore/Grand Island and Niagara County (our newest team).

The first game went as most would predict, FLOP winning 9-3 over Niagara County (0-14). But it was one of Niagara County’s top scoring games of the season. The first three goals game in the first period at the hands of FLOP. In the second FLOP opened scoring but then Niagara County’s Sarah Jackson dropped the puck into the net, assisted by Skylar Berube at 8:42 of the second. FLOP continued on a scoring spree the balance of the second and into the third when Jackson put in a second and Natalie O’Brien dropped in the final goal of the evening.

FLOP’s Mary Kromer had 5 goals and an assist on the evening with other goal scoring coming from Jessica Peters, Julie Peters, Emery Fitzery, and Gabby Messing. Goalie Mary Spyche played for 30 minutes and then Kristen Heard closed out the final period of the game. (SOG were not reported for this game).

Unpredictable, Kenmore/Grand Island (3-10-1) and Monsignor Martin (11-2-1) skated to a 0-0 at the end of the first and then Carissa Buyea scored off passes from Kaylynn Savoy and Abby Blair. That was the final score 1-0 Kenmore/Grand Island with Carolyn Bourgealt getting the shutout on 31 shots. In goal for Monsignor Martin was Izzy Battaglia who stopped 13 of 14 SOG. This game held lots of back and forth action.

Williamsville (11-3-90) had more to prove with taking both the Section and State titles. HEWS came in seeded sixth with a 4-8-2 record. Williamsville got on the boards with two goals in the first, one in the second and a final in the third; ending 4-0. Jenna Cavalieri had two goals, Ella Huntly had the first of the game and Emma Roland dropped in the last goal. Sydney Olschewski got the shut out with 18 saves. Sissy Harman gave a stellar performance for HEWS making 47 on 51 sog.

LID’s Jersey Phillips scored in the first period and then the team shot in three goals in the second period giving them the 4-0 win over CASH (6-8-0). No scoring in the third. Also scoring for LID (6-7-1) were Bethan Horvatis, Morgan Zaccarine and Cassie Browski. Dylan Gorski faced 24 shots. In net for CASH was Kylie Paige who made 25 of 29 shots.

On Thursday night (Feb. 14) Kenmore/Grand Island will face FLOP at 3:30 p.m. and LID will face Williamsville at 5 p,m. All games will be held at Amherst’s Northtowns Arena.

The winners of those two contests will faceoff for the WNYGVIH Federation Championship at 7 p.m. on February 24 at Harborcenter. The game is part of the Section VI Super Sunday series being played at Keybank Center for the boys.

Niagara County’s Annie Riek Is Far From Being Lonely

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BY RANDY SCHULTZ –

On a late Monday afternoon in early February, the Niagara County Girls High School hockey team skates onto the Hockey Outlet ice rink in North Tonawanda. Goaltender Annie Riek skates to the far end of the main rink to take her position in goal to begin practice.

At the other end of the rink the net is empty and will remain so for the entire 60-minute practice. No, the other Niagara County goalie isn’t sick on this particular day.

There simply is no other goalie. Riek is it, and has been it for the entire season. That includes 14 games and numerous practices throughout the team’s four-month long season.

Like “Three Dog Night’s” 1969 hit recording, “One,” as the song’s lyric states, “One is the loneliest number.”

So how lonely has Riek felt this year?

“Coming into this season I was just happy to have a team,” responded the Niagara Wheatfield ninth grader. “I’m happy just to have this opportunity.

“I was glad to have this group of girls and dedicated coaches come together to form a team and play hockey. And it has been great to have the wonderful support from the all the parents as well.”

It should be clarified here that the Niagara County girl’s hockey team is a first year team. The team is made up of players from the Niagara Wheatfield and Starpoint School districts.

The team is part of the Western New York Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Federation, now in its ninth season of play. But up until this season the other seven teams were all located in Erie County. Niagara County entered this campaign as team number eight.

The season has been a bit of a long one for Niagara County. Through its first 14 games of the season the team has yet to register a victory, going 0-14-0.

In that time Riek has played 617.17 minutes and faced 519 shots on goal, saving 388 of them. Not bad for a 14 year-old who has been playing goal for only three years.

“I started playing hockey when I was 11 and jumped right in playing goal,” recalled Riek, the daughter of Amy and Steven Riek. “I had been a softball catcher since I was about seven years old.

“So catching pucks or softballs, it didn’t matter to me.”

What did Riek think when she found out that she was going to be the only goaltender on the first-year team?

“At first I thought, ‘well at least there is somebody in the position who is able to be a goalie,’” stated Riek, who has a younger brother, Henry, who is also a hockey goaltender. “But now that I’ve been the only goalie for the whole season I’ve found that it is a lot of hard work.

“But it is well worth it.”

Despite everything, Riek is still very positive.

“My teammates have been very supportive throughout the season,” said Riek, who also plays hockey for the Niagara University Jr. Purple Eagles organization. “They are all hard working, dedicated players. I couldn’t ask for better teammates.”

Despite not having won a single game all season, Riek goes out everyday with the same enthusiasm she had on the first day of tryouts.

“I try my best to go out with the same enthusiasm, no matter what the situation may be,” commented Riek. “I try to give 100 percent no matter if its in a game or practice.

“I go into each game as being a new game. It’s a 0-0 score and we try out best.”

Riek admits that when she watches hockey games, no matter at what level, she is always watching the goaltenders. But over the past couple of years two in particular have influenced her a great deal.

“Kevin Bainbridge, the goalie for the Niagara Wheatfield boys high school team, has really helped me out quite a bit,” said Riek, who also plays softball and is on her school’s JV swim team. “I met him over the summer and he encouraged me to tryout for the girl’s team. He’s helped me so much.

“Plus my younger brother, who is also a goalie, has also influenced me quite a bit.”

Riek’s hockey coach with Niagara County, Greg Grosskopf, has been impressed with his goalie since day one of practice.

“The thing I like about Annie is that she has gotten better every single day,” remarked Grosskopf. “Any time you tell her to do something, she does exactly what you told her to do.

“She pushes herself and she pushes the team. Annie is a hard worker. She kept us in a lot of our games.”

The Niagara County hockey coach admitted that it was tough at times having just one goalie on the team.

“We had a minor plan set in case Annie ever went down or got sick,” said Grosskopf. “There was only once where she thought she was sick.

“But we kept encouraging her and she played. Luckily we never had anything really come up where we would have had to replace her.”

Grosskopf also talked about Riek the person.

“She’s kind of quiet,” stated Grosskopf. “But she shows a lot of confidence both on and off the ice.

“She’s also very smart and always eager to learn.”

Riek admits that she dreams one day of going on to play college hockey as well as going into a career in meteorology.

Riek has some advice for other girls wanting to play hockey.

“It is a wonderful sport,” concluded Riek. “What you learn, lesson-wise, from this sport you can apply to the real world.”