BY Janet Schultz; Photos by Janet Schultz©2021
It may not have been the year they expected, but the Western New York Girls Varsity Ice Hockey League got their entire, shortened, season in. The Seniors had their special night and now we bid them farewell and good luck in their future endeavors.
The 11th Season began February 11 with Clarence/Amherst/SweetHome (CASH) taking on Monsignor Martin (MM) at North Buffalo, with MM taking the first win of the season.
Each team played 7 regular season games in five weeks. Monsignor Martin came out on top in the Federation and took the 2021 League Championship. Due to scheduling and COVID, no Federation playoff and championship games were played.
With Williamsville and MM both winning 6, losing 1 and at 18 points, MM not eligible for Sectional playoffs, Williamsville was seeded #1. They had a bye and CASH, Niagara County, Lancaster/Iroquois/Depew (LID), Frontier/LakeShore/Orchard Park (FLOP) Hamburg/Eden/West Seneca (HEWS) and Kenmore/Grand Island (KGI) headed into the quarterfinals. The outcome had HEWS facing Williamsville and LID facing CASH in the semifinals. LID and Williamsville come out victors and face each other in the Championship game.
Williamsville kept the title as they defeated LID 5-2 at Cornerstone Arena in Lockport, chosen as the neutral site.
Due to the Pandemic, NYS canceled the NYS High School Girls Tournament, so no NYS Champion was named.
During the last weeks of the season, the Seniors were honored on their home ice. NYHOL congratulations the Class of 2021 and wishes them well as they move on to higher education, possible more hockey and a great future.
CASH will be losing Hannah and Sara Barrett, Emma Guzdek, Lilli Adimey and Lucy Grimaldi to graduation.
Sarah will be attending SUNY Potsdam, along with her sister Hannah. They both plan to play ice hockey.
Emma will be at Wilkes University; Lilli at Buffalo State College and Lucy at SUNY Brockport. All plan to continue their hockey careers.
Lillie was named to the 2020-21 WNYGVIH All-Fed Team Second Team.
Hannah received an Honorable Mention for the 2020-21 WNYGVIH All-Fed Team.
FLOP says farewell to Gabby Messing, Brinn Sworzydiak, Keegan Shanahan
Gabby joined FLOP as a sophomore and has been “tearing up the ice ever since”. She also plays lacrosse and softball. She plans to attend the University of Buffalo for nursing and will play on the UB women’s club ice hockey team.
Brinn joined FLOP three years ago and has been an integral part of the team. She is also a lacrosse goalie. She will be studying exercise science with a focus on physical therapy at D’Youville College.
Keegan has been an offensive force on FLOP for four years. She plans to study biomedical science on her way to a profession in dentistry. She has not determined her college of choice. Keegan was named to the 2020-21 WNYGVIH All-Fed Team First Team as Goaltender. She played 356.43 minutes, second highest in the league and had one shut-out,.
HEWS wishes Seniors Natalie Davidson, Shea Szabala, Carleigh Sutfin, Olivia Wade and Lauryn Brown well.
Lauryn received an Honorable Mention in the 2020-21 WNYGVIH All-Fed Team.
Kenmore/Grand Island Seniors include Allison Hill, Olivia Velarde, McKenna Horne
Allison is a fourth year player for KGI and will be attending Paul Smiths College for baking and pastry arts. She will also be on their hockey team.
Olivia is also a four year player for KGI and plans to attend Case Western for biomedical engineering.
McKenna played four years with KGI and is heading to Fredonia State College for premed biology.
LID says farewell to Amanda Cole, Maya Lasker, Hailey Keppner, Morganne Dee, Brooklyn Warren and Dylan Gorski
Amanda joined LID as a freshman. She also plays softball and has excelled in swimming, serving as team captain. She will be attending Daemen College.
Maya played two years for LID and also competes in Cross Country for Lancaster. She will be attending the University of Buffalo.
Hailey played five seasons for LID and also played six years of Lacrosse and two years of Field Hockey. She plans to major in physical education.
Morganne hit her 100th career point this season and played five years for LID. She was named assistant captain in her junior year and this season served as co-captain. She also excelled at Field Hockey and Lacrosse. Morganne was named Buffalo News Preptalk Athlete of the Year for the Fall season in field hockey and has committed to Arcadia University in business management and plans to play three sports, including ice hockey. Morganne was named to the 2020-21 WNYGVIHF All-Fed First Team. She logged 8 goals and 14 assists for 22 points, second overall in the League.
Brook joined the LID program in seventh grade, coming from Lancaster High School. She was named as an Honorable Mention during her junior season for ice hockey on defense. She is currently enrolled in the Academy of Finance Program at Lancaster and is looking to pursue her education in business at Brockport or Mercyhurst. Brook was named to the 2020-21 WNYGVIH All-Fed Team Third Team.
Dylan played five seasons for LID as a goaltender from Iroquois High School. This season she served as co-captain. She also competed in volleyball and lacrosse. During her Junior year she was named Athlete of the Week and received an Honorable Mention as a First Team All Star by Section VI. She will pursue a degree in elementary education. Dylan received a Honorable Mention on the 2020-21 WNYGVIH All-Fed Team. Dylan played the most minutes in goal for the league at 389.28, had 2 shut-outs with 4 wins and 5 losses.
Monsignor Martin’s Senior Class includes Haylee Luderman, Kayla Kasprzek, and Alexa Groh.
Kayla played for Monsignor Martin for four years and also plays hockey for Sacred Heart Academy. She is an honor student and member of the National Honor Society. Kayla plans to attend Connecticut College to study in the field of health sciences. She will also be playing for the Camels ice hockey team.
Haylee is a student at St. Mary’s of Lancaster and also played all four years with Monsignro Martin. She will be attending Niagara University to become a nurse practitioner and will play on NU’s women’s club ice hockey team.
Alexa served this season at the Senior Captain and has been a member of the team for four years. She is a student at Buffalo Seminary, where she also plays lacrosse. Alexa serves on student government and will attend Western New England University where she will play hockey for the Golden Bears while studying marketing.
Niagara County’s Class of 2021: Natalie O’Brien, Amanda Jackson, Kayelyn Churakus and MacKenzie Green.
Natalie was named to the 2020-21 WNYGVIH Federation All-Fed First Team. She had 10 goals and 7 assists for 17 points, #4 this season overall.
Amanda was named to the 2020-21 WNYGVIH All-Fed Team Third Team.
Williamsville, with the largest graduating class including Elizabeth Timby, Ellie Schau, Holly Nagel, Ella Smithers, Ally Major, Elizabeth Jackson Sydney Olschewske
Sydney will be attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to study global conflict studies with a minor in homeland security and aragic studies while in the Army’s ROTC program, hoping to be an helicopter pilot.
Ellie Schau will be attending Norwich University to play NCAA D3 hockey and major in communications with a minor in marketing. Ellie was named to the 2020-21 WNYGVIH All-Fed Team Second Team. Ellie had 7 goals and 7 assists for 14 points, #7 overall this season.
Elizabeth Timby will attend SUNY Morrisville to play hockey and major in criminal justice. Ellie was named to the 2020-21 WNYGVIH All-Fed Team Second Team as Goaltender with 344.67 minutes in the net; 6 wins, 1 loss and 3 shutouts with a 1.18 GAA.
Holly will be attending Paul Smith’s College to major in entrepreneurship and play hockey.
Ally is undecided about her career and college choice.
Elizabeth will attend Mercyhurst University to play field hockey and major in nursing.
Ella will be attending Wofford College to play D1 lacrosse. She will be on a pre-law track with a major in English and minor in philosophy.