Championships are difficult to win.
In making it to the mixed school junior varsity championship game the Iroquois High School junior varsity team displayed what heart, determination and grit can accomplish. This was not the most talented team but in terms of will and fortitude there was no better team in the Western New York Club Hockey League.
The JV Chiefs playoff run ended at the hands of a fast and talented opponent. The Eden/Lakeshore team had an impressive year and presented a significant test for Iroquois. In what was a physical game the Eden/Lakeshore team came out on the winning end. Iroquois played as well as they could and shouldn’t be disappointed in a second place finish. The boys tried their hardest and left everything on the ice. Goalies Alex Musielak and Zac Vitez were the best goalie tandem in the league all year long and this game was no exception. Defensively, Ian Schreader, Patrick Moran, Shane Gusterferro, Jack Zienski, Tyler Kaplewicz and Josh Glenn were aggressive and smart with the puck and their positioning throughout the contest. Forwards, Mitch Carlson, Matt Matte, Paul Fitzgerald were fast and provided many amazing rushes. Nick DiChristafaro, Bryce Yorke, Ben Plonka and Tyler ODonnell had numerous opportunities through the game and played above expectations all year. Finally, the line of Ryan Kingston, Zack Murphy and Austin Baker saved their best hockey for the end of the season. They were constantly frustrating their opponents on every shift.
While the score may indicate an easy contest it certainly wasn’t. Eden/Lakeshore may have won the game but they lost many battles along the way.
The Iroquois coaching staff is grateful for the opportunity to coach these players as they made us better coaches each and every night. The 2016-2017 may not have ended with a league title but the friendships made will last much longer than any trophy and that makes the Iroquois winners this year.
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