Home Girls/Womens KenGiPort Heads to NYS Championship

KenGiPort Heads to NYS Championship

2024 Far West Champs KenGiPort

Photos and Story by Janet Schultz, NYHOL

WNYGVIH Federation’s Kenmore/Grand Island/Lockport is headed to the New York State Tournament for the fifth time in 14 years after defeating Webster 4-3 in Overtime at Buffalo State College’s Ice Arena Wednesday night.

The team first went as Kenmore in the Leagues first year of eligibility, 2013. They lost to a very strong Beekmantown in the first round. The following year they won the Section VI title again and then lost in the semi-finals at the States. In 2015 and 2016 they again took the Section VI title and ended second in the State. However they returned in 2021-22 as KenGi, with Grand Island joining them, and they headed to the States again representing Section VI. It ended in the semi-finals, as it did last year as KenGiPort, with the addition of Lockport High School. There was no State Tournament in 2021 due to Covid, but that year it was Williamsville  who took the Section VI title.

WNYGVIH has had two NYS Champions…FLOP took the title in 2018 and Williamsville in 2019.

This year was a little different. With the addition of Webster to Section V, and the only school to do so, the NYSPHSAA added a Far West Regional pitting our Section VI champion with Webster to determine who would go to the States. KengiPort took on Webster on Valentine’s Day at Buffalo State College’s Arena.

Webster played several WNYGVIH teams earlier this season and came away with a 2-4-1 record, losing to KenGiPort 7-0.

KenGiPort opened the scoring in the first period off the stick of Izzy Bourgeault, assisted by Bella Jayme. Webster answered back with a little over 6 minutes remaining when Madison Olsen scored, assisted by Kenzie Beale and Molly Meyer. The first ends tied at 1-1.

Webster starts the scoring in the second on a goal scored by Molly Meyer, assisted by Maddie Meyer. Not letting it end there, KenGiPort’s Bourgeault strikes again on the powerplay, assisted by Willats and we end the second period in a 2-2 tie.

A theme is developing as the third period ends in a 3-3 tie after goals by KenGiPort’s Bourgeault, assisted by Jayme and Webster’s Molly Meyer, assisted by Olsen and Beale. It’s overtime, as it was in the WNY Sectionals on Monday.

A tight battle but in the end Bourgeault gets a hattrick and gives KenGiPort their win and a trip back to the States. Goaltending was a key again with KenGiPort’s Samantha Horne stopping 13 of 16 and Webster’s Maddie Strelick stopping 28 of 32.

It was also an emotional game for several Webster players. It was their first and last season of high school hockey. Graduating after being a pioneer in Section V Girl’s Varsity Ice Hockey are Goaltender Maddie Strelick (Webster Thomas); Forward Nina Obi (Schroeder); Defender Liv Lucania (Schroeder) and Forward/Defender Meg Springer (Webster Thomas). We wish them well!

The State Tournament opens Friday at 4 p.m. with Section III Skaneateles facing Section II Adirondack (ADK) United. Skaneateles is no stranger to the States and has given WNYGVIH teams a run. Skaneateles also has several Championships under their belt. ADK is in their second year of play and went undefeated, including a 6-0 win over Skaneateles.

KenGiPort Captains Jayme, Horne, Marzec, Bourgeault

KenGiPort faces Canton at 6 p.m. Friday. Canton went 6-1-1 on the season. Canton beat Malone 3-1 for the Section X Championship. 

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