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Let’s Take A Look At: The Monsignor Martin Girls Varsity High School Ice Hockey Team

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BY RANDY SCHULTZ –

For any head coach of an athletic team, preparation time is an important factor in preparing for an upcoming season. Lack of prep time can certainly make for an interesting season’s result, to say the least.

Just as Darren Palaszewski, head coach of Monsignor Martin’s (made up of Sacred Heart Academy, Mount Mercy Academy, Nardin Academy, Mount St. Mary’s Academy and Buffalo Seminary) girl’s varsity high school ice hockey team. What a difference a year makes for him as well as his team.

“I came in late last summer and really didn’t have much time to prepare,” recalled Palaszewski. “I came in kind of blind, but we got through the season.

“This season I had the summer to prepare and get ready. I got a chance to know the players a bit more as well as the parents.

“I got to work with the other coaches on different things. We worked on a team project.

“With more time it does make a difference.”

With that said, the Monsignor Martin coach feels this team has no place to go but up. They finished in seventh place last season in the WNYGVICF with a record of 2-11-1-0-2.

“We’re a bit of a physical team,” said Palaszewski. “We’re a young team too.

“We’ve got a good core of freshmen that just came in this year. They’re a big tenacious.”

Those ninth graders include Lena Hurley (Sacred Heart), Michaela Murphy (Mt. Mercy), Dylany Dee (Sacred Heart), Gabby Kazmark (Sacred Heart) and Avery McDonald (Mt. Mercy).

Palaszewski talked about the leadership of his team as well as its goaltending.

“We have an outstanding goalie with Kate Kelley (10th grade, Sacred Heart),” remarked the Monsignor Martin coach, now in his second season with the team. “But our leadership comes from the seniors on the team,”

They include Ryan Honadle (captain, Mt. St. Mary’s), Reese Honadle (alternate captain, Mt. St. Mary’s), Alexandria Franke (alternate captain, Mt. St. Mary’s) and Mary Kate Christ (Sacred Heart).

On defense, Palaszewski feels he has four solid players.

“We have Addison Cherry (Nardin), a very smart, heady player,” said the coach. “We got Mara Vukelic (Nardin) back this year and missing last season with a broken ankle playing field hockey.

“Lena Hurley has been great. And we have Norah Carrol (Mt. St. Mary’s) back after being injured.”

When it comes to scoring on the team, he looks to three players.

“I look to the Honadle twins as well as Franke,” stated Palasewski.

Overall, Palasewski feels he has a good team to work with this season.

“Despite our youth, I think we get better with each game we play,” concluded the Monsignor Martin coach.

(Photos by Janet Schutz Photography/NY Hockey OnLine)