BY RANDY SCHULTZ –
The Lancaster/Iroquois/Depew (LID) girls high school Federation Ice Hockey team is the perfect example of how far girls high school hockey has come in a decade.
“We just were not that good when we began play nine years ago,” said LID assistant coach, Scott Santora, at a press conference regarding he Girls Ice Hockey Federation championship game on Sunday, Feb. 24 at Harborcenter. “We were winless for a long time.”
When you think of professional sports team’s futility the list can be a pretty good one. There were the 1962 expansion New York Mets, who won only 40 of 162 regular season games.
There was the expansion Dallas Cowboys of 1960 who went 0-11-1. There were the NFL’s Tampa Bay Bucs who went 0-26-0 over two seasons before winning their first game. The NHL’s Washington Capitals had a horrendous first season going 8-67-5.
But the Lancaster girl’s hockey team may have topped them all. They went 0-57-0 before winning their first ever game.
“But once Lancaster merged with Iroquois and then Depew things began to turn around for us,” added Pete Tonsoline, another assistant coach with LID.
Sunday will mark the second time since their humble beginnings that LID has made it to the Federation championship game. Quite a change over the past nine years.
“Rough might be the best term to describe our first few years in the league,” said veteran defenseman, Anna Pitz. “But once we brought in girls from Lancaster, Depew and Iroquois that made a big difference.”
Pitz, as well as many of her teammates, made mental notes over the past few years of what opposing teams did to LID over the years during their tough beginnings.
Pitz knew that LID’s day of retribution would eventually come. It may come as early as this Sunday beginning at 7 p.m. at Harborcenter.
“There were events and things that happened that other teams did to you that you always remember,” recalled Pitz. “Next time you play that team it gives you motivation to win.
“And after everything we’ve gone through over the years, it’s great to be here for the championship game.
“I’m a senior and this is my last shot at winning a championship. I know for myself as well as the rest of the seniors on the team, winning a championship game would be a great way to finish up our high school careers.”