BY RANDY SCHULTZ –A hockey seed was planted nine months ago. It was planted on Monday, Feb. 12. It blossomed on Monday, Nov. 26.
That’s when a group of 12 parents and students representing a proposed Starpoint High School girls ice hockey team, made their presentation to the Starpoint Board of Education meeting held at the Starpoint Middle School.
Headed by a parent, Dan O’Brien, a presentation was made during the open session of the meeting proposing to begin a girl’s varsity high school hockey team for the 2018-19 season.
“The girls that are interested in playing would become part of a team that would play in the Western New York Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Federation, which currently has seven teams,” said O’Brien that night. “Starpoint would become the eighth team.”
Following several months of phone calls and meetings, Starpoint, along with Niagara-Wheatfield High School, merged to form what is now known as the Niagara County Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Team.
It is the first Niagara County-based team to play in the WNYGVIHF. The other seven teams that make up the Section VI Girls Fed are located in Erie County.
On Monday, Nov. 26 at the Hockey Outlet Ice Arena in North Tonawanda at 5:41 p.m. the puck was dropped in Niagara County’s opening faceoff against Monsignor Martin. With many of those same dozen people who were at the meeting back in February, along with many others in the crowd cheering them on, the Niagara County-based team made history.
Although they lost, 9-3, it was a night of firsts for the NC girls. The first goal scored for NC was by Madison Mallone, a 7th grader from Starpoint. Natalie O’Brien added two more goals in a losing cause.
Following the game, one would have never thought NC had lost. It was a night that saw dreams come true for coaches, players, parents, family and fans.
It was a great night for girl’s high school hockey in Western New York.
(Photo of Madison Mallone by Janet Schultz Photography)