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Cornell’s Guilday Among Team USA Defensive Corp

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UTICA, NEW YORK - APRIL 2: USA’s Rory Guilday #6 - 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship at Nexus 1 Arena on April 2, 2024 in Utica, New York, USA. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/IIHF)

By Warren Kozireski —

Rory Guilday helped Cornell women’s hockey to the NCAA tournament where they fell in the regional finals and the junior defenseman now turns her attention to Team USA at the IIHF Women’s World Championships being held in Utica.

In her second trip with Team USA, she won a gold medal with the team last year and hopes for a repeat performance as one of the six regular blueliners paired most games with New York native Haley Winn.

“Personally, I feel more confident going in there and know what to expect,” Guilday said after a round-robin game. “You always get something new in every single one of these tournaments, but I definitely feel more confident.”

“We like to keep it (shifts) quick…it’s a big part of what we do and who we are,” “We trust everyone and just try to make sure I can get off and pass it on to the next one.”

Guilday had a solid freshman season with the Big Red, but then battled through an ankle injury as a sophomore. She was still able to make last year’s World Championship.

“I feel like I came back stronger, and it make me that much more excited to play.”

As for how the native Minnesotan ended up in central New York?

“I was looking for a change of scenery, I think. I love Minnesota, but I think I wanted to branch out and try something new. Cornel I was immediately drawn to with the scenery and obviously the school and the hockey program itself. And the type of people around there were just incredible and it’s something that I wanted to be a part of.”

First things first as Team USA headed into the medal round as the top seed after defeating Team Canada in the round-robin 1-0 in overtime.

Then?

“Senior year at Cornell and I’m looking forward to every minute of it. Then the PWHL is doing incredible, so I hope to be a part of that when I graduate.”

(Photo provided by USA Hockey/Women’s IIHF Team)

Serdachny Post-Colgate University

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By Warren Kozireski —

The latest chapter of Danielle Serdachny’s hockey career finished as she helped Colgate reach the women’s hockey Frozen Four for just the second time in program history.

Next, she hopes, is being selected in June’s PWHL draft to continue her career professionally. But she is taking a brief detour to Utica, NY as part of Team Canada at the IIHF Women’s World Championships.

“Obviously we have a great group of girls here, a great coaching staff so it’s an honor to be here and be a part of this group,” Serdachny said. “Pretty fortunate to put the jersey on and play here especially being so close to where I spent the last five years at Colgate. Pretty exciting time.”

Serdachny’s father, Steven, was the Edmonton Oilers skating/skills coach for nine seasons and her brother, Noah, is a sophomore playing at Colorado College.

In the early games of the World Championships, she was slotted on the fourth line on a deep Team Canada, but in a round-robin game against Team USA, was called upon to take a defensive zone draw in a 0-0 tie in overtime and ended up blocking a shot later in the sequence.

“Big play there; I was doing my best to try to keep the puck out of our net so anytime you get put on (the ice) in overtime it’s a big responsibility.”

Among a long laundry list of accolades during her collegiate career with the Raiders, Serdachny this season was named on the CCM Hockey and American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) second-team All-American squad—her third after earning First Team spots the last two seasons. In 2020-21, Serdachny became the first Colgate All-American in the Division I era.

She ends her career holding the top two slots for most points scored in a season by a Raider skater. Last season, she set the program record with 71 and nearly broke her record with 61 this year.

Her 239 career points are 54 tallies ahead of second place in the career scoring category, and she also owns the highest assists per game average in school history with .88 apples per outing.

She was also named as a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award, becoming the first student-athlete in Colgate history to be recognized as a finalist twice.

“Kind of hard to pick one moment after spending five years in a place, but obviously making the Frozen Four this year is pretty incredible, but spending every day with some of my best friends and people that I will remember for the rest of my life.

“Pretty fortunate to meet some pretty amazing people there, so that has been probably my favorite thing that’s come from these past five years.”

(Photos provided by Colgate University Athletics/Women’s Hockey)

Koester Recipient of the 23-24 Zoe Harris National Player of the Year Award

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Troy Mi.– The Women’s Division 2 of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) is proud to announce Katelyn Koester, Niagara University, as the recipient of the 2023-2024 Zoe Harris National Player of the Year Award.

This award is named in honor of Zoe Harris, the first Women’s Division Vice President, a member of the ACHA Hall of Fame, and a trailblazer for women’s hockey in the ACHA and beyond. The selection criteria includes outstanding individual and team skills, sportsmanship, on ice performance, personal character, competitiveness and a love of hockey. Consideration is also given to academic achievement.

Based on multiple nominations, including directly from Niagara’s leadership as well as fellow opponents of Niagara, Koester was ultimately selected as this year’s Zoe Harris Award Winner through a voting process decided by Women’s D2 coaches. 

Throughout the 2023-24 season, Koester was a key contributor to Niagara’s success. In her 19 appearances, she amassed an impressive 48 points, including 21 goals and 27 assists. She was the leading points scorer in Niagara’s conference, College Hockey East (CHE), and #6 for total points across all of Women’s D2. Koester’s ability to perform under pressure and make a difference for her team when it matters most was highlighted by four game-winning goals.

Beyond her competitive on-ice achievements, Koester displays resilience and determination by overcoming unique challenges she faces as a deaf hockey player. Overall, Koester has represented her team, and the ACHA, with poise and passion for the sport.

The ACHA congratulates Koester on this well-deserved award based on her outstanding performance as a player in Women’s D2 during the 2023-24 season. Her achievements exemplify the spirit of collegiate hockey and serve as an inspiration to players across the country.

(Photo provided by ACHA)

Allison Coomey Named The Inaugural Head Coach of University of Delaware’s Women’s Ice Hockey Program

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NEWARK, Del. – With over two decades of women’s ice hockey coaching experience, the University of Delaware has selected Allison Coomey (pronounced KOO-me) to be the inaugural head coach of the women’s ice hockey program, Director of Athletics, Community, and Campus Recreation Chrissi Rawak announced Tuesday. Coomey will assume the role on April 1, 2024 with the program playing its inaugural season in 2025-26.

“I’m excited to welcome Allison to our Blue Hen community,” Rawak said. “With her wealth of knowledge, ice hockey expertise, and experiences at the collegiate and USA national team level, she is the perfect person to build and lead this program. She’s an incredible coach who believes in the importance of a well-rounded student-athlete experience and recognizes the opportunity that we have here at Delaware to create something exceptional!”

Coomey comes to Newark after spending the past seven seasons at Penn State. She served as an assistant coach for three seasons before being promoted to associate head coach in 2020-21.

“I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Chrissi Rawak, Karen Freed, and the entire executive team for entrusting me with the opportunity to lead this program as its inaugural head coach,” Coomey said. “It’s an honor to help bring the excitement of Division I Ice Hockey to the 302. The University of Delaware is an extraordinary institution and is globally recognized for its excellence. The support for student-athletes and state-of-the-art athletic facilities have given us a solid foundation to build upon.

I am deeply appreciative of the coaches who have influenced my journey over the past two decades. Kristin Steele, Kevin Houle, Margot Page, Brian Durocher, and Jeff Kampersal have each exemplified qualities that I aspire to embody as the head coach of this program. I am so excited to be a Blue Hen!”

Over the course of her career, Coomey has coached four student-athletes to the Olympics, eight to national teams, four All-Americans, 15 major conference award winners, and 47 All-Conference selections over her time at Penn State and Boston U.

No stranger to the Hens’ inaugural conference, College Hockey America (CHA), Coomey and the Nittany Lions captured the past two league tournament titles, earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The team also claimed the CHA regular season title in three of the past four seasons.

Primarily responsible for coaching defense, Coomey’s leadership turned the Nittany Lions into one of the best defensive units in the country by allowing just 1.88 goals per game over the past five seasons dating back to 2019-20.

Selected for various international coaching roles with USA Hockey, Coomey was on staff with the silver-medal winning USA National Team at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games as a team scout and extension of the coaching staff. Coomey also served as the head coach for the U23 US Women’s National Team in 2021 and 2022.

Coomey also spent time as an assistant coach for the USA senior national team during the 2021 IIHF World Championship. She was also a member of USA Hockey’s scouting staff at the 2019 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.

At the 2019 America Hockey Coaches Association Convention, Coomey received the AHCA Women’s Hockey Assistant Coach of the Year award for her outstanding career resume.

Prior to Penn State, Coomey spent nine seasons at Boston University where she helped the Terriers qualify for the NCAA Tournament six times, including a pair of NCAA Championship appearances in 2011 and 2013. While at BU, Coomey coached four Olympians who combined to win six gold medals for the Canadian National Team at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

A four-year letterwinner at Niagara, Coomey returned to her alma mater as an assistant coach from 2004-08, helping the Purple Eagles reach the CHA title game twice.

Before Niagara, Coomey served as an assistant coach at Plattsburgh in 2003-04 where she helped guide the Cardinals to the 2004 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) West Division III regular-season title and the NCAA Division III semifinals.

The Baldwinsville, New York, native earned two degrees from Niagara, a bachelor’s degree in education in 2002 and a master’s degree in school counseling in 2008. She was a two-time ECAC All-Academic Team member and earned a spot on the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Academic Team.

Following graduation, Coomey secured her first job in the industry as an assistant women’s hockey coach at Connecticut College.

Coomey was a two-sport letterwinner at Niagara, playing ice hockey and lacrosse from 1998-2002. On the ice, she served as an alternate captain during her senior season and helped the team to its most successful campaign in program history. The Purple Eagles reached the 2002 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four and finished tied for third in the final national poll. On the lacrosse field, she earned the team’s rookie of the year award.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT ALLISON COOMEY…
“Delaware hired an absolute gem of a human being. Allison is a brilliant coach and a compassionate mentor. The women of Delaware will learn to do things the right way on and off the ice. They will be valued, cared for, and heard. Personally, I will miss seeing Allison every day. She is a loyal friend, someone who has shaped my life positively. Unknowingly, she has made me a better person. I’m proud of Allison, she deserves this opportunity.” 

Jeff Kampersal
Penn State Head Women’s Ice Hockey Coach

“Allison Coomey is a person of impeccable character who has already distinguished herself as a leader, mentor, and coach at all levels of college and international hockey.  She will bring a diverse resume and a plethora of experience to the challenge of starting a new varsity program. You will not find a more passionate, caring and focused individual then Allison. Her success is easily identified by the record of accomplishment that she left behind at institutions like Plattsburgh State, Niagara, Boston University and Penn State. I am highly confident that the University of Delaware will welcome a pillar in the community, a fantastic coach, and a person who does things right.”

Brian Durocher
Special Assistant to the Director of Athletics, Boston University
Retired Head Women’s Ice Hockey Coach
10th All-time in Division I Women’s Ice Hockey Wins

“I am incredibly excited to see the expansion of NCAA women’s hockey continue and the University of Delaware’s addition of a D1 program. The University has hit a home run with the hiring of head coach Allison Coomey. Allison’s time as a player, her many roles with Team USA, and her most recent role as associate head coach at Penn State University, has provided her the tools to be an amazing head coach at the University of Delaware. I am thrilled for Allison and wish her all the best in this new role.”

Katie Million
Director, Women’s National Team Programs, USA Hockey

“I have had the pleasure to coach with and be coached by Coomey. The first time I was coached by Coomey was during my playing career with the USA National Team. I realized her passion for the game right away. This coupled with her intelligence allowed me to grow as a player. During our time working together with the USA U18 Team, her professionalism stood out to me. The University of Delaware is very lucky to have Coach Coomey and I am so excited to see her impact the game as a head coach! The program is in good hands!”

Brianna Decker
2018 Olympic Gold Medalist, 2022 Olympic Silver Medalist
USA U18 Assistant Coach 2024 – IIHF Gold Medal

(Photo provided by University of Delaware Athletic Department)

Laurel Hollow’s Warren Helps Michigan To Frozen Four

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By Warren Kozireski —

Marshall Warren played for Boston College for four seasons and wore the “C” last season. But now, wearing an “A” for his Michigan Wolverines, he will battle his former teammates in the national semi-final.

“Our group chat (with his former teammates) has been pretty quiet ever since we beat Michigan State,” Warren said in the preliminary press conference. “Right now, I’m emotionless about it. It’s a business trip for us. We have to beat them. They’re in my way, our way.

“And obviously after the game I’ll be a little emotional. But right now, I’m just focused on playing Boston College and beating them.”

The former U.S. National Team Development Program product and 2019 sixth round draft pick by Minnesota helped stabilize the Wolverine blueline through a rough first half.

“Just a leader, a veteran, mature kid,” Michigan head coach Brandon Naurato said about Warren. “Brings nothing but positive energy in the room. Pushes other people to be the best versions of themselves. I think Marsh had a good first half with Edwards out. He probably took on too much, like a lot of those guys in regards to ice time and trying to take care of the D corp.

“But he’s been outstanding in the second half. And even just simplifying his game, being hard, but just being a leader in the room, on and off the ice, and making plays in big moments. He’s been great.”

Warren tallied four goals with 14 assists in 40 games this season, consistent with his previous campaigns.

The 6’0”, 181 lb. blueliner spent time in youth hockey with the New Jersey Colonials and Avalanche before heading to Plymouth, Michigan. He was first black player to ever wear the “C” for the Eagles. He and his family have been involved at the grassroots level bringing ice hockey to the kids in Harlem.

But he is laser focused right now on one thing.

“Yeah, I think just be hard in every zone. Make them turn over the puck. Be good on a line rush against, just be physical. I think we have a great D core back there. As long as we take care of our net, we’ll put some pucks in their net.

“I think we have a lot to prove. Michigan hasn’t won a national title since 1998. That’s what we want to do for the alumni. That’s what we want to do for Block M. And it starts tomorrow.

“As a team we were .500 during the break. Went on a little run there. But we’re not satisfied yet. It starts tomorrow and we’re ready to go. BC is in our way. So, we’re going to do everything in our power to get the win.”

(Photo by Koz, NY Hockey OnLine)

SUNYAC Adds Hobart, Skidmore In Men’s Ice Hockey, Williams Smith In Women’s Ice Hockey, As Conference Expands

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The State University of New York Athletic Conference will add Hobart and William Smith Colleges in the sports of men’s and women’s ice hockey, and Skidmore College in men’s ice hockey, beginning with the 2025-26 season.The announcement was made by Commissioner Tom DiCamillo following a recommendation by the SUNYAC Board of Directors (Athletic Directors) and approval by the SUNYAC Presidents Council.

This marks the second round of expansion for the SUNYAC since October and increases the conference associate membership to eight institutions participating in 12 conference sports beginning in 2025-26. The SUNYAC has 10 full members.

“We are excited that Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and Skidmore College, have accepted our invitation to become associate members of the SUNYAC,” Alberto Cardelle, the president of SUNY Oneonta and chair of the SUNYAC Presidents Council, stated. “These institutions will strengthen the sports of men’s and women’s ice hockey in the SUNYAC as our conference continues striving to enhance the competition level of the league as well as the student-athlete experience.”

The Hobart men’s ice hockey program is the two-time reigning NCAA Division III National Champion (2023 & 2024), while Skidmore finished the 2023-24 campaign with a 19-7-2 (.714 wining percentage) overall mark before falling to Hobart in the New England Hockey Conference Championship.

William Smith finished the year with a 17-9-1 (.648) record before losing to NCAA Division III Women’s National Runner-Up Elmira in the NEHC Semifinals.

“Hobart and William Smith, and Skidmore, bring outstanding ice hockey programs with rich histories of success in Division III to the SUNYAC,” Commissioner Tom DiCamillo said. “The addition of these programs increases the strength of schedule within the conference and elevates what already is one of the premier Division III conferences in the nation.”

Both institutions are within the New York geographic footprint of the SUNYAC. Hobart and William Smith Colleges are in Geneva, while Skidmore is in Saratoga Springs.The addition of Hobart and Skidmore brings the SUNYAC to 10 men’s teams that will feature a double round-robin, 18-game schedule.

It marks the most men’s ice hockey programs in the history of the SUNYAC.

William Smith becomes the eighth member of the SUNYAC, which absorbed the Northeast Women’s Hockey League this year. The conference will employ a 14-game, double round-robin schedule that eliminates the need to continue using a triple round-robin format.

“We’re extremely excited and honored to find a home for our hockey programs with such familiar and respected institutions within the SUNYAC,” Brian Miller, Hobart and William Smith director of athletics, said. “We already play many of those programs in our non-conference schedule and feel the strength of the league is right on par with the NEHC.”

Mark Taylor, the Hobart head coach, echoed Miller’s enthusiasm.

“I’m excited about joining the SUNYAC hockey league,” Taylor said. “It has a long history of excellent programs who we’ve played against throughout the history of our program; so, this will be an easy transition for us. To join a league with teams that are among the best in the country and maintain our high-strength of schedule makes it a win-win. Plus, there’s always some excitement and nuances of joining a new league so that’ll be fun for the players.”

William Smith Head Coach Matt Cunningham agreed.

“Moving to the SUNYAC will present an exciting new challenge for our student-athletes. It’s an honor to join this New York-based league with strong teams and a rich history. We will look forward to competing with these schools while elevating the experience for our student-athletes.”

Gail Cummings-Danson, the assistant vice president for Student Affairs and athletics director, sees a growing opportunity and a flourishing relationship for Skidmore and the SUNYAC.

“We are excited to begin competition with SUNYAC hockey for the 2025-26 season,” she stated. “Skidmore has enjoyed a competitive relationship with many of the SUNYAC hockey schools, and we look forward to strengthening those opportunities and developing a similar relationship with those that we have not yet competed against.”

Cummings-Danson noted that geographic location within the area occupied by current SUNYAC membership makes for a natural partnership and preserves Skidmore’s commitment to competing at the highest level of Division III men’s ice hockey.

“Though bittersweet to see the NEHC run its course, we couldn’t be more excited to join the SUNYAC hockey conference,” Rob Hutchison, Skidmore’s head coach, said. “The league is packed with fantastic players and coaches and has always been a premier Division III hockey league. We are eager and grateful for the opportunity to build new relationships and build new rivalries with this group.”

In October, the SUNYAC admitted SUNY Canton and SUNY Morrisville as full member institutions beginning in 2024-25, while Alfred State was accepted as an associate member in the sports of men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field also beginning next year.The SUNYAC added men’s wrestling to its roster of NCAA Division III sponsored sports as well in October, holding its first championship a month later.

Associate members Ithaca, RIT, St. John Fisher and Utica joined full members Brockport, Cortland, Oneonta and Oswego to form an eight-team league under the SUNYAC umbrella. Brockport will become an associate member in wrestling in 2024-25.

Now in its 65th season of athletic competition, the SUNYAC is one of the strongest and most vibrant conferences in all of NCAA Division III that features 22 league championships and nearly 5,000 student athletes.

Webster’s Winn Again Helping Team USA Toward Gold

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UTICA, NEW YORK - APRIL 2: USA’s Haley Winn #8 - 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship at Nexus 1 Arena on April 2, 2024 in Utica, New York, USA. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/IIHF)

By Warren Kozireski —

Haley Winn is picking right up where she left off her junior season with Clarkson University as she competes with Team USA in the Women’s World Championships being played in Utica this month.

After scoring ten goals with 29 assists over 28 games for nationally fourth ranked Clarkson, she had two goals and three assists in the first four games of the round-robin portion of the tournament.

An assist on Team USA’s fourth goal against Finland in game three was a perfect bank pass from her own zone to Kendall Coyne Schofield.

“Just a loose puck in the neutral zone and I saw Kendall coming through the zone with speed, but there was a defender so I knew I couldn’t get it to her directly, so I just made an indirect play…and great shot from her,” Winn said.

“We can always learn from the game…it was the first three goals we let up in the tournament. We’re happy with where the team’s at right now, but Monday’s game against Canada will be a true test for us.”

The 5’5” defenseman is in her second season with Team USA in this tournament having won a gold medal last year.

“I think a little more confidence (second time around); coach does a good job of instilling confidence in us especially with a lot of young players on the team. We have a great d-corps back there, so it’s fun to learn off of them.”

Winn grew up playing boy’s hockey with the Rochester Americans and Rochester Monarchs until high school when she joined the Bishop Kearney (BK) Selects from grades nine through 12 prior to Clarkson.

“I switched to the Monarchs in my grade eight year because they had a great coach in (former Rochester American) Francois Methot there and he’s still my skills coach today, so I owe a lot to him for sure.”

Winn is one of four hockey-playing siblings. Brother Ryan played for Bowdoin, Casey for Brockport and Tommy is a defenseman with Geneseo. But they collectively cited Haley as the best player in the family.

“I’m asked that question a lot. There’s only one of them still playing, so I guess I’m pretty close at least when that one retires. Hopefully, I’ll be playing the longest. I’ve definitely learned a lot from them as well.

“Two are here supporting and two the other will be here for the medal round, so super-excited for that.”

(Photo provided by USA Hockey Women’s Hockey)

Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation Announce Five Finalists, Four with NYS Connections

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The Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation announced five finalists for the 2024 Hockey Humanitarian Award, presented annually to college hockey’s “finest citizen” for leadership in community service.

Hank Kempf (Wilmette, Ill.), Junior, Defense, Cornell University

Hank Kempf (Wilmette, Ill.), Junior, Defense, Cornell University

Kempf founded the “Big Red Blocks for Healing” campaign that is raising funds for Kesem, a national charitable organization that supports children who are affected by a parent’s cancer. The fundraiser is nearing $6,000 in pledges alone and hopes to raise up to $15,000. In addition to Kempf’s campaign, he has been active within the Cornell and Ithaca communities, aiding several not-for-profit organizations and helping a diverse array of community members. His efforts have included: supporting the Newfield Schools Mentor Program; working with the Racker Center, which provides strength-based support for individuals with disabilities and their families; and participating in local fundraisers for cancer research. He has also been active with the Portal de Belen Foundation, participating and leading the Cornell men’s hockey team’s service trip to the Dominican Republic this past summer, where the group spent time building a community service center, distributing clothing, shoes, and food to those in need, and participating in other acts of service. The group also provided computers, school supplies and sports equipment to local schools and played baseball nightly with the community’s kids.

Dylan Lugris (Buffalo, N.Y.), Junior, Forward, Penn State University

Dylan Lugris (Buffalo, N.Y.), Junior, Forward, Penn State University

Lugris formed a strong bond with the local sled hockey organization, the State College Coyotes, after arriving on campus in 2021. He started attending their weekly practices and encouraged teammates to join him as he learned more and more about the sport of sled hockey and the Coyotes organization. In an effort to make a difference for a struggling organization that only practiced once a week and did not compete in actual games, Dylan came up with the idea of the Penn State Sled Hockey Classic last January. His mission is to grow the game of hockey while bringing awareness and knowledge to the sport of sled hockey and to provide the Coyotes the means necessary for organizational growth. As a result of his efforts, a charity sled hockey scrimmage between the Coyotes and the Penn State men’s hockey team at Pegula Ice Arena in front of the passionate Penn State fan base was held. All preparation and in-arena logistics were managed solely by Dylan and his Penn State teammates. Since the initial Penn State Sled Hockey Classic in February 2023, the Coyotes have more than doubled in roster size and are now proud members of the Northeast Sled Hockey League. The Coyotes compete in multiple games per month thanks in large part to the nearly $50,000 Dylan and his Penn State teammates have raised for the organization over the past year.

Jack Quinn (Lancaster, Mass.), Senior, Forward, Long Island University

Jack Quinn (Lancaster, Mass.), Senior, Forward, Long Island University

Through his years at LIU, Jack Quinn has reached hundreds of people with his altruistic spirit and servant heart. Jack truly embraces the maxim “never underestimate the impact you can have on someone else’s life.” Standing in the gap for those in need has been a theme throughout Jack’s life and has carried over with distinction throughout his collegiate career. Jack does not limit himself to serving just one group, but rather a wide range of individuals across multiple organizations, stepping in wherever there is a need. To this end, Jack has taken the initiative to lead on-ice events with a number of youth hockey organizations in Long Island year round, including practices/clinics with the Long Island Gulls, Long Island Arrows, Beaver Dam, P.A.L. Islanders and NY Islanders Learn-To-Skate program. He has participated in the Hockey Helps Marathon to raise funds for local charities and led LIU with the Island Harvest Food Bank Drive, a hunger-relief organization with a mission to end hunger on Long Island. Jack similarly took the lead role with LIU Hockey in preparing Thanksgiving meals for Long Island families in need through an organization called Carroll’s Kitchen. Jack also spent many hours finding homes for rescued animals in LIU’s Pet Adoption Program and volunteering to raise awareness regarding heart disease with the American Heart Association. In addition, two organizations that Jack has been particularly close to, and to which he continues to dedicate his service, are the Long Island Warriors, a hockey program consisting solely of military veterans who use hockey as therapy in coping with physical and mental disabilities; and to the Hockey in Harlem program which provides inner city youth with access to hockey.

Raice Szott (Daysland, Alberta), Senior, Defense, Merrimack College

Raice Szott (Daysland, Alberta), Senior, Defense, Merrimack College

Szott has developed, coordinated and participated in several events and initiatives that exemplify Merrimack’s mission to engage and support the community. Szott launched the Merrimack College Women’s Hockey Community Service Committee, which has led to several volunteer and fundraising opportunities in the Merrimack Valley. She has coordinated fundraisers to support local nonprofits, including first responders and the Ellie Fund, a local foundation that assists men and women suffering from breast cancer. Szott has coordinated volunteers for Merrimack’s Relay For Life, local girls’ hockey programs and after-school programs at local elementary schools. In addition, Szott oversaw logistics for a number of events, including: a teddy bear toss at a Merrimack College women’s ice hockey home game to benefit Toys for Tots; multiple Skating Strides games for the Ellie Fund; and a team event for the school’s “Relay for Life Walk” this coming April. Szott also created a program dedicated to teaching and mentoring young girls to help them build confidence through ice skating and hockey.

Sarah Thompson (Ottawa, Ontario), Senior, Forward, Syracuse University

Sarah Thompson (Ottawa, Ontario), Senior, Forward, Syracuse University

Thompson launched ‘Sticks Together’ two years ago to provide children in disadvantaged areas opportunities to learn and grow through the sport of ice hockey. She has led humanitarian trips to Buenos Aires, Argentina, aiming to reach families living in low-income communities where opportunities for children to learn and play sports can be few and far between; and to Muizenberg, South Africa, where the focus was to provide an opportunity for children whose schools lack the funds and resources to provide physical education classes for their students. Thompson is currently planning a similar trip this summer to Tigman Village, Palawan. As a part of the ‘Sticks Together’ initiative, Thompson partners with CARHA Hockey and Play It Again Sports to collect recycled hockey sticks and other street hockey equipment to use during the trips and then donate to the schools.

Gabbie Hughes from Minnesota Duluth was honored as the 2023 recipient of the Hockey Humanitarian Award.

The 29th recipient of the Hockey Humanitarian Award will be honored in a ceremony on Friday, April 12 as part of the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four weekend in Staint Paul, Minnesota. Additionally, the Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation will make a donation to the charity most important to each of the five finalists. These donations are made possible with the generous support of the award’s partners and donors.

Skaneatles’ Morrissey NEHC Rookie of the Year

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By Warren Kozireski —

Wherever Bauer Morrissey has played hockey of late, his second season has been much better than the first. He jumped from seven to 31 points in his second season with the Rochester Coalition and from 22 to 37 in two campaigns with Cranbrook in the BCHL.

Hobart can only hope recent history repeats itself after the 5’9”, 183 lb. defenseman was named New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Rooke of the Year after putting up four goals with 22 points over 24 games. Sand that’s prior to the nationally top-ranked Statesmen entering the NCAA playoffs.

“It’s an honor but we’re really only looking at winning a national championship so that’s most important,” Morrissey said on the final weekend of the regular season.

“We have a great culture here with (head coach) Mark Taylor and ten seniors have done a great job integrating the freshmen into the culture and every day we build on that…and get better.”

“We had high expectations because he’s got a great head and great hands and knew he was a great kid with a lot of (Hobart) roots going into his background,” Hobert head coach Mark Taylor said. “You get somebody with good talent and good character and he’s probably going to have some success.

“We know we have to live with some things when they come in first semester, but by the second semester the senior out there and on the bench doesn’t care if you’re a freshman or a sophomore or a junior, they just want you to play good.”

Born in Leesburg, Virginia, Morrissey moved with his family to Skaneateles when he was 15 years old. He played two seasons with Skaneateles High before leaving home for two years with Millbrook Prep School and two more with Cranbrook before heading to Geneva.

His father played with Taylor at Elmira. His grandmother, Louise Six, graduated from William Smith in 1963 while his uncle, Matt Kerwick, graduated from Hobart in 1990, was an All-American lacrosse player for the Statesmen and was the Statesmen’s head coach for seven seasons.

Like his other family members, Morrissey has fit in seamlessly.

“Honestly I didn’t know what to expect, but because the seniors are so great to us I felt really comfortable coming in and (the coaching staff) let me do my thing and play my game. I think it does take half a year or a year to get your feet wet and get to know who you’re playing with, get to know the level you’re at.

“I decided to go back for my overage year in junior…so coming in I was 21 (years old). I felt like I needed to mature my game because I still have some holes in my game and that couple of years to develop really helped me.

“They (family) always stayed in my ear about Hobart and, if things fell through for Division I, then this would be the next best option which it has been.”

(Photos provided by Hobart Athletics/Men’s Hockey Team)

Hobart Wins Second Consecutive National Championship; RIT & Cornell Win Conference Titles

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By Warren Kozireski —

Typical of their season, Hobart shutout third-ranked Trinity 2-0 to win their second consecutive Division III men’s hockey national championship. Typical because it marked the team’s 13th shutout of the season breaking the previous mark of 12 held by Geneseo since 2019.

The Statesmen were the number one seed going into the tournament and defeated  Curry 4-3 in four overtimes and second-ranked Utica 3-1 to reach the title game. They outscored their opponents 161-30 this season.

Hobart is the first team to win back-to-back national championships in Division III men’s ice hockey since St. Norbert in 2011 and 2012.

RIT won their fourth Atlantic Hockey Conference championship and earned the automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. They are the fourth seed (15th overall) in the Sioux Falls Regional and will battle number one seed Boston University in the first round at 5pm Thursday.

The conference top-seed Tigers played every playoff game on home ice sweeping best-of-three series with Robert Morris and Niagara before taking down American International, who finished fifth in the regular season, in the final 5-2.

“Our penalty killing was outstanding, and then when the power play got its opportunities, we capitalized quickly there as well,” RIT head coach Wayne Wilson said after the final. “I think the thing I can say about this team, probably more so than a lot of other teams I’ve coached, is contributions came from everyone.”

Cornell won their 13th Whitelaw Cup as champions of the ECAC, but first since 2010, when they took down St. Lawrence 3-1 in the championship game. They swept Harvard and beat Dartmouth in the semi-finals to advance.

The Big Red earned the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament and are a third seed. They were placed in the Springfield Regional and will face-off against second seed Maine in the first round at 5:30pm Thursday.

(Photos by Koz/NY Hockey OnLine)

Skaneatles Repeats

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By Warren Kozireski —

Skaneateles broke a 1-1 with four unanswered goals over the final two periods to defeat Queensbury/Lake George 5-1 to win the New York State Division II hockey title for the second consecutive season, becoming the 13th team in history to do so at any level.

The Lakers took a 1-0 first period lead as sophomore defenseman Noah Testa scored from the left point with assists from Casey Morrissey and Andrew Falkenberg at 10:48.

Queensbury earned a late first period power play and converted to tie the game 1-1  just 23 seconds into the second as junior defenseman Brodie LaNoir scored stick side.

The Lakers then began to control play and netted the go-ahead goal seconds after a penalty kill as senior Andrew Gaglione scored low glove side after a rush down the left win at 4:36 with an assist from classmate Jack Torrey.

“It was a bad penalty on our end, so we definitely had to flip the emotions around,” Gaglione said.

Junior Cole Palmer made it 3-1 at 9:46 using speed to beat the defenseman wide and tuck the puck inside the post and Gaglione scored his second of the game as he backhanded in a loose puck in the slot at 12:54 of the second.

Skaneateles made it 5-1 at 8:39 of the third as freshman Braedan Taggert feathered a perfect pass through the defenseman’s legs to sophomore Trevor Jensen on the rush for the goal.

“It feels amazing making history for Skaneateles; it just feels awesome,” Gaglione said. “We’ve been working hard at it all year and I think we definitely deserve it. We knew we could be anyone that we play if we just play our game and it really showed.”

“In 1989-90 we lost in the state championship in 90 after we won in overtime (in 1988-89) and in 2016 we lost in overtime after we won in 2015, so this was on our agenda and we finally got it,” Skaneateles head coach  Mitch Major said.

“It’s been the same all year; our depth is very difficult to keep up with and we told the boys that as long as it was close after the first period, we were going to be fine and that was the case. The number one thing we have this year is depth—we had seven goals yesterday (semi-finals) with seven goal scorers, so that is the theme of the whole year.”

The Lakers defeated Webster Thomas 5-1 and Batavia Notre Dame United 7-2 in the first two rounds to reach the championship game.

Named to the All-Tournament Team were Queensbury/Lake Goerge senior Tanner Fearman and junior Jake Dickerson and Skaneateles’ Falkenberg, Torrey Paro, goaltender Danny Angelina and Most Valuable Player Gaglione.

This marks the sixth state hockey title for the program having also won in 1983, 1989, 2015, 2019 and 2023.

(Photos by Koz/NY Hockey OnLine)

NY Hockey OnLine Update

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As many of our followers may have noticed, following a week of no posting, we have once again started to post NYS-related hockey stories. We will be posting stories over the next couple of days that should have been posted last week. But we feel that they are important enough to still the get recognition they deserve.

In addition, over the next two to three weeks we will be posting stories that are timeless and gathered during the regular hockey season but just ran out of time to post them.

Thanks for your understanding and continued following of NYH OnLine.

Suffern Wins Fourth State Title

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By Warren Kozireski —

Suffern broke a 1-1 tie with three second period tallies and added two empty-net goals to defeat Orchard Park and win the Division I New York State championship at HarborCenter in Buffalo.

Orchard Park struck first as junior Brady Ciano, who had a hat trick in the Quakers semi-final victory, let a shot go after a right wing rush that hit the stick of the goaltender and deflected in at 7:549 of the first period.

Suffern tied it on junior Philip McCarthy’s power play goal from Charlei Windwer and Tyler Pomeranz with less than nine seconds remaining in the first period.

That momentum carried the Mounties into the second period as senior Ayden Greenberg stripped the defenseman of the puck and found sophomore Sean Tyrell in front of the net at 9:08 for a 2-1 lead.

“I knew we needed a big goal and Greenberg gave me a seed pass and I was able just very lucky to bury it and celebrate with the boys,” Tyrell said.

Suffern then took control of the game using a five-on-three advantage to score twice within 89 seconds. Senior defenseman Nick Bonanno slid the puck just inside the left post with assists from Jake Rostawanik and  Schaefer Pinotti at 10:44 before Tyrell scored his second of the game from Pomeranz at 12:13.

Orchard Park tried to claw back getting a power play goal at 8:21 of the third period as freshman Nolan Zakrzewski banged in the rebound of a Matthew Norum shot to close the gap to two, but the Mounties got two empty net goals by Greenberg and Bonanno to seal the victory.

“It feels pretty amazing—my first state championship…we worked at it all season, but it feels very good,” Tyrell said.

“We stuck to our game all year,” Suffern head coach Rob Schelling said. “These kids work so hard every day since the beginning and to have that first goal go in, which was not the best of goals…just shows the character of this group.

“Going to the state championship now three years in a row shows you what kind of group we have here. Sean Tyrell is the youngest of four Tyrell brothers to have played for us, so for his family to get what they get for what they’ve done for our program is great.”

Named to the All-Tournament Team were Nolan Zakrzewski and Brady Ciano with Suffern’s Philip McCarthy, Ayden Greenberg, Charlei Windwer, goaltender Nick Downey and Most Valuable Player Sean Tyrell.

Suffern, who defeated Monroe-Woodbury 11-0 and Massena 5-2 to advance to the championship game, previously won state hockey titles in 1992, 2012 and 2022.

(Photo by Koz, NY Hockey OnLine)

Future Sabres: Viktor Neuchev

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By Warren Kozireski —

After producing just five points over the first 23 games of his American Hockey League career, Buffalo Sabres 2022 third round draft pick Viktor Neuchev has turned the corner leading all Rochester rookies in scoring with seven goals and 12 assists in 34 total games.

Included in his output since Jan. 1 is a pair of three-point efforts. His 54 shots on goal also is tops among first year Amerks.

“Neuchev’s growth lately has been fun to see,” Rochester head coach Seth Appert said. “His habits, his daily work ethic, just all of that stuff has been on-point. You form your habits in practice and we’ve (the coaching staff) have been seeing it for two months now with him and now more often it’s coming out in games.

“We’ve seen this with Rosie (Isak Rosen) and Kulie (Juri Kulich) about this time last year; Peterka about this time two years ago where those lightbulb moments are flickering and he’s starting to put the pieces together.

“The guys are pulling for him—he’s really won over the locker room because of the work he’s put in. When you get rookies in and they’re pretty high draft picks, the older guys in the room are watching what’s the attitude, what’s the work ethic, what’s the daily habits. Is this a guy that we want to root for and Neuchev has won them over.

The 5’11”, 171 lb. Russian native played last season in the KHL and has obviously had difficulty with the language both on and off the ice.

“At the beginning of the season it was difficult,” Neuchev said via Google translate. “In principle to adjust to life in America…but by November it became much easier. I get used to this hockey; I begin to train more off the ice which leads to results.”

“He’s a young kid; I think he’s done a really good job translating his habits from practice to a game and he’s become much more consistent in practice, and it shows with how well he’s been playing as of late,” veteran forward Graham Slaggert said about his teammate.

In late January, Neuchev was elevated from the fourth line to the top line due to an injury and responded with a two-point effort including his sixth goal of the season and fourth in eight games.

“He’s earned that with two months of practice habits, daily habits,” Appert added. He’s one of the first three or four guys here every day. He’s in the shooting room early every day and he’s one of the last guys out.

“The majority of practice days he’s here probably from eight to two o’clock in the afternoon and working most of the time and not just hanging around watching highlights.

“It’s good to see him get rewarded with a promotion and it was good to see him take advantage of that promotion on a line.”

Neuchev is still sometimes a healthy scratch—the coaching staff calls them rest days with his adjustment to the number of games in a season—but is just beginning to show what Sabres scouts saw in him prior selecting him 74th overall after his 40 goal, 67-point 2021-22 campaign with Avto Yekaterinburg. A six-game point streak Dec. 29-Jan. 20 this season is one indicator.

“It’s not a coincidence…he works extremely hard every day on his game whether it’s the shooting room or video,” veteran teammate Brett Murray said. “It doesn’t surprise me that pucks are starting to go his way and he’s starting to score and get points. He’s a great player and it was fun to be on his line.”

(Photos provided by Rochester Americans Hockey/American Hockey League)