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WNYGVIH 2022-23 Season Well Underway

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Photos and Story By Janet Schultz©

The season has been moving at a face pace. We had several hattricks, a first-win for a goalie and a couple shutouts. Throw in some postponed games, a special tournament and everyone getting ready for the holidays and it’s been a whirlwind for those of us covering the sport. Nothing we can’t handle and something we enjoy.

The second week of the season found the League rescheduling the LIDA vs Monsignor Martin December 8 game to February 1 at Riverworks at 7:30 p.m.

On Monday (Dec.5) HEWS faced St. Mary’s of Lancaster and came away with a 2-0 shutout. Ella Buczynski got the shutout stopping all 12 shots on goal. Riley Andzel and Hannah Barrett had the goals, Barrett’s unassisted.

FFLOP traveled to Niagara County and found themselves losing 5-4, giving Niagara County a 3-0 record. Sam Latini had a hattrick plus one in that game. Marina Mansfield had the powerplay goal that closed out the game. Mariela Mulready stopped 20 of 24 SOG. FFLOP’s Maya Griffin and Lillah Cudney each scored on the powerplay and Goaltender Kerrigan McCarthy stopped 21 of 25 SOG.

Two games on tap Tuesday night found Williamsville winning 5-3 over LIDA and KENGIL taking Monsignor Martin 2-0. The news that evening was that Anna Meyer had her first-ever win in goal stopping 16 of 19 shots on goal. 

KENGIL shut Monsignor Martin out 2-0 with Carolyn Bourgeault getting the win stopping all 13 shots. Madison Flory had both goals for KENGIL. 

Niagara County faced off against CASH at Northtowns on Wednesday and came away with another win. Niagara County’s Madison Mallone put up the first goal, followed by another on the powerplay in the first period. No scoring in the second gave CASH a chance in the third when Jenny Wild scored. Niagara County answered back and the game ended 3-1 in favor of NICO. 

With LIDA vs MMAA postponed; two other games took to the ice.

HEWSH and Williamsville played to a 6-6 tie after overtime and CASH lost 4-1 to FFLOP. 

Riley Andzel had a hattrick for HEWSH and Buczynski stopped 20 of 26 SOG. 

Rachael Fix took the win for FFLOP, stopping 20  of 21 SOG. Avery McDonald had the game-winning goal. 

Behind the bench this week for Williamsville were assistant coaches Shauna Clair and Amanda Nolan. Head Coach Rick Hopkins was serving a penalty assessed during last year’s playoffs. A player was assessed a penalty and was to serve it in her next sport in the Spring. She was unaware of that ruling and thus the ruling that she sit out two games this season, as does the Coach.

Niagara County and KENGIL arranged for two New York State teams to come to Cornerstone Arena in Lockport for the KENGIL-NC Tourament on December 8 and 9.

Skaneateles faced off against KENGIL in the first game. The host came out on top 3-1 with Isabella Shaft dropping in to goals, one being the game-winner. The third, an empty netter, scored by Emiliana Cassillo. Goaltender Samantha Horne got the win stopping 29 of 30 SOG. For Skaneateles the lone goal was scored unassisted by Lily Kennedy in the third period. In goal for the Lakers, Isabelle Wells, who stopped 33 of 35 SOG.

Game two reversed the scenerio with the host team, Niagara County, losing to Clinton 6-1. It seemed like the entire Clinton team was dropping in pucks with the game-winner scored by Kelsey Fuller. Alexa Thompson had two goals, including a powerplay goal. The others came from Alexa Thompson, Drew Kopek, and Gretchen Grimm. Kopek had two goals, including a short-handed goal. Elizabeth LaPointe took the win in goal stopping 17 of 18 SOG. For Niagara County is was Madison Mallone with the lone goal.

Game 3 featured KENGIL against Clinton. This game went to a 1-1 tie, overtime and a shoot-out with KENGIL winning the shootout. Final 2-1.

Game 4 found CASH coming to the plate due to the early departure of Skaneateles. NICO won 7-1 with Sam Latini getting a hattrick and Kennedy Ruest stopping 10 of 11 SOG. Maya Adimey had the lone goal for CASH and Ella Celej stopped 26 of 33 SOG.

The series ended with KENGIL declared the 2022 KENGIL/NC Tournament victor and Week 2 comes to an end.

Here are a few photos from the Week! Full Galleries and purchase information can be found at www.smugmug.com under Janet Schultz.

Raptors Report: Raptors Play North Stars

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BY MICHAEL MEYERS –

On December 10 the New York Raptors played a hockey game against the Central Park North Stars in Central Park, NY.

The Raptors lost to the North Stars.

The Raptors are now two wins and three losses.

(Photo provided by New York Raptors)

Long Island’s Fine Not Focused On 2023 NHL Entry Draft — Yet

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By Warren Kozireski —

U.S. National Development Team Program forward and southern Long Island native Ryan Fine is on the pre-season list issued by Central Scouting of players to watch for the 2023 National Hockey League Entry Draft to be held in Nashville in late June.

But he is focused on the success of his team as the schedule turned to December.

“For me and I know a bunch of the other guys (on the team) we try not to keep it on our mind, but obviously that will come up as we see stuff,” Fine said in late-November. “Try not to pay attention to it and focus on the present.

In his second year with the national program, the 5’7”, 177 lb. right shot is seeing time on the second power play unit on the point and had a combined 11 goals and eight assists over the first 30 games played against college competition and in the USHL.

His eighth goal of the season was typical as he stood at the side of the net and scooped up a rebound.

“I think me and my linemates have found our role on the team; we’re a checking line and I think we’re capitalizing on our chances. Being around the net, good things happen.”

About his role on the blueline on the power play, “it’s been changing; right now, I think we’re doing really well so it might stay that way for a little bit. It feels good to be trusted there.”

Fine spent three season with the Mid-Fairfield Rangers and split parts of the last two seasons there with Don Bosco Prep. With Mid-Fairfield, he played with current USNDTP teammate and defenseman Drew Fortescue, who appreciates the help in his own end.

“He’s a really skilled forward, he plays hard and he’s plays very well defensively and I think that’s what helps him most is he’s always there helping us breakout pucks at center and he’s been putting up the points recently,” Fortescue said.

Fine originally committed to Boston University, but now will attend Harvard this coming fall.

“It was a long time ago that I made the commitment to BU—I think it was four years ago now—and I think education played a huge role in that. I need to do something after hokey, so having that as a plan is big for me. Something with Business hopefully, I find that to be really interesting.

“And the coaching staff was very welcoming and I thought that it would be a good place for me to go.”

Although he may not want to look ahead as far as the NHL Draft this coming summer, Central Scouting will be coming out with their mid-term rankings in January. Everyone takes a look to see how they measure up in scout’s eyes.

Fine was rated a “C” prospect on the pre-season list, which translates to a fourth-round selection or later. We will wait and see if he moves up to a “B”, which would project as a second of third rounder.

(Photo’s provided by US National Development Team)

Niagara County Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Growing Every Year

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BY RANDY SCHULTZ –

“More growth. Every year we try to get a little bit better.

“We set our goals to be a little bit better than the year before. Last year we had an 11-4 record and we won a playoff game.

“We’re looking at improving on that this year. Finish at the top of the league and maybe win a few more playoff games.”

(Madison Mallone)

That is how Niagara County Girls Varsity ice hockey team head coach, Greg Grosskopf described the upcoming season for this team. Now in their fifth season of play in the Western New York  Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Federation (WNYGVIHF), the Lady Warriors have shown improvement in each of the previous four campaigns.

The 2018-19 season was a memorable one for the Niagara County team. It began on the night of Feb. 12, 2018 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.

Like most new teams, there were struggles along the way. Raising money to cover extra expenses was one. But that was highlighted with a $1200 contribution made by ESPN NHL analyst, John Buccigross.

(These four players were part of the historic hockey presentation made at Starpoint in 2018)

Nine months later, November 26, 2018, that Niagara County girls varsity hockey team, comprised on players from Starpoint and Niagara Wheatfield high schools, played its first official game at the Hockey Outlet Ice Arena in North Tonawanda at 5:41 p.m. against Monsignor Martin.

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.

Infact, that Niagara County team would not win a game that season, tieing just once. But they were certainly on their way.

“That was an interesting year, to say the least,” recalled Grosskopf. “We were trying to get as many girls on board as we could.

“We only had girls that year from Starpoint and Niagara Wheatfield. We didn’t have any girls from Lew-Port or North Tonawanda yet.

“I have to give the girls a lot of credit, especially trying to get everyone on the same page and working towards the same goal. We didn’t win any games that year, but we sure grew as a team that year.”

(Niagara County Girls on the evening they were selected as “Team of the Year” for 2018-19 at the Hasek Heroes Banquet)

Grosskopf remembered those first few weeks of the season.

“Our first few games we were not great and we were getting blown out,” said the NC coach. “I knew it was going to be rough that first year. But by the end of the year teams had to take us a bit more seriously.

“We were already building at that point in time. And we were beginning to gain respect around the league.”

The team was chosen the “Team of the Year” for the 2018-19 season at the Hasek’s Heroes banquet held in Buffalo, NY. Quite an honor for a team that didn’t win a single game that year, but played their hearts out throughout the season, never giving up. They were recognized for their continued perseverance.

It was equally as emotional the following season when the team won its first hockey game. Ever.

“We had girls crying after that game,” remembered Grosskopf. “It was amazing.

“They were so overjoyed to see where we had started and then to see all that hard work paying off. We all could see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Grosskopf pointed out a handful of players that carried the team its first four seasons.

“There was Natalie O’Brien and Skylar Berube,” commented the NC head coach. “There was Julie Gerspach in that first year. She provided good leadership.

“There have been the parents over the four seasons as well that have helped build this team and support it. They were there for us through thick and thin.

“In the end all the girls pulled together to make the season.”

(Natalie O’Brien)

There is one thing that Grosskopf pointed out about the other coaches that have worked with him.

‘We enjoy coming to the rink and working with these girls,” remarked Grosskopf. “All the coaches try and make it fun for the girls.

“We’re trying to build more than wins. We’re trying to build character and to have good memories that will last with them forever.”

(Skylar Berube)

And it seems as though those good memories keep getting better and better every year.

(Photos by Janet Schultz Photography/NY Hockey OnLine)

Pearl River’s Fortescue Taking Care of His Own Zone For USNTDP

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By Warren Kozireski —

You have to scroll down a bit on the U.S. National Team Development Program stat sheet to find Drew Fortescue’s name, but that doesn’t bother him in the least.

The left shot defenseman stands 6’0” and 167 lb. and has developed a reputation as a stay-at-home, shutdown style player and that has earned him a trip to Hockey East and Boston College next fall.

“I just try to play a simple game and move the puck up to skilled forwards quick, so I think the simpler I play the better, especially against the tougher, bigger, stronger, faster guys.

“I’ve always played simple and I think it’s gotten me to where I am today. I was never the most skilled guy, but a good IQ and moving the puck up ice is my best asset. I think it goes a little under the radar, but I just want to continue to keep doing that and I think it will pay off in the end I hope.”

Though defense-first minded, Fortescue does see time on the second power play unit for the U-18 team and had nine assists over the first 23 games this season.

He is a product of the Mid-Fairfield Rangers system and also spent time with Don Bosco Prep over two seasons.

When I got to Mid-Fairfield I think about six years ago, (he was) just a normal player, but with the training and dedication he has he’s taken huge steps for him to get better and right now he’s one of our better players,” past and current teammate Ryan Fine said.

Fortescue will be joined by teammates Gabe Perreault, Will Smith, Ryan Leonard, Will Vote and Aram Minnetian next season with the Boston College Eagles.

“All of them are good players, so I’m just excited to go there with them. When I went and visited, I fell in love with the campus…and knew that’s where I wanted to go.”

Before Fortescue begins his collegiate career, he will likely be selected this coming June in the NHL Entry Draft held in Nashville. The preliminary list in October had him as a “B” prospect, which equates to a second or third round selection.

But like many, it’s way too soon to be thinking about that now.

“I think it’s a little far away—I try to keep it off my mind and just go day-by-day, work hard every day and not think too far ahead. I don’t think the list means too much; I just have to keep playing the way I do and hopefully it will help in the end.”

(Photos Provided by USNTDP)

Raptors Report: Raptors Play First Road Game

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BY MICHAEL MEYERS –

On December 4 the New York Raptors played their first away game of the season against the Long Island Blues. The Raptors defeated the Blues, 9-7.

NY Hockey OnLine correspondent Michael Meyers had an assist in the game for the Raptors.

The Raptors record is now two wins and two losses.

St. James’ O’Leary Finding Offense At Cornell

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The Cornell Big Red men's hockey team competes against Sacred Heart on Nov. 22, 2022 in Lynah Rink in Ithaca, N.Y.

By Warren Kozireski —

In his sophomore campaign at forward for Cornell University in Ithaca, Jack O’Leary is finding his way onto the scoresheet regularly when he able to slide into the loaded Big Red line-up.

The Big Red are receiving votes in the national poll after a rough 4-4 start to the season, but had won five of the last six heading into final exams and the semester break.

The 5’7, 162 lb. forward netted the first goal of the season at Minnesota-Duluth and had two goals and two assists despite playing in only seven of the team’s first 12 games.

“When I get in, I just need to work and do the little things right, but we have a lot of offensive weapons in that locker room, so it’s easy to play with them,” O’Leary said.

O’Leary is a product of the P.A.L. Islanders system spending two seasons with their 16-U team and one (2017-18) with the U-18 prior to three years in the USHL with Cedar Rapids and Lincoln.

But he didn’t even start skating until he was ten years old.

(O’Leary In Action For Cornell)

“I didn’t start playing until I was 11. I played lacrosse, soccer, baseball—basically every sport under the sun and when I was ten or eleven I kind of wanted to try it out and I’ve loved it ever since.”

After his two seasons with Cedar Rapids where O’Leary scored 17 goals and 49 points over a combined 91 games, a tornado made the rink unplayable. So, his rights were selected by Lincoln in a dispersal draft after Cornell’s season was cancelled due to the pandemic and he again put up a consistent 11 goals and 32 points in 47 games.

Then the Communication major arrived in Ithaca because?

“The culture. The coaches here do a great job of showcasing the culture and how much they care about each other and the players and I think that was a large contributor as well as the academics and tradition here.”

O’Leary won’t ever forget his first collegiate goal Jan. 7, 2022.

“Definitely—that was in North Dakota; that was a great weekend with the fellows. I think it hit off the backboard and I kind of snuck it in and I remember that weekend. We swept them and it was the first tie North Dakota got swept in their home rink in a long, long time, so it was really cool to be a part of that.”

And he fondly remembers his start with P.A.L.

“It was one town over and (Hockey Director of the Islanders Iceworks facility, Head Coach of the PAL Junior Islanders Midget 18U team) Bob Thornton came in and did a great job and got a couple of guys from areas outside (the region) and I just loved my time there. Couldn’t be more appreciative of what they did for me.

“I took that extra year played U-18 and that definitely helped me a lot going into juniors and making that transition a little bit easier.”

O’Leary registered one goal and one assist in 11 games as a freshman. If he keeps producing offense at the same clip as he is this season, it will be difficult to keep him out of the line-up going forward.

(Photos provided by Cornell Men’s Hockey)

Greenlawn’s Coronato Saying No To Sophomore Slump

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By Warren Kozireski —

In 2020-21 with Chicago in the USHL, Matthew Coronato led the league in goal scoring (48) and plus/minus (+37) and finished second with 85 points (48 goals, 37 assists) in 51 games setting a USHL record with an average of .94 goals per game, and recorded a 28-game point streak spanning back to the 2020-21 season, also a USHL record. He was named 2021 USHL Forward of the Year and parlayed that into being selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft 13th overall by Calgary.

As a freshman at Harvard in 2021-22, all he did for an encore was finishing as one of the top rookie skaters in all of college hockey, recording 36 points (18 goals, 18 assists) in 34 games, leading all NCAA first-years with 1.06 points per contest, was an ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team honoree, Ivy League Rookie of the Year, First Team All-Ivy League and led the Crimson with 10 multi-point games.

Now halfway through his sophomore season, the 5’10”, 185 lb. center stands seventh in the nation in points per game (1.36) with six goals and nine assists over 11 games for the later-starting Ivy League team.

“Playing a little more center this year, so I keep trying to improve on the defensive side of the game, faceoffs and being in the right spots because good defense will lead to good offense,” Coronato said after a recent game at Cornell.

He is living up to the faceoff improvement winning 54.5% of his draws.

(Coronato heads up ice)

“Being strong on my stick, winning battles, being in the right spot; all those things put them together and it helps team win and helps the team do what we need to do, structure and all that so it’s definitely been a key.”

Before his junior hockey, Coronato spent 2016-17 with the New Jersey Colonials, 2017-18 with the Long Island Gulls and 2018-19 with Salisbury Prep before heading to the USHL.

“Just trying to play for different coaches and learn from as many different people as I could. I think I was lucky I got to play for a lot of great coaches. A lot of people have helped get me to where I am today.”

The 2021 NHL Draft was held online due to the pandemic, so Coronato and his draft year colleagues didn’t get the experience of going on stage and pulling the jersey over his head, but he is content with how everything played out.

“It’s still an unbelievable honor to be drafted, so I don’t think it really took much away from it. Honored to be picked by the Flames and excited for the future.”

The just turned 20-year-old (Nov. 14) capped his first collegiate season scoring the game-winning overtime goal in the ECAC Hockey Championship game vs. Quinnipiac on March 19.

“It was definitely a fun moment to be able to do that with the team and get the win; there have been a lot of great moments, but that one is up there for sure. Winning the Clark Cup with the Chicago Steel was obviously a great accomplishment, so I’ve been a part of two great groups the last two years and I’m really grateful for that.”

Harvard was off to an 8-2-1 start and ranked ninth in the Dec. 5 national poll as they took a break in the schedule for finals and the holiday.

(Harvard hockey photos)

Future Sabres: Isak Rosen

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By Warren Kozireski —

Rochester fans are getting a bit spoiled with the success of the younger player on the roster. Last season it was AHL Rookie-of-the-Year Jack Quinn and leading scorer JJ Peterka among the league’s top rookies. This year Isak Rosen and Jiri Kulich are among the top-20 first year players in the league in scoring.

And it was announced this week that 2021 first round draft pick (14th overall) Rosen (pronounced roh-Zay-ihn) will be released to join Team Sweden for the upcoming U-20 World Junior tournament to be held Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Moncton and Halifax, Canada.

“It’s always an honor to represent your country and it’s a big tournament in Sweden too, not just in the U.S. and Canada. It’s big for the Swedish people…and it’s going to be fun to see what I learned here so far this year and what I can do there,” Rosen said the day he found out.

“He’s been so good; he’s done such a good job as a young 19-year-old,” Rochester head coach Seth Appert said. “For a young kid from Sweden to put that jersey on is a really, really special moment and something he’s going to remember his whole life.

“It will also be a great opportunity to see how much better he’s gotten here. Sometimes when you’re here, you know you’re getting better, but it’s hard because you’re going against men and now, he’ll go back to his own age group and now the challenge will be to keep playing the way you’re playing here—the added physicality, the added competitiveness that he’s put into his game…and try to drive Sweden to a successful tournament.”

“It’s been learning new things, of course, everything around hockey like the living situation and everything like that feels good now and now I’m just going to focus on hockey,” Rosen said.

“I think I started off pretty good and now I had a lull about a month ago, so now I want to get back to what I did before that.

The 5’11”, 174 lb. Rosen came in to his first professional season in North America almost always scoring more goals than assists, but through his first 21 games this season, he had three goals and 11 assists.

“That’s just circumstance—I’ve had chances, but I don’t capitalize as I need to do and I think that’s a big thing for me right now. One goal and I can keep going form that because I think I’m more of a goal scorer.

“You just have to keep shooting and go to the net every chance you have and it’s going to come; just keep shooting and keep going.

Unlike pre-pandemic years in the American Hockey League where a teenager on any roster was a rarity, it is now more and more commonplace. Rochester this year had four on their roster to start the year in Rosen, Kulich, Tyson Kozak and Aleksandr Kisakov though the latter two have or will turn 20 before the end of 2022.

“We have a pretty young team from what I’ve heard, but it was pretty easy to come into this group with a couple of other young players in the same year as me, so it hasn’t been that tough for me. But of course, you’re playing against veterans and you have to get used to that too.

“Similar to Sweden, but I didn’t play this much though; I didn’t have so much playing time.

Add to being a teenager in an older league and you add the pressure of being a first-round draft pick, but Rosen doesn’t see it that way.

“It’s just an opportunity; especially with Buffalo. We have great people here in Rochester and also in Buffalo, so I don’t feel pressure. It’s just a big opportunity for me and I have to take that. I have all the help I need to get to the NHL, so we’ll see how long it’s going to take, but it’s just trying to work hard every day.”

And the adjustment to being on his own for the first time. Rosen lives with fellow Swedes in second-year forward Linus Weissbach and rookie forward Filip Cederqvist.

“First time for me living by myself, so it’s always good to have company. I brought a video system, but I haven’t plugged it in yet. We live downtown, so we go for some coffee after practice, cook some food and watch a movie or some hockey and that’s probably our regular days.”

For three-plus weeks, the apartment will be short one as Rosen dons the blue and yellow sweater of Team Sweden once again.

(Photos by Rochester Amerks)

Cortland’s Molly Goergen Selected as NEWHL Goalie of the Week 

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SUNY Cortland sophomore Molly Goergen (Eden Prairie, MN/Eden Prairie HS) has been chosen as the Northeast Women’s Hockey League (NEWHL) Goalie of the Week for the week ending Dec. 4. 

In her lone game of the week last Friday in Cortland, Goergen turned aside 30 shots as the Red Dragons handed nationally fourth-ranked Plattsburgh its first-ever NEWHL loss, 1-0, breaking a 72-0-2 streak for the Cardinals. 

After Cortland took the lead just past the midway point of the second period, Goergen stopped 13 shots to close out the period and made nine saves in the third period, including two in the final minute while Plattsburgh had an extra skater, to preserve the victory. The shutout is Goergen’s third of the season and her eighth in just one-plus years, tying the school’s modern-era program record. 

New York Raptors News

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By Michael Meyers —

Here is some updated information on the New York Raptors hockey team.

WNYGVIH: FIRST WEEK RECAP

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By Janet Schultz, NYHOL; Photos by Janet Schultz Photography©

WNYGVIH Opened Season

The 12th season of the Western New York Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Federation opened this week with a revisit of the 2022 Private School Championship with Monsignor Martin visiting St. Mary’s of Lancaster.

History was made, as is the norm in this league on any given day, Mt. St. Mary’s won their first game and on home ice. 

First goal of the 2022-23 Season

The game went into overtime after MM Alexandra Franke tied it at the 4:03 mark of the third period. With 17 seconds left in overtime, St. Mary’s Gabrielle Lowell scored, unassisted and St.Mary’s wins 4-3.

St. Mary’s welcomed a new coaching staff this season with Mark Dantonio, Bri Colucci and Cassidy MacPherson. The visiting team also has a new Head Coach in Darren Palaszewsk, assisted by Ed Guzdek, Pat Bonner and Joe Kazmark.

MM is coming off a 12-4 record and the 2022 Private School Championship. Key players returning to the ice include Erin Prendergast, Isabella Fedele and Alexandra Franke. Courtney Bonner is wearing the “C” with Fedele and Franke her assistant.

The second game of opening day featured Williamsville at Niagara County. Williamsville’s Molly Braunscheidel scoring first. That was followed by a series of goals by Niagara County through the end of the game. Niagara County wins 8-1. 

Williamsville has a young team this season which includes a volunteer goalie in Anna Meyer. She came forward to goaltend after Coach Rick Hopkins had no goaltenders at tryouts. In addition Molly Martin is serving a two-game suspension following an incident in last seasons playoffs. 

Niagara County, who has come from the cellar in their first couple years, has found scoring power in Madison Mallone, Sam Latini, and Natalee Zimmerman. In goal Mariela Mulready is just that, ready for another season, and her senior one at that. Mulready began her goaltending career similar to some of this year’s starting goalies, without a lot of experience but with a lot of passion.

Tuesday night is back on the schedule as KENGL hosts at Lincoln Arena. This year the team welcomes players from the Lockport school district. LIDA was their first guest, and also with new players from Alden Central School.

KGIL took command with Riley Marrale scoring first, assisted by Teagan Willats. First period ended 3-0 and it continued through the third as LIDA just couldn’t get past Goaltender Carolyn Bourgeault, who stopped all 20 SOG. It was KGIL 8, LIDA 0. LIDA split goaltending duties between Abrie Iannucci and Carly Irzycki.

Madison Flory had a hattrick for KENGIL plus an assist. 

On Wednesday evening FFLOP came into Northtowns Arena to take on CASH. FFLOP welcomes players from Franklinville Central School District. CASH’s Ella VanDuuren got on the scoreboard first at 5:32 of the first period and after that it was FFLOP leading to a 7-1 victory for them. Maya Griffin is credited with the GWG and added another one later one. Kerrigan McCarthy was in goal and took the win with stopping 10/11 shots and Rachel Fix made her goaltending debut stopping 5 of 5 shots. 

CASH’s goaltending duties were shared by Kylie Paige and Melissa MacLeod.

CASH had Georgia Mango at the game in spirit, as she was seriously injured when hit by a car earlier this month. She remains in the hospital. Her jersey #2 hung on the bench.

Coach Adimey hangs Mango’s jersey prior to the game!

KENGIL and Williamsville took to the ice at Northtowns Thursday evening. The highlight of this game was the KENGIL win giving Head Coach Jeff Orlowski his 100th career win in the WNYGVIH Federation. Orlowski, along with Rick Hopkins, are the only original head coaches remaining since the league’s inception 12 years ago.

The first period opened with more penalities than goals, only one scored by Kenmore’s Savanna Shaft. She added two more for a hattrick that evening. The game ended 6-0 in Kenmore’s favor. Stopping all 14 shots was Jordan Hofschneider for Kenmore and Williamsville’s Meyer stopped 26/32. 

Niagara County beat Monsignor Martin 7-3 with Madison Mallone having a hattrick and Zimmerman adding two goals. Mulready stopped 23/26. Courtney Bonner, Isabella Fedele and Trinity Kehoe added goals for MM. Kate Kelley stopped 27/34 sog.

LIDA’s Sydney Radecki had a hattrick, including the game-winner in a 3-2 win over FFLOP. In goal Irzycki stopped 31/33 sog. For FFLOP is was Lillah Cudney on the powerplay and then a goal by Mya Dalton. McCarthy was back in goal and stopped 24/27 sog.

Final game of the week was CASH at HEWSH, who added Holland to their team. HEWSH beat CASH 4-0. Riley Andzel had the game winner, assisted by Tori Hart and Sophia Phillips. Other goal scorers were Lilliann Drzazgowski, Charlotte Rak and Phillips. Assists coming from Brynn Holland, Hanna Barrett, Andzel, Rak and Phillips. In goal for HEWS and stopping 15 shots for the shutout was Ella Bucznski. MacLeod stopped 19 of 23 sog for CASH.

After two games played Madison Mallone (NICO) leads the score board with 6 goals and 1 assist for 7 points. She is followed by Maya Griffin (FFLOP) 2 goals/4 assists and Madison Flory (KENGIL) 3 goals, 3 assists.

Another active week for the League with HEWSH visiting St. Mary’s on Monday, Dec. 5 at 4 p.m. and FFLOP heading to Niagara County at 8:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, MMAA will visit KENGIL AT 8 P.M.; Niagara County plays at CASH on Wedneday, Dec. 7 at 4:30 p.m.

Thursday is a triple-header with HEWSH at Williamsville, LIDA at MMAA and CASH at FFLOP, all at 4:30 p.m.

Games are open to the public free of charge.

Hicksville’s Hutchinson An Impact Defenseman For Sacred Heart

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By Warren Kozireski —

Sacred Heart sophomore defenseman Conner Hutchinson stood tied for 12th in the nation among blueliners in assists with nine and tied for 16th in points heading into the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Hicksville native is the third in the family to play competitive hockey at high level with sister Cailey playing at the University of Maine and then pro hockey with the Connecticut Whale and brother Nick spending four years at Canisius and now dons a Utica Devils jersey in the American Hockey League.

With those two forwards, how did Connor gravitate toward defense?

“Being the youngest I think they literally kind of shoved me on defense when we were playing when we were younger, so I ended up being a defenseman,” Hutchinson said in mid-November. “Mini-sticks, driveway—they always had me play “D”.”

The 5’10”, 170 offensive, defenseman originally committed to and played at the University of Vermont before leaving six games in and heading to Tri-City of the USHL before settling in at Sacred Heart.

“I committed when I was really young when coach (Kevin) Sneddon was there and this new coaching staff didn’t mesh well. I enjoyed my time there, but it was for the best and I think it all worked out in the end because I think Sacred Heart is a much better fit for me.

“If I could go back, I would have waited (to commit). When you’re young the dream is to go professional, but that’s so rare these days. When you’re so young you don’t even know what would fit best for you for college or even lifestyle wise, so I think in retrospect I would have waited a little longer, but it all worked out.”

“It’s (Sacred Heart) is really close to home and with the new rink and everything coming, I just felt it was a good opportunity for me and felt I had a good chance to play right away and just made sense to me. It’s an hour and fifteen minutes door-to-door from my house, so my parents can come every game and it’s a great school too, so it just all worked out.”

Hutchinson played with the Long Island Gulls organization until he was 12 years old and then the Royals and went to South Kent at 14. After four years with the Select Academy at South Kent in Connecticut, Hutchinson headed to Penticton in the BCHL and would have gone back after the brief Vermont stint if not for covid jeopardizing the season, so it was the USHL and Tri-Cities.

He is certainly having an impact in turning around recent fortunes with the Pioneers standing first on the squad in assists with nine and tied for second in points with ten.

“I think we’re playing really well; freshmen came in and are playing well and the older guys that have been here for a long time are really good players.”

But as for who is the best player in his family?

“It’s gotta be me; as the youngest you learn from your two older siblings so I think I took everything from them and learned from them growing up. My brother and I are still playing, so we need to find out who is the best at the end of our careers.”

(Photo By Sacred Heart Hockey)

Taylor To Lead Team USA at World University Games

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Hobart College Hockey Head Coach Mark Taylor was recently named the head coach for the USA World University Men’s hockey team for the FISU Winter World University Games held Jan. 11-21, 2023 in Lake Placid, New York.
 
This year for the first time, the United States International University Student Federation plans to field a competitive men’s team comprised of the top Division III players from across the country. Taylor will be joined on his staff by some of the top minds from across the country. Matt Loen from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will serve as associate head coach. Former Lawrence University Head Coach Mike Szkodzinski and Middlebury Assistant Coach Jack Ceglarski will serve as assistant coaches. Former Middlebury Head Coach Bill Beaney is the team’s general manager.
 
“I feel honored for the opportunity and really embrace the responsibility to try and field the best team for the best performance by the United States team in this tournament,” Taylor said. “This is a great opportunity for the Division III players to have this type of experience.”
 
Taylor’s first job will be putting together a roster that will compete against many of the best university players in the world while showcasing the high level of play at Division III. The next task will be getting the group to gel quickly. With the tournament taking place in the midst of the season, there will not be time for a “training camp,” so players will have just a few practices onsite prior to the tournament opener on Jan. 11.
 
Team USA will play in Pool B against Great Britain, South Korea, Slovakia, Kazakhstan and Hungary with the top two teams in the pool advancing to the medal round.  Canada, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Japan, Latvia and Sweeden will play in Pool A. Pool B games will be played at Clarkson University’s Cheel Arena. The Pool A games will be played at SUNY Canton’s Roo House. The playoff rounds will take at the Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid.
 
The team USA Roster will be announced in early December.
 
The 2021-22 New England Hockey Conference Coach of the Year, Taylor is in his 23rd year in charge of the Statesmen. He has compiled a 357-172-54 overall record. He is just the fourth man to lead the Statesmen and has more wins than all his predecessors combined. Taylor is responsible for all eight of Hobart’s 20-win seasons. He has been named the conference coach of the year seven times. Taylor has mentored 61 all-conference selections and 23 all-rookie team picks. Eight Statesmen have been named conference player of the year and six have been named rookie of the year under his leadership. All 16 of Hobart’s All-Americans have come during Taylor’s tenure.
 
This year, Taylor has Hobart off to an 8-0-0 start and ranked No. 1 in the country. It is just the second time in program history that the Statesmen are unblemished through the first eight games of the season. The Statesmen will go for their ninth straight win on Friday, Dec. 2, when they welcome Castleton to The Cooler.

(Hobart Hockey Photo)