By Warren Kozireski–
Fairport jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead thanks to two power play tallies and added another along with a short-hander in the third on their way to a 7-3 win over Penfield and a date with Pittsford Monday night for the Section V Class A championship. The Red Raiders last won a title in 2014.
Cory Foster staked the Red Raiders to a 1-0 lead just 41 seconds into the game after Hunter McDonald’s hit in the offensive zone created a turnover and Colin Herington found Foster with a perfect pass.
The Patriots then got into penalty trouble and Fairport capitalized with two power play goals three minutes apart.
Nick LaMendola’s wrister from the left point had eyes and found the back of the net with an assist from Nick Lipari at 9:43. Caleb Kaiser then redirected a shot from Nick Krug at 12:42 for a 3-0 lead after one period.
“We had to have a good start; we were down the last two times we played them and had to come back last time…and we did pretty much, scored first shift,” McDonald said. “If the opportunity is there and we got a nice chance off of it and able to bury it,” he said about his hit prior to the first goal.
Penfield cut into the lead with a power play goal of their own at 3:22 of the second as Matt Rockhill backhanded his shot into the net with assists from Jack Schlifke and Bobby Bradley.
But the Red Raiders made it 4-1 at 10:28 on a goal from Herington from Krug.
Penfield took some momentum into the second period locker room when the referees allowed a controversial either before or after the period horn depending on who you were rooting for. Nathan Sobko was credited with the tally.
“We knew that the late goal in the second made it 4-2 and they were going to come out in the third period and give it everything that they had because they had nothing to lose, “ Fairport head coach Chris Moretter said. “Fortunately for us, as we did most of the year, we were able to do that.”
Fairport opened the third period with another power play marker from McDonald from Krug to extend their lead back to three goals at 5-2.
The Red Raiders put the game on ice at 5:54 of the third with a shorthanded goal by Foster from Lipari as they executed a perfect two-on-one break to make it 6-2.
Penfield Sean Smith redirected a shot into the net just as their power play was expiring with assists from Sam Schlifke and Cole Patton to cut the gap to 6-3, but Fairport’s Mitchell Zanon scored into the empty-net with 3:04 remaining for the 7-3 final.
Fairport goaltender Tyler McMillan was credited with 38 saves on 41 shots.