By Janet Schultz
The second season of the WNY Girl’s Varsity Ice Hockey Federation season ended with as much excitement as the Inaugural Season gave us.
With West Seneca and Monsignor Martin within a point or two of each other for first place all season; and Kenmore and Williamsville pushing towards the top, it was anyone’s call who would be where at playoff time.
As it turned out, West Seneca was in first and drew Lancaster, a struggling team all season, in the first round of the playoffs. West Seneca beat them soundly and moved into a playoff spot.
Monsignor Martin drew a bye for the first round.
Seeded #4, Kenmore played #5 Amherst/Sweethome KATZ and Orchard Park/Frontier faced off against Williamsville.
The result was Kenmore 4 over KATZ 0, and Orchard Park/Frontier 2, over Williamsville 1, in overtime.
West Seneca, Kenmore and Orchard Park/Frontier headed to the semi-finals along with Monsignor Martin.
In the first game Monsignor Martin got on the scoreboard first off the stick of Tara Barnhardt, assisted by Ashley Songin and Julia Duquette. That was followed by one dumped in by Duquette, assisted by Marielle Buffamonte. Kenmore answered back when Kate Miller scored, assisted by Lina Mirabella.
In the second period it was Monsignor Martin’s Rachel Lenard with the only goal of the period. She got an assist from Rachel Ziarnowski putting the score at 3-1 and taking Monsignor Martin to the Championship Game.
In the second game Orchard Park/Frontier and West Seneca played a tied game from the second period through the second overtime period. It was then that West Seneca’s Nicole Kirchberger, assisted by Jillian Schrader got one past Goaltender Danielle Glinski ending the game at 2-1.
West Seneca would now face Monsignor Martin in the League Championship.
Once again it was a game that no one could call. West Seneca got on the board first with a goal off the stick of Hailey Glynn in the first period. The scored remained 1-0 through the second but in the third MM’s Julia Duquette had the game of her life as she put in two goals that would take Monsignor Martin to the sound of the buzzer and the 2012 League Championship.
The season didn’t end there. The Section VI Championship was up for grabs.
As a private school, Monsignor Martin isn’t part of Section VI. That put Kenmore up against West Seneca.
One more time, a game that had everyone on the edge of their seat.
Kenmore and West Seneca remained scoreless going into the third period. At that point Goaltenders Lauren Pray (Kenmore) and Sydney Glynn (West Seneca) had faced 23 and 10 shots on goal.
At the 4:44 mark of the third period Lina Mirabella shot one in, assisted by Kate Miller and Kara Zelasko.
The remaining third period was a fight up and down the ice but Kenmore held on to the 1-0 score and became the 2012 Section VI Champions.
Outstanding in Goal was Pray who held back 42 shots from the West Seneca team.
This season was as exciting as the Inaugural season. No one knew what the end result would be. What it gave spectators was another year of great hockey skill, fast action and lots of entertainment.
The League is looking forward to more school’s sponsoring teams for the 2012-13 season and make the league even more competitive and exciting.*