By Janet Schultz, NYHOL
Ten years ago Williamsville too the WNYGVIH Federation Championship, the first team to do so. They celebrated the Tenth Anniversary of the League by winning it again, under the same coach who started the league and coached them for the entire 10 years–Rick Hopkins.
On the other hand, Lancaster/Iroquois/Depew was in the cellar for several years when the league began. They have moved slowing up the rung and this year played an almost perfect season with 13 wins and one overtime loss. That loss, to Monsignor Martin at the beginning of the season.
When we looked at the matchup we saw that LID has Jersey Phillips, Morganne Dee as #1 and #3 in scoring this season; Williamsville has Emma Roland at #2 and Vanessa Willick at #6.
In goal, Williamsville has four potential goalies on the roster with Mia Wendel having a .946 save percentage and LID’s Dylan Gorski with .936. Williamsville also has strength in Elizabeth Timby and LID has MacKenzie Walkowiak.
So as far as stats, things could have went either way.
Williamsville’s Emma Roland opened the scoring at 5:13 of the first period, setting the tone for the evening. Less than 2 minutes later, Williamsville scored again. First period ended 2-0.
In the second period, it was all Williamsville as they added four more to the scoreboard, including a hattrick by Ellie Schau. Third period Williamsville added two more and while it looked like it was going to be a shutout, Jersey Phillips got a hold of the puck and headed for the net with an unassisted goal, the last scoring point of the night.
The goal-tending duties for Williamsville was Wendell making 12 of 13 shots and for LID, Gorski stopped 18/24 and then Walkowiak stopped 5/7.
The game ends with Williamsville 8; LID 1.
Aside from the game itself the evening opened with the National Anthem sung by Isabella Bindeman from Williams Street School in Lancaster.
Between second and third, (we had a flood), Matt Miller introduced the Federation First, Second and Third team.
First Team: Forwards Jersey Phillips, LID; Emma Roland, Williamsville and Mary Kromer, FLOP.
On Defense: Brooke Becker, FLOP and Abigail Blair, Kenmore/Grand Island and in Goal LID’s Dylan Gorski.
Second Team: Forwards Lara Beecher, MMHSAA; Morganne Dee, LID; Natalie O’Brien, NICO. On D Lilli Adimey, CASH; Mia Boyd, MMHSAA and Mia Wendell in goal from Williamsville.
Third Team: Forwards Allison Greene, CASH; Riley Malicki, MM and Jenna Cavalieri, Williamsville. Defensemen were Kayla Persinger NICO and Erin Roland, Williamsville with Sophia Will, goalie from MM.
The 2020 Dr. James Rusin Award for contributions and support of the WNYGVIH League went to Brett Banker of Kenmore. Banker was instrumental in helping Dr. Rusin and Coach Hopkins make the League a reality.
LID’s Kevin Miller was named Coach of the Year, for the obvious reason plus his dedication and support to the team and league.
Jersey Phillips and Brooke Becker, who give their all on the ice and off, not to mention make for some exciting goal scoring, were maned Co-Players of the Year.
It’s not over for the WNYGVIH League as we move to the Section VI playoffs, whereby the Champion moves on to the New York State Girls Varsity Hockey Championship in Lake Placid in February.
The playoffs begin Tuesday, January 28 at 4:30 p.m. when Willliamsville plays Niagara County, followed by CASH vs FLOP at 6 p.m. and HEWS vs Kenmore/Grand Island at 7:30 p.m. at Northtowns Center.
Semi-finals are set for Thursday, January 30 at 4:30 p.m. and 6 pm. at Northtowns Center.
This season the Section VI Championships will be held at 7 p.m. at Cornerstone Arena, Lockport.
The Section VI Champion will head off to Lake Placid to play Section VII at 8 p.m. on February 7 and the Championship game will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, February 8. All games will be played on the Herb Brooks Arena, site of “Miracle on Ice.”
Some familiar New York State rivals are leading in points at this time including Salmon River, who came to Buffalo for two exhibition games (vs FLOP and vs Kenmore/Grand Island) , going home with both wins; and Beekmantown and Clinton.