By Janet Schultz
For eight years no one has really been able to predict what would happen from the first game to the Championships, both of them.
Yes, for those unfamiliar with girl’s hockey in WNY, the Western New York Girls Varsity Ice Hockey league plays two championships. One is for the Section VI title that will take the winner to the NYS Championship and the second is for the League. The difference being that NYS rules don’t allow the private school to play in with the publics in playoffs, thus eliminating Monsignor Martin from play. So WNYGVIH holds a federation tournament in which they are part.
Most recently Williamsville took the Section VI championship and then went on to win the NYS title. Now it’s time for the second round!
On Tuesday (Feb. 12) night at Amherst Northtowns there were four games, back-to-back. Coming in at first seed was Frontier/Lakeshore/Orchard Park which had a 12-1-1 record. They were followed by Monsignor Martin, Williamsville, Lancaster/Iroquois/Depew, Clarence/Amherst/Sweethome, Hamburg/Eden/West Seneca, Kenmore/Grand Island and Niagara County (our newest team).
The first game went as most would predict, FLOP winning 9-3 over Niagara County (0-14). But it was one of Niagara County’s top scoring games of the season. The first three goals game in the first period at the hands of FLOP. In the second FLOP opened scoring but then Niagara County’s Sarah Jackson dropped the puck into the net, assisted by Skylar Berube at 8:42 of the second. FLOP continued on a scoring spree the balance of the second and into the third when Jackson put in a second and Natalie O’Brien dropped in the final goal of the evening.
FLOP’s Mary Kromer had 5 goals and an assist on the evening with other goal scoring coming from Jessica Peters, Julie Peters, Emery Fitzery, and Gabby Messing. Goalie Mary Spyche played for 30 minutes and then Kristen Heard closed out the final period of the game. (SOG were not reported for this game).
Unpredictable, Kenmore/Grand Island (3-10-1) and Monsignor Martin (11-2-1) skated to a 0-0 at the end of the first and then Carissa Buyea scored off passes from Kaylynn Savoy and Abby Blair. That was the final score 1-0 Kenmore/Grand Island with Carolyn Bourgealt getting the shutout on 31 shots. In goal for Monsignor Martin was Izzy Battaglia who stopped 13 of 14 SOG. This game held lots of back and forth action.
Williamsville (11-3-90) had more to prove with taking both the Section and State titles. HEWS came in seeded sixth with a 4-8-2 record. Williamsville got on the boards with two goals in the first, one in the second and a final in the third; ending 4-0. Jenna Cavalieri had two goals, Ella Huntly had the first of the game and Emma Roland dropped in the last goal. Sydney Olschewski got the shut out with 18 saves. Sissy Harman gave a stellar performance for HEWS making 47 on 51 sog.
LID’s Jersey Phillips scored in the first period and then the team shot in three goals in the second period giving them the 4-0 win over CASH (6-8-0). No scoring in the third. Also scoring for LID (6-7-1) were Bethan Horvatis, Morgan Zaccarine and Cassie Browski. Dylan Gorski faced 24 shots. In net for CASH was Kylie Paige who made 25 of 29 shots.
On Thursday night (Feb. 14) Kenmore/Grand Island will face FLOP at 3:30 p.m. and LID will face Williamsville at 5 p,m. All games will be held at Amherst’s Northtowns Arena.
The winners of those two contests will faceoff for the WNYGVIH Federation Championship at 7 p.m. on February 24 at Harborcenter. The game is part of the Section VI Super Sunday series being played at Keybank Center for the boys.