A Year Ago
A Look Back At 2016...


2016 NYSPHSAA Ice Hockey Championships

Saturday, March 12-Sunday, March 13
HarborCenter | Buffalo

Division 1
              Division 2
Teams  Final             Teams  Final
Mamaroneck (1)  5             Pelham Memorial (1)  1
Pittsford (5)  2             Skaneateles (3)  3

Teams  Final

            Teams  Final
Saratoga Springs (2)             Kenmore East (6)  11
West Genesee (3)             Lake Placid (7)
Division 1

              Division 2
Teams Final             Teams  F-OT
Mamaroneck (1) 1             Skaneateles (3) 2
West Genesee (3) 0             Kenmore East (6) 3


2016 NYSPHSAA Ice Hockey Championships Recaps
Staff Reports, Fromthe300level.com, NYSPHSAA Contributor

Division 1 FINAL
Mamaroneck 1 West Genesee 0
In a very physical game, the Mamaroneck Tigers of Section I defeated the West Genesee Wildcats of Section III by a score of 1-0 to win the 2016 NYSPHSAA Division I Hockey Championship on Sunday afternoon at the HarborCenter.

The Tigers came out early working hard to keep the puck in the Wildcat zone. All that hard worked paid off quick as Senior captains Jason Bienstock and Will Kirk found sophomore Micheal Carducci for the game’s only goal. “I drove the net, [Will] Kirk was taking it down the right side and he threw me a beautiful pass and was able to tip it in over the goalie’s pad.”, Carducci said of the goal.

After the goal, West Genesee woke up and matched the physical high paced game of the Tigers. The Wildcats had many chances to score in the 2nd and 3rd but could not convert. West Genesee out shot Mamaroneck 27-10 in the losing effort.

With less then a minute left, West Genesee pulled their goalie for one last chance. The Wildcats had held the puck and finally got the puck in front of the net, loose with a lot traffic in the area. With all of the bodies around and lot of confusion it looked as through Patrick McDonald had grabbed a rebound off a shot from a Micheal McDonald shot from the point and put it in to tie the game. The horn went off and the West Genesee celebrated but the official waved the goal with .6 seconds left in the game.

Junior Tommy Sparo stopped 27 West Genesee shots, earning a shutout in the championship game. “If he doesn’t let anything in we can win games, that all that we can ask for from him. He did more than we could ask for, he stood on his head for us and it’s unbelieveable. He’s a tremendous athlete.” said Krik.

This is Mamaroneck’s first State Championship for Hockey in School history.

Mamaroneck has made it to the playoffs for many years in a row but now, senior Will Krik is apart of the team that got over the hump. The senior said, “I think the earlier in the playoffs you play I think the more nervous and tense you are. If you can get over that hump that the key to a long playoff run. Teams in the past weren’t able to get over that hump and we just had so many seniors that put that effort in.”

Division 2 FINAL
Kenmore East 3 Skaneateles 2(OT)
The Kenmore East Bulldogs of Section VI defeated the Skaneateles Lakers of Section III, 3-2 in overtime, to win the
NYSPHAA Division II Hockey State Championship Sunday afternoon at the HarborCenter. The Bulldogs knocked off the defending Division II State Champ and won their first title since 2012.

“As an eighth grader he rode the bus with us to Utica” said the Head Coach. Trevor was the only one on this team who was around the 2012 State Champion Bulldogs. He was just dreaming of maybe being in their shoes one day.

Fast forward to March 31st, 2015, Trevor Pray announced, after playing his junior year with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, that he would come back and play for Kenmore East for his senior year. 348 days later it looks like he made a pretty good choice. Pray has been the heart and soul of this team, especially in the post season, scoring 17 goals in 6 games. It was only fitting that he scored the game winner in OT Sunday to win the State Title. IMG_5446

Most of the game had been a defensive struggle with both goalies making big saves. The deadlock wasn’t broken Reece Eddy and Devin Callahan found Junior Reggie Buell to give the Lakers the 1-0 lead with 4 minutes left in the 2nd period, shorthanded. Heading into the locker room Kenmore East was in an unusual position, losing. In the third, the Bulldogs stepped up all thanks to a twisted back hand shot by Russ Riggio. The Lakers then responded back less than 2 minutes later. Eddy got a 2nd assist on a Ray Falso goal to take back the lead. However, the Dogs were not going away. Senior AJ Marinelli found Pray to tie the game back up with 5 minutes left.

The Championship game went to overtime where both teams went back and forth with chances and many began to think we might be in for a long night. But in storybook fashion, for maybe the millionth time since playing together as 7 and 8 year olds, Marinelli to Pray struck again, this time for the game-winner to take home the State Championship with 40.1 seconds left in the 1st overtime.

Senior Brad Hermann had an unusually busy day in the net. But the senior stood tall in net stopping 30 of 32 shots. Hermann made the Division II All-tournament team. Trevor Pray not only made the All-tournament team but was also named the its MVP. His Head Coach and father, was named Coach of the Year. Joey Spartaro made the Division II All-tournament team too.

Kenmore East won its 2nd State Title in the first ever NYSPHAA Hockey Championships hosted in Buffalo. The Championship Tournament is scheduled to stay in Buffalo (at the HarborCenter) through 2018.

Division 1
Mamaroneck 5 Pittsford 2
The Mamaroneck Tigers from Section I and the Pittsford Panthers of Section V kicked off the semi-final round of the State High School Championships at the Harborcenter in downtown Buffalo, NY early Saturday morning.

Each team came out hitting early in the first period as both teams wanted to establish a physical presence. The teams exchanged power play opportunities early, Pittsford’s PP unit went to work first but were unable to convert with the man advantage.

mamaroneckThe Tigers PP unit however made the most of their opportunity. With Pittsford’s Ryan Walpole in the box for slashing Mamaroneck’s Alex Ewald scored to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead with assists from Will Kirk and Ben Kahan.

This early lead though would be short lived. The Tigers committed another penalty and the Panthers made them pay. John Mazrall scored for Pittsford with Quinn Doyle and Connor Haims nabbing the helpers just before the end of the first. The teams combined for 20 shots on goal, 10 per side after 15 minutes.

The Panthers continued with the momentum early in the 2nd, drawing another Tigers penalty. Mamaroneck conversely was the team to capitalize, scoring a short-handed goal to regain the lead. Matt DiCicco blocked a Panthers shot and gained control of the puck and was able to streak down for a breakaway goal.pittsford

The Panthers would respond. Another Tigers penalty resulted in a Pittsford goal, Walpole made up for his 1st period penalty with a wrist shot that beat goaltender Tommy Spero who had plenty of traffic in front of him. Doyle picked up his 2nd assist on the PP goal which came just 7 seconds into the Mamaroneck penalty.

The Tigers would take a 3-2 lead with 4:13 in the 2nd when Kesin Ryan-Dehija wrist shot found the mesh beating Panther goalie Aidan Richardson. It was the first even-strength goal of the game. Ewald was credited with the assist on the Tigers 3rd goal.

Mamaroneck took a 3-2 lead into the 3rd period as well as a clear edge in shots 28-21. The Panthers also started the 3rd short-handed and the Tigers were all too happy to add another goal with the man advantage. Just 30 seconds into regulation Alex Ewald scored his 2nd of the game giving the Tigers their 2nd PP goal and a 4-2 lead, Kirk and Will Payne had the assists.

The Panthers started to come a little unglued and took another penalty at 1:24, this time Doyle for roughing. Playing yet again short-handed, the Panthers struggled against the Tigers PP units. Kirk hammered home a shot to give Mamaroneck a 5-2 lead, with Payne picking up the lone assist.

The Tigers went into a defensive shell after taking a 3 goal lead but the Panthers were able to mount some pressure. Eventually they drew a penalty giving them a little spark. The Tigers Connor LeBlanc went to the box giving Pittsford another opportunity with the man advantage. Though nothing would come of it as the Tigers successfully killed off the penalty.

Mamaroneck’s Tucker Leicht was called for elbowing with 4:30 left sending the Panthers PP back to work. Pittsford Coach Steve Thering called a time-out to settle down his team and give his skilled players some rest. Walpole, who had already scored earlier almost responded. He had two great chances to pull the Panthers to within two goals but Spero had other ideas and made equally great stops. The Panthers PP came up short-handed once again.

With just under 2:30 to play, the Panthers pulled their goaltender in favor of an extra attacker. They outshot the Tigers 19-10 in the final period but they could not solve Spero, who was a wall down the stretch for the Tigers finishing with 38 saves.

Ewald finished with 2 goals and an assist while Will Kirk added a goal and 2 assists to lead the Tigers into Sunday’s State Title game. Final score was 5-2 in favor of the Tigers. They will face the winner of the Saratoga Springs – West Genesee contest slated for 12 noon today.

West Genesee 5 Saratoga 1
The second semi-final game of the afternoon was between the West Genesee Wildcats of section 3 and the Saratoga Springs Blue Streaks of section 2.

West Genesee came out firing early in the first with a goal only 22 seconds into the game. The goal was scored by Ryan McDonald with an assist from Daniel Colabufo. This quick goal pumped the West Genesee team full of momentum and they scored again with 6:34 left in the 1st period. This goal was a beautiful wrap around from Marshall Winn that put the Wildcats up 2-0. Only a few minutes later West Genesee’s Daniel Colabufo takes a slashing penalty and the Saratoga team capitalizes on the power play. Brendan Coffey rips a shot from the point and it finds its way past the goaltender to cut the lead in half. It would stay that way for the rest of the 1st period. West Genesee took the 2-1 lead into the locker room for the first intermission.

The 2nd period was dominated by the West Genesee Wildcats. Again they come out strong scoring just 31 seconds into the 2nd period. The goal was scored by Ryan McDonald and assisted by Daniel Colabufo to give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead. Then, at the 8:54 mark of the 2nd period Chris Peer scores West Genesee’s 4th goal. Assists came from Jack Birchler and Stephen Anderson. The 2nd period would end with the score being 4-1 in favor of West Genesee.

The 3rd period was a more relaxed one. The first and only goal of the period was scored by Marshall Winn with 3:46 left in the game. West Genesee truly dominated this game allowing only 7 shots and taking 21 of their own on the Saratoga goalie.

The wildcats move on to play Mamaroneck tomorrow for the division 1 title, 12pm at the Harborcenter in Downtown Buffalo.

Division 2

Skaneateles 3 Pelham 1
The first semi-final for division 2 is between the Skaneateles Lakers (section 3) and the Pelham Memorial Pelicans (section 1). The first period had a great pace to it, each team flying and creating plenty of scoring opportunities. But neither team could capitalize on a scoring chance and the 1st ends 0-0. Pelham outshot Skaneateles 10-9 in the 1st period. Both teams had very strong play from their defense and their goalies to keep the score even at zero through the 1st.

The 2nd period keeps the same quick pace that the 1st had and the defensive battle continues. With 8 minutes left in the period, Pelham’s Phil Dutko takes a hooking penalty and 10 seconds later his teammate Nick Davidow takes a tripping penalty to give Skaneateles a 2 man advantage. Ten seconds into the 5 on 3, Pelham escapes the zone and gets the puck to Gibson Smith who nets a beautiful shorthanded backhand goal on the breakaway to make it 1-0. Pelham then goes on to kill off both of their penalties. Pelham’s penalty kill has been strong today killing off all 4 penalties they have taken and also scoring a shorthanded goal. Pelham would carry the 1-0 lead into the room at the end of the 2nd period. The shots at the end of the 2nd were 22-20 in favor of Skaneateles. They will have to try and break through the seemingly flawless defense of the Pelham team in the 3rd to try and get back in this game.

That is exactly what they do. 3 minutes into the 3rd Skaneateles finds the back of the net on a goal from Reggie Buell to get the Lakers on the board and tie the game at 1 goal apiece. This goal was assisted by Reece Eddy and Matt Leveroni. Then, only 2:16 later, Ray Falso finds an opening and fires it home to give Skaneateles the 2-1 lead with 9:42 left in the game. This goal was assisted by Reece Eddy to give him his second assist of the game. With 1:08 left, Reggie Buell takes a penalty to give Pelham a power play. Pelham pulls their goalie for a 2-man advantage. But with 40 seconds left in the game, Skaneateles fires it down the ice and into the open net to give the Lakers a 3-1 lead. Skaneateles, the reigning state champions, come from behind to beat Pelham Memorial in the first division 2 semi-final game. The final shots were 35-27 in favor of Skaneateles.

Kenmore East 11 Lake Placid 0
The lone school from the host section (Section 6) put on quite the offensive show in downtown Buffalo. Kenmore East scored six goals in the first period and never looked back as they advanced to Sunday's Division 2 final of the 2016 NYSPHSAA Ice Hockey Championships. After defeating Lake Placid of Section 7, 11-0, Kenmore East faces Skaneateles in tomorrow's 3:00 p.m. championship game. Skaneateles is the reigning Division 2 champion. Kenmore East is looking for their second NYSPHSAA Ice Hockey in school history, having last won in 2012. A win by Skaneateles tomorrow would give the school its third NYSPHSAA Ice Hockey title. The last team to win back-to-back championships in Division was New Hartford, who won titles in 2009 and 2010.