West Seneca’s girls hockey team endures MMA’s wrath
West Seneca’s district girls hockey team found out first hand Monday what happens when you show that the league behemoth is beatable — the behemoth becomes enraged and takes out its frustration on the upstart the next chance it gets.
For West Seneca, Monsignor Martin’s first chance at avenging its first-ever loss — which came at the hands of West Seneca on New Year’s Day, 3-2 — couldn’t have come at a worse time as Monsignor Martin’s 10-0 shellacking took place after West Seneca held a special pre-game ceremony to help celebrate the creation of the first-year girls league.
“Sometimes when you step on a hornet’s nest, you rile them up – and we riled them up pretty good when we beat them,” coach Pete Tonsoline said of the Monsignor Martin team. “We didn’t play our best, but there was no mercy for us at all Monday night.”
Monsignor Martin finished Monday’s game of retribution with a nearly 4-to-1 shot advantage (38-10), but even with that dominance only found itself up 2-0 after the first and 3-0 after the second. A crammed schedule last week and short bench combined to sink West Seneca’s hope of a comeback in the third period.
“What’s really hurting us right now is that we only have two real lines and three, sometimes four, defensemen — it’s letting teams wear us down,” Tonsoline said. “Monsignor Martin played very well, and we couldn’t do a thing about it. We were holding our own early on, so I thought we could keep it reasonable, but we got in some penalty trouble. Now, it’s my job to get the girls focused so we can get back on track. We need to forget about this game and focus on the next one.”
West Seneca went into Monday’s contest with some momentum on its side, having defeated Kenmore last Tuesday in a late game, 3-2, before coming back to play Williamsville to a 1-1 tie early the next afternoon.
West Seneca jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against Kenmore, but then had to rally for the game winner in the third period after Kenmore came back to knot the game at 2-2 going into the final period. Jenna Lettieri found the back of the net at the 10:29 mark of the third for the game winner, while Jessica Dolac (unassisted) and Kristen Sikorski picked up West Seneca’s first two goals. Sydney Glynn came up with 22 saves to earn the win in net.
“Sydney made some big saves for us to ice the game,” Tonsoline said. “We got a little sloppy in the second period, and it gave them some life. All in all, though, it was a good game.”
Williamsville, on the other hand, used its depth — and strong goaltending — to jump out to an early 1-0 lead. Fortunately for West Seneca, Molly Sikorski was able to respond on the power play in the third period to even things out at 1-1.
“I was actually very happy with our effort against Williamsville, especially considering we were playing two games so close tog ether,” Tonsoline said. “Williamsville is a deep team; they have three lines that are all as good as my top line.”
West Seneca (6-2-2 overall) returns to action today against Kenmore and then closes out its week against Frontier/Orchard Park on Saturday. Tonsoline knows things aren’t going to get any easier as his team keeps facing the same foes, but he is confident his players will continue to grow and have success as the regular season winds down.
“We’ve got a couple of tough games coming up, and I’m hoping we can win them,” Tonsoline said. “I think we’ve got to approach some games a little bit differently, though. You can only spread things so thin, and that’s kind of where we’re at because of the situation with our depth. When you have a short bench, it’s something you’ve got to adjust to. We need to go out there and clear the puck out of our zone quicker, enter the other team’s zone a little quicker and not carry the puck so much. If we can do those things, and minimize our penalties too, we should do okay. It wouldn’t hurt for us to tighten up our defensive effort in our own zone a little bit too.” e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org