Weekly Feature



2011-02-10 / Sports

District’s boys, girls teams all win

Hockey
by JASON NADOLINSKI Reporter

Emily O'Shei, front, skates by an Amherst/Sweet Home player during West Seneca’s 2-1 overtime victory Monday at the West Seneca town ice rink. Photo by John Normile Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Emily O'Shei, front, skates by an Amherst/Sweet Home player during West Seneca’s 2-1 overtime victory Monday at the West Seneca town ice rink. Photo by John Normile Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com The boys and girls hockey teams in the West Seneca school district all posted wins in their most recent games this weekend in a show of force with the postseason just around the corner.

The district’s combined girls hockey squad needed overtime to pick up its win Monday, but in the end West Seneca came out on top in its meeting with Amherst/Sweet Home, 2-1. That game was actually supposed to be the second of two games in three days against the same squad, but last Saturday’s contest was postponed after prior travel-team commitments left West Seneca with just two players in town.

After battling back and forth throughout the first period, West Seneca finally got on the scoreboard about halfway through the second period on Erin Gehen’s power-play goal. Gehen deflected a shot by Molly Sikorski to break the stalemate, but West Seneca wouldn’t led for long as Amherst/Sweet Home tied the game a mere four minutes later.

West Seneca once again outshot its foe in the third period, but Amherst/Sweet Home’s goalie continued to stymie West Seneca’s potent offensive threats. Only a scrum in front of the net with just over three minutes to play in overtime proved to be too tough for Amherst/Sweet Home’s goalie to stop, as Jenna Lettieri pushed the puck into the back of the net for the game winner.

“We had a lot of momentum early in overtime, just like we had early on in the game,” girls coach Pete Tonsoline said. “Their goalie played really big for them. All the rebounds she gave up, especially in the third period, were just out of the reach of our sticks.”

West Seneca (10-4-2 overall) returns to action next Tuesday against Williamsville. Tonsoline did not know as of press time when a make-up game for last Saturday’s postponed contest will be scheduled.

“Everyone’s gelling together now and playing well, and that’s led to quite a bit of parity in the league,” Tonsoline said. “We’ve still got a chance at finishing in second place if we can finish out strong.”

East boys

The Trojans held steady after giving up a two-goal lead to Lew-Port last Saturday to come away from their only game of the week with a 5-3 victory.

East jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first quarter after Cory Swift scored just four minutes into the game, off a pass from James Milley, and Lucas Pacanowski scored with about 3:30 to play in the opening period, off passes from Austin Casselberry and Josh Jaszcz. That advantage would evaporate in the first five minutes of the second period, though, as Lew-Port knotted the game at 2-2 with a pair of goals.

East got back on track with two more goals in the final 1:12 of the second period, as Matt Julkowski and Matt Julkowski scored off passes from Greg Balla and Swift, and Travis Chavanne and Cory Kinmartin, respectively. Pacanowski scored five minutes into the third period, off passes from Colin Schrier and Jaszcz, to close out the scoring.

“We kind of played poorly defensively, which allowed them to get back in to the game,” East coach Dan Goldie said. “Will (Korczynski) came through for us again with his goaltending, with his 31 saves.”

East (8-1-3 division) closes out its regular season by facing Williamsville South Saturday and St. Francis Monday.

“We’ve definitely got to work on our defensive zone coverage and our positioning,” Goldie said. “Our problem isn’t scoring goals, it’s preventing them.”

West boys

West Seneca West ended Williamsville East’s bid for an undefeated regular season last Saturday by dousing the then 11-0-1 Flames, 3-1.

East scored first off a tip-in on the power play, but West took over from that point, scoring the equalizer just one minute later. The Indians would take the lead before the end of the first period and then pot an empty netter with about 30 seconds to play in regulation to seal the victory.

“That was definitely a very good win for us,” West coach Kevin Rozo said. “We were definitely opportunistic. And Matt Peccia played great in net for us; he made some really good saves when he had to. In the third period alone, he faced 16 shots.”

Tyler Burdzy and Tyler Chodkowski scored West’s first two goals on breakaways, while Kevin Hanley added the empty netter. Peccia finished the game with 42 saves.

West (6-8-5, 5-5-3 league) closes out its regular season Sunday against Grand Island, and with the momentum it earned Saturday, Rozo is hoping for a solid effort in West’s final tune-up before the postseason.

“We gained a lot of confidence with this latest win, so we’ve just got to keep playing like we’ve been playing,” Rozo said. “We’ve been getting good goaltending, so if we can bury our chances when we get them, we should be in good shape. A good, hard work of practice should go a long way towards what we want to do Sunday.” e-mail: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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