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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: March 2008

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Amherst's Graber tapped as Phillies skipper

SARATOGA SPRINGS — When former Saratoga Phillies manager Garett Baron assumed additional duties with the University at Albany, managing partners, Keith Rogers and Dan Scaring wanted to hire another quality baseball person and someone they could trust their collegiate baseball team with.

Who else could they trust more than former New York Collegiate Baseball League teammate and current Amherst College assistant coach, Kevin Graber.
“In 2004, Kevin was the first person we wanted to pursue,” Kevin Rogers said. “But he had a young family, he was over in Boston, it just wasn’t the right time.”

Baron guided the Saratoga Phillies to a NYCBL championship in 2006 and a second-place finish and into the East Division playoffs last year.

“Garrett decided at the end of our season to take a summer off,” Rogers said. “He’s recently married and didn’t want to make a full commitment.”

Rogers and Scaring called another familiar friend, Associate Academic Advisor at Louisville, Eddie Scott.

“The job was waiting for Eddie,” Rogers said. “He let us know recently that he couldn’t due to commitments in Louisville.”

Graber was then an automatic for the managing partners.

“We said, ‘Let’s call Kevin’,” Rogers said. “We reached out to him and it worked out great. Him and his wife are both from Albany area. It all seemed to work out.”

Graber will head up a veteran coaching staff with assistant coaches Steve Checksfield and Andy Cuthbertson returning along with the new addition of pitching coach Tim Adkins from Marshall University.

“Kevin’s ability to coach, motivate and inspire kids to reach their full potential will be an extraordinary asset to the Phillies,” Rogers said. “Kevin is a leader with tremendous baseball knowledge and will have a great rapport with our players and the Saratoga community.”

The Saratoga Phillies are members of the NYCBL, a collegiate, summer wooden bat league competing at East Side Rec in June and July. Founded in 1978, the NYCBL gives college players who have not yet signed a professional contract the opportunity to develop their skills at a high level of play, gain experience with wood bats and be evaluated by professional scouts. The Phillies enter their fifth year of competition, winning the NYCBL crown in 2006.

As a collegiate player Graber was a two-time first-team All-Conference infielder with the College of Saint Rose, leading the Golden Knights to consecutive league titles. His professional playing career included stints in Australia, Arizona, Minnesota and Upstate New York.

Graber earned his manager stripes with the Minnesota Stars of the Prairie League, guiding his former team to a 42-24 record and earning Manager of the Year honors. He then moved back to the Capital Region, managing the Adirondack Lumberjacks of the Northern League before beginning his career at the collegiate level.

He has coached at Lassen College, McLintock High School, Riverland Community College, the Electric City Giants, the Scotia Sox, the Schenectady Mohawks and the Pine River Rapids. Last summer, Graber coached the Amherst Mickey Mantle (15 to 16-year-old) squad to a Massachusetts State Championship.

Baron, Saratoga Phillies head coach in 2006 and 2007 and University at Albany assistant baseball coach, has been retained by the organization, moving to a front office position. Last year the Phillies finished in second place in the East Division with a 25-14 record, falling to the Glens Falls Golden Eagles in the divisional finals.

Saratoga’s roster included NYCBL Pitcher of the Year Mike Fiers (University of Cumberlands), first-team outfielders Bryan Rose (Kentucky) and Donnie Webb (Oklahoma State) and second-team third baseman Jake Willis (Siena).

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Got golf sponsorships? Chamber of Southern Saratoga wants you!

Sponsorship levels are now available for the Chamber's Spring Golf Classic ranging from $1750 - $100.

The Spring Tournament will be held Monday, June 9 at the Saratoga National Golf Club in Saratoga Springs.

Sponsorships offered include:

Eagle Sponsors (4 Available) - $1750
Four golfers, complimentary tee signs, promotional giveaway with your company logo for every golfer at each tournament, your banner at the event, pre-event and post-event promotion in all written and electronic materials, including "The BottomLine" newsletter, verbal recognition at the tournaments reception, a prominent listing in the programs with logo.

Dinner Reception Sponsors (2 Available) - $1,000
Includes: two golfers, prominent listing in the programs, complimentary tee sign, inclusion in select written and electronic materials, including "The BottomLine" newsletter, table signage on dinner buffet, verbal recognition at the tournaments, opportunity to donate promotional give away items for all golfers.

Lunch Sponsors (2 available) - $600
Includes: one golfer, prominent listing in the programs, inclusion in select written and electronic materials, including "The BottomLine" newsletter, company name and logo on boxed lunches, verbal recognition at the tournament reception, opportunity to donate promotional give away items for all golfers.

Golf Cart Sponsors (10 Available) - $200
Includes your company name on the cart GPS screen (rotating display throughout tournament, prominent listing in the program, inclusion in select written and electronic materials, including "The BottomLine" newsletter, visual and verbal recognition at the tournament, opportunity to donate promotional give away items for all golfers.

Hole-in-One Sponsors (4 available) - $250
Inclueds: placement of car, boat, etc. by the par 3 contest holes, inclusion in select written and electronic materials, including "The BottomLine" newsletter, a listing in the program, visual and verbal recognition at the tournament, opportunity to donate promotional give away items for all golfers.
*Price does not include estimated cost of insurance $200-$400 depending on the cost of the prize/course/length of hole for each tournament.

Beverage Cart Sponsors (2 Available) - $300
Includes: company logo on beverage cart, inclusion in select written and electronic materials, including "The BottomLine" newsletter, a listing in the program, visual and verbal recognition at the tournament and the opportunity to donate promotional give away items for all golfers.

Special Two for One Specials!
Sponsor both the Spring Classic Tournament and the September "non-tournament" for one price!

Contest Sponsors (4 Available) - $450
Contests are Longest Drive for men and women and Closest to the Pin for men and women.
Enjoy exclusive signage at the contest hole, ability to provide prizes if desired, inclusion in select written and electronic materials, including "The BottomLine" newsletter, a listing in the program, visual and verbal recognition at the tournaments, opportunity to donate promotional give away items for all golfers.

Tee Sponsors - $200
Includes a prominent sign on the tee, inclusion in select written and electronic materials, including "The BottomLine" newsletter, a listing in the program, visual and verbal recognition at the tournament, opportunity to donate promotional give away items for all golfers.

Duffer's Special - $100
Poster recognition at the tournaments, a listing in the program, opportunity to donate promotional give away items for all golfers.

To secure any of these sponsorship levels please email loretta@southernsaratoga.org or call 371-7748.

Register to play in the tournament online, by email at info@southernsaratoga.org, or by calling 371-7748. Cost per player is $225.

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“Crash course” in crew offered over Spring Break

ALPLAUS — The Friends of Shenendehowa Crew, Inc. is offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for interested students over their upcoming spring break.

Instead of hanging around the house, watching television, the Shen Crew team is inviting students to their own version of a “cram session”, learning how to row competitively in just five days during the vacation.

Traditionally the learn-to-row program is done over the summer to introduce rowers to the sport and ready them for the fall season, long multi-mile races against a clock. The Shen rowers want you to get on the water now, in time for the spring sprint season, the racing that pits you head to head with other schools on the water, pushing yourself and your racing shell to the limit.

The program is targeted for Shenendehowa High School students in grades 9 to 12 and will be offered from 10:30 a.m. to noon, April 14 to 18.

Students will be introduced to the sport of rowing and instruction will begin with learning basic technique on a rowing machine (ergometer) and then progress to outdoors onto the water in a crew shell. Proper care and use of equipment, safety, and preparation for competition will be covered.

After completing this first-ever “crash course spring learn to row”, participants are eligible to join the Shen crew team for the Spring racing season. The fee of $90 will be applied to the team’s Spring registration.

To register , students should stop by the office in High School East or West and pick up the brochure or go to www.Shencrew.com for more information.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

NYSAHA - Midget - New Hartford a 'must-go' to nationals

After falling to the Westchester Vipers in the New York State Amateur Hockey League state championship game, the New Hartford U16 midget squad wasn't up for celebrating, traveling home or much less facing their oponnent any time soon.

The red, white and blue squad from Central New York doesn't have a choice.

The USA National Tier II 16U Tournament doesn't have an eligible team in the Buffalo area, so New York was awarded two berths into the tournament. The New Hartford squad just wasn't up to traveling during the first week of April to face Westchester in the opening round in Buffalo.

The New Hartford squad, comprised mainly of the New Hartford High ice hockey team, will have its players competing in the first full week of league competition in baseball, track and lacrosse.

Too bad, according to USA Hockey.

New Hartford has been ordered to compete at the USA Nationals whether they want to or not. A non-appearance by the squad would result in sanctions from USA Hockey on the entire New Hartford organization, suspending tournament participation for a full year at every level.

Several New Hartford staffers wondered if they would have to go or if they could pass up the opportunity and allow another team to go. The third-place squad in the state tournament was the Clifton Park Dynamos.

It didn't matter. New Hartford will attend, possibly suiting up as few as 10 players for a national event due to availablity, but the schedule won't be changed and a team won't be substituted for them.

Now is that sportsmanship on USA Hockey's part or what?

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shen's Jake Johnson in SI's Faces in the Crowd

Shenendehowa sophomore swimming sensation Jake Johnson's year just keeps getting better.

Just two weeks after capturing two New York State Public High School Athletic Association swimming titles in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races, the Plainsmen aquanaut will be featured in the March 19 issue of Sports Illustrated in it's "Faces in the Crowd" section.

The Shenendehowa swimmer also competed in the 2007 Pan-Am Maccabean Games in Argentina, winning 10 medals, including seven gold in the junior men's division.

Johnson will also be a part of a new multi-media agreement between SI and www.takkle.com, a social network for high school sports. Johnson was selected through votes, submitted on the Takkle.com website.

Fans can now log onto TAKKLE to nominate athletes for SI's Faces in the Crowd and a new Video Faces in the Crowd feature available at www.takkle.com/faces .

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Saratoga Youth Hockey coaches game 10 a.m. March 22

The SYHI Coach’s Charity Game is this Saturday, March 22 at 10 a.m. in the Vernon Ice Rink.

This game is to benefit the Saratoga EOC Food Pantry and we are asking all spectators and participants to bring a non-perishable food item.

Come on down and cheer them on and help support the food pantry.

If any other coaches wish to play please contact Bruce Thompson at bt@kilakwa.com.

Scheduled to play:
Bruce Thompson (Mite House & Mite A)
Derek HasBrouck (Pee Wee B)
Gary Chmiel (Mite House & Mite B)
Mike Richards (Mite House)
Jeff Smith (Mite A & Squirt B)
Ryan Blauvelt (Mite B)
Chris Gimbel (Mite A)
Mark Moshier (Mite House)
Mark Harrison (Bantam B & Mite B)
Sean Lisieski (Mite A)
Bob Holmes (Squirt B & Mite A)
Dave Hungerford (Squirt A)
Reisha Rieder (Bantam B)
Tim Grande (Bantam A)
Michael Mascarenhas (termites)
Mike Wormley (Bantam A)
Ethan Rubenstien (Bantam B)
Jeff Whiteside (Bantam A & Mite House)
Dave Dennis (Mite House)
Jon Sharp (Squirt C)
Dave Clayton (Pee Wee C)
Natalia Hogan (Squirt B)
Nick Smith (Pee Wee C)
Bob Flansburg (Squirt A)
Tom Wilkinson (Mite A)
Rich Caola (Mite House)

Goalies:
Barney Rubenstien (Bantam B)
Paul Radigan (Bantam A)

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Monday, March 17, 2008

NYSAHA - Championship - Westchester 5, New Hartford 4

Vipers take U16 midget New York State crown

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The New Hartford Tier II 16U ice hockey team finally found someone that could keep up with its red, white and blue skaters and the Westchester Vipers squad responded time and again, skating its way to a New York State Amateur Hockey Association state title on the Olympic surface at the Weibel Avenue Rink in Saratoga Springs.

New Hartford put on a power play clinic against the Vipers, but the Westchester squad rebounded from each penalty kill shift with a goal, earning a 5-4 state championship victory and earned a berth in the USA Hockey National tournament April 2 to 6 in Buffalo.

Throughout the tournament, New Hartford was able to out-skate its competitors in the final two periods, putting all four away before the championship final. Westchester became the exception.

“They skated with us and they had stick and overall hockey skills,” New Hartford coach James Zalewski said. “That made it tougher.”

Westchester was struggling generating any offense from inside the slot early on, but seconds after Scott Miele was denied on the Vipers lone breakaway early in the first period he put back a rebound past New Hartford goalie Dylan Smith at 5:15 of the first period for a 1-0 lead.

The New Hartford power play unit, teammates throughout most of the year at the high school and travel level, was the envy of the tournament, leading to the tying goal early in the second period.

New Hartford spent the majority of a power play in the Vipers end cycling the puck and keeping the Westchester defenders at bay.

As the penalty expired, forward Michael Zalewski slid the puck cross ice, between defenders to an awaiting Nathan Mallinder who snapped it past Viper goalie Ryan Feliu at 6:56.

The tie was short lived as Viper forward Robert Dorgan wristed in the puck past New Hartford netminder Dylan Smith at 6:49 taking back the lead, 2-1.

Westchester's Christopher Abramo put the Vipers up 3-1 when he wristed in the puck 30 seconds after his squad negated another New Hartford power play at 14:28 of the second period.

“It was important to make sure we came back,” Westchester coach Mark Pecchia said. “We needed to get the next opportunity to score and put the pressure on the other team.”

New Hartford responded again, cutting the lead to a single goal again when Thomas Frorentino tipped in a shot, deflecting it under the crossbar during a 4-on-4 at 16:52, 3-2.

The red, white and blue jerseys would tie the contest for the second time when Thomas Frorentino deposited the puck over Westchester goalie Ryan Feliu's shoulder at 6:04 of the third at three apiece.

Westchester's skating speed gained it another goal when Christopher Mastrocola flicked the puck in at 9:13 for the 4-3 lead. The Vipers would take another two-goal lead when Sherding was on the receiving end of a quick pass from behind the net from Christopher Abramo with two minutes left in the finale.

New Hartford refused to hoist the runner-up trophy lightly, continuing to apply the pressure with 95 seconds left when Jason Fitzgerald put back rebounds created by Nathan Mallinder and Jacob Silberlicht.

New Hartford pulled goaltender Dylan Smith for a man-advantage, but couldn’t send the title game into overtime. Both teams qualified for the national tournament, but Westchester will travel with the state championship banner.

“This was everything for me,” Zalewski said. “This was the prize.

“I’m disappointed things didn’t go our way,” Zalewski said. “But I’m not disappointed in our players.”

Westchester applied its skills in all three periods, taking advantage of its guaranteed position in Buffalo next month.

“We felt easier coming in, not as nervous as we were in the last game (semifinal),” Pecchia said. “We were loser and had a better start.

The Vipers looked to their captain, Aidan McHugh before the final for inspiration.
“We were all ecstatic that we were going to nationals,” Aidan McHugh said. “We didn’t want to go as the runner-up. I told them to prove that you are there to compete and are there to play.”

WESTCHESTER 5, NEW HARTFORD 4
First period scoring:
1. Westchester, Scott Miele (Bradlee Pesce, Matthew Oliverio), 5:15.
Penalties: Westchester – Aidan McHugh (interference), 6:18. New Hartford – Robert Jorgensen (hooking), 10:10.

Second period: 2. New Hartford, Nathan Mallinder (Jacob Silberlicht, Michael Zalewski), 6:56. 3. Westchester, Robert Dorgan (RyanMcGee), 6:49. 4. Westchester, Christopher Abramo (Robert Dorgan), 14:28. 5. New Hartford, Thomas Frorentino (Jacob Silberlicht, Michael Zalewski), 16:52.
Penalties: Westchester – Alex Lopez (tripping), 1:51; Aidan McHugh (tripping), 11:59; Aidan McHugh , (tripping), 15:52. New Hartford – Jason Fitzgerald (tripping), 6:58; Jason Fitzgerald, (hooking), 16:15.

Third period: 6. New Hartford, Thomas Frorentino (Michael Zalewski), 7:04. 7. Westchester, Christopher Mastrocola (Rene Kovac, Alex Lopez), 9:13. 8. Westchester, Ron Sherding (Christopher Abramo), 15:04. 9. New Hartford, Jason Fitzgerald (Nathan Mallinder, Jacob Silberlicht), 15:25.
Penalties: Westchester – Ron Sherding (crosschecking), 10:13; Christopher Mastrocola (interference), 11:42. New Hartford – Thomas Frorentino (high stick), 10:55.

New Hartford 0 2 2 – 4
Westchester 1 2 2 – 5
Goalie saves: New Hartford,
Dylan Smith, 17, saves. Westchester, Dan Feliu, 31 saves.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

NYSAHA - semi - Westchester 5, CP Dyanamos 2

Vipers advance to state final and nationals in one game

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Clifton Park Dynamos 16U midget hockey team had an uphill battle Sunday morning in the New York State Amateur Hockey Association Tier II state championship semifinal.

The squad had to find a way to contain the high powered Westchester Vipers and had to keep themselves out of the penalty box and at even-strength throughout the contest.
They failed at both.

The eventual state champions, Westchester, scored three powerplay goals, eliminating Clifton Park, 5-2, at the Weibel Avenue Ice Rink. The Vipers would go on to capture the state title with a 5-4 victory Sunday night over New Hartford.

“Their power play was too clever,” Clifton Park Dynamo coach Brad Shaver said. “It’s been our big fault down the stretch, taking bad penalties.”

Clifton Park was able to skate with the downstate powerhouse, going ahead at 10:03 of the first period when Jordan Bobrow put back Anthony Delzotto’s shot on net. The initial goal was set up by defenseman Dillon Frinton.

The Dynamo scored only after failing to convert on a 5-on-3 power play as the Vipers committed four penalties in the first session, but the tide would turn in the second for Clifton Park.

Westchester knotted the contest at one apiece when forward Matthew Oliverio put back Christopher Abramo’s initial shot during a power play at 3:54 of the second.

The Vipers proved they could be effective at even-strength, consistently crowding the goal area, anticipating loose pucks.

Westchester forward Robert Dorgan put back his own shot after firing on Dynamo goalie Dan Sacks. The Clifton Park starter couldn’t get a handle on the loose prize after the first attempt and Dorgan poked it past for the 2-1 lead at 6:29 of the second.
Viper defenseman Connor Lawrence tallied the third goal of the period for Westchester at 8:37, putting back an initial shot by Dorgan during a 4-on-3 man-advantage.

The Dynamos continued to pay the price as the Westchester power play unit converted with 34 seconds left in the second.

With another Dynamo sitting in the penalty box for an extended stay, courtesy of a slashing penalty along with a 10 minute misconduct, Westchester’s Ron Sherding sent the puck past Sacks with an assist from Dorgan and Erik Blumberg for a commanding, 4-1 lead.

“We wanted to spread out their defense on our power play,” Viper forward Robert Dorgan said. “They like to clog the middle. We wanted to spread them out and get our shots on net.”

Clifton Park was assessed six penalties in the second, compared to two for Westchester.

“I did my best to try to address that (penalties),” Shaver said. “I told them it would either help us or hurt us. (Westchester) can move the puck and they had traffic in front of the net.”

The Dynamos cut the lead in half at 8:19 of the final stanza when Michael Kenny flipped in the puck after receiving a pass from Dave Ferris.

The momentum change was short lived as Christopher Mastrocola scored the fourth power play goal of the contest for Westchester two minutes later, assisted by Dorgan.
Shaver considered calling a time out early in the contest to get his team re-focused but negated the idea, concerned that he may need it late in the contest.

“The whole time on the bench I was reminding them to stay within the system, re-group, re-group,” Shaver said. “At this time, they are a better hockey team. They stayed composed and we took bad penalties.”

Clifton Park came out firing, putting 11 shots on Westchester goaltender Marc Glaviano, but could only break through on two occasions. The Viper netminder would finish with 19 saves and the semifinal win.

“(Clifton Park) had a lot of deflections in the first period,” Glaviano said. “We started to move them out and their shots started coming from the outside. It’s easier; I just have to cut down on the angle.”

The win propelled Westchester into the USA Hockey National Tournament April 2 to 6 in Buffalo as the two New York State finalists each earned a berth in the national event. Sunday night’s contest would crown a state champion and determine seeding at nationals.

“They knew the ramifications and what was on the line in this game,” Westchester coach Mark Pecchia said. “We’d like to go with the state banner, so we were a little nervous coming out.”

WESTCHESTER 5, CLIFTON PARK 2
First period scoring:
1. Clifton Park, Jordan Bobrow (Anthony Delzotto, Dillon Frinton), 10:03.
Penalties: Westchester – Ron Sherding (hit from behind), 5:53; Alex Lopez (interference), 6:04; Christopher Mastrocola (slashing), 6:43; Christopher Abramo (interference), 10:31. Clifton Park – Andy Budz (roughing), 5:04; Anthony Delzotto (tripping), 15:50.

Second period scoring: 2. Westchester, Matthew Oliverio (Craig Halpin), 3:54, ppg. 3. Westchester, Robert Dorgan (unassisted), 6:29. 4. Westchester, Connor Lawrence (Robert Dorgan), 8:37, ppg. 5. Westchester, Ron Sherding (Robert Dorgan, Erik Blumberg), 16:26, ppg.
Penalties: Westchester – Aidan McHugh (interference), 6:39; Bradlee Pesce (holding), 13:43. Clifton Park – Anthony Delzotto (high stick), 3:27; David Ferris (too many men), 7:35; Anthony Delzotto (interference), 7:41; Jordan Bobrow (holding), 13:13; Conrad Bernard (slashing), 15:50; Conrad Bernard (10:00 misconduct), 15:50.

Third period scoring: 6. Clifton Park, Michael Kenny (David Ferris), 8:19. 7. Westchester, Christopher Mastrocola (Robert Dorgan), 10:19.
Penalties: Westchester – Joseph Grispin (interference), 15:27. Clifton Park – Michael Kenny (elbowing), 8:42; Jake Hendrickson (interference), 12:32.

Westchester 0 4 1 – 5
Clifton Park 1 0 1 – 2
Goalie saves:Westchester –
Marc Glaviano, 16 saves. Clifton Park – Dan Sacks, 11 saves. Shane Robichaud, 9 saves.

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NYSAHA - semi - New Hartford 8, Long Island 1

New Hartford advances to state final, earns spot in nationals

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The New Hartford’s 16U midget Tier II ice hockey team proved that it could win convincingly with its special teams play and punched their ticket to the USA Hockey National Championships with an 8-1 win over the Long Island Rebels Sunday morning in the first semifinal at the Weibel Avenue Rink in Saratoga Springs.

The New Hartford squad scored three goals short-handed and a fourth from its power play unit, proving that the New Hartford High School unit was the toast of the tournament.

The Central New York squad even played from behind as Long Island’s Dakota Davidson put back a rebound from Andy Koniuch's shot at 5:38 of the first period.

New Hartford didn’t need any special teams play to knot the contest at 1-1 as Michael Critelli put the puck past Long Island's screened goaltender, Joseph Eppedio at 5:46 of the second period to knot the semifinal at one apiece. Critelli took a pass from Jacob Silberlicht and soft-tossed it on net, finding its way past the Rebel netminder.

“I knew I had to go back to the net,” Michael Critelli said. “Jacob (Silberlicht) shot it and I just tipped it in. It was a big momentum change.”

The Rebels would find itself at a disadvantage on the scoreboard after having the advantage on the ice when New Hartford scored three consecutive short-handed goals.
Down a skater late in the second, Jacob Silberlicht sent the puck up and off the board, onto the stick of Clayton Whittemore who wristed the puck past Eppedio at 14:44.

“I knew we were going to ice it,” Clayton Whittemore said. “Jake (Silberlicht) was there and I was going to net for the rebound. I just happened to be there.”

New Hartford used the same formula again at 15:35 when Michael Zalewski bounced the puck of the sideboard again to Nathan Mallinder. He skated in and beat Eppedio on his stick side for the 3-1 lead.

Long Island would open the third period with a two-minute man-advantage, but once again came out on the short end of things when Jason Fitzgerald scored the squad's third consecutive short-handed goal of the contest at 1:42 of the third period for a commanding 4-1 lead.

“When we skate with less players these guys use their skill and speed to move around more and take advantage of it,” New Hartford coach Jim Zalewski said. “When 91 (Clayton Whittemore) looped around and the forward hit him on the blue line, that was a great play.”

The special teams play had its desired effect, increasing the lead and demoralizing the Long Island squad.

“Giving up three short-handed goals was pretty embarrassing,” Rebel assistant coach Ed Shinnick said. “We didn’t get to loose puck, got beat and our power play wasn’t able to produce.”

New Hartford then proved that it could score with a man-advantage when Michael Zalewski wristed in a power play goal at 3:18 of the third for a 5-1 lead. Michael Crittelli, Nathan Mallinder and Whittemore each added goals late in the final period for the 8-1 final.

New Hartford would finally play its way into a state championship game, an opportunity denied to the Spartan High School team that was eliminated from the Section III Division II ice hockey tournament by eventual champion Skaneateles in the first round.

“It’s a way to redeem ourselves and get ready for next high school season,” Whittemore said.

NEW HARTFORD 8, LONG ISLAND 1
First period scoring:
1. Long Island, Dakota Davidson (Andy Koniuch), 5:38.
Penalties: None.

Second period scoring: 2. New Hartford, Michael Critelli (Jacob Silberlicht), 5:49. 3. New Hartford, Clayton Whittemore (Jacob Silberlicht, Ryan Gros), 14:46, shg. 4. New Hartford, Nathan Mallinder (Micahael Zalewski), 15:35, shg.
Penalties: New Hartford – Jason Fitzgerald (interference), 2:50; Michael Zalewski (interference), 6:46; Jason Fitzgerald (tripping), 7:50; Michael Zalewski (slashing), 10:18; Daniel Sheets (hooking), 14:18; Nathan Mallinder (hooking), 15:44; Jacob Silberlicht (contact to head), 17:00. Long Island – Nicholas Souza (hooking), 1:14; Patrick Omlor (interference), 2:50; Korey Hendrickson (tripping), 7:04; Korey Hendrickson (tripping), 10:26.

Third period scoring: 5. New Hartford, Jason Fitzgerald (unassisted), 1:42, ppg. 6. New Hartford, Michael Zalewski (Thomas Frorentino), 3:18, ppg. 7. New Hartford, Michael Critellil (unassisted), 4:03. 8. New Hartford, Nathan Mallinder (unassisted), 10:17. 9. New Hartford, Clayton Whittemore (Nathan Mallinder, Jacob Silberlicht), 13:23.
Penalties: New Hartford – Clayton Whittemore (roughing), 2:23; Daniel Sheets (delay of game), 5:25; Michael Critelli (delay of game), 7:57; Jason Fitzgerald (delay of game), 11:18; Daniel Sheets (roughing), 16:38. Long Island – Nicholas Souza (roughing), 2:23; Joseph Eppedio (roughing), 2:23; John Rossi (delay of game), 5:25; Ed Shinnick (tripping), 6:25; Dakota Davidson (tripping), 6:05; Nicholas Souza (cross checking), 7:57; Korey Hendrickson (tripping), 9:14; John Rossi (delay of game), 9:31; Nicholas Souza (roughing), 11:18.

New Hartford 0 3 5 – 8
Long Island 1 0 0 – 1
Goalie saves: New Hartford –
Ryan Lewis, 28 saves. Long Island, Joseph Eppedio, 26 saves.

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Game notes- Champ. final - Westchester 5, New Hartford 4

Here are my live updates from the NYSAHA U16 midget state championship tournament at Weibel Avenue Rink in Saratoga Springs.

Just as overtime was clarified for me, Westchester may have put it away when Ron Sherding drilled a pass from the slot into the back of the net at 15:04 of the third for a 5-3 lead...

These guys are killing me..

New Hartford cuts it again to a goal at 15:25, 5-4 and the new hartford goalie is pulled with 1:12 left..

Icing on Westchester with 28 seconds left...

Time out...28.7 seconds left ...

Official, Westchester Vipers state champions!

Champ - Knotted at 3-3, not..now 4-3

New Hartford proved that it could score at even strength, when Thomas Frorentino deposited the puck over Westchester goalie Ryan Feliu's shoulder at 6:04 of the third.

8 minutes left...

OK...I spoke too soon

Westchester's speed gained it another goal when Christopher Mastrocola flicked the puck in at 9:13 for the 4-3 lead.

Six minutes left...

Champ - Westchester 3, New Hartford 2 end 2nd

Westchester succeded for the second time scoring after a penalty kill and New Hartford's special teams added another goal as the two squads close out the second period at 3-2.

Westchester's Christopher Abramo put the Vipers up 3-1 when he wristed in the puck 30 seconds after his squad negated another New Hartford power play at 14:28.

New Hartford cut the lead to a single goal again when Thomas Frorentino tipped in a shot, deflecting it under the crossbar during a 4-on-4 at 16:52.

Shots on goal through two periods: New Hartford 24, Westchester 15.

Champ - Westchester 2, New Hartford 1 mid 2nd

Patience led to New hartford tying the championship final at one goal apiece.

New Hartford spend the majority of a power play in the Vipers end cycling the puck and keeping the Westvhester defenders at bay.

As the penalty expired, forward Michael Zalewski slid the puck cross ice, between defenders to an awaiting Nathan Mallinder who snapped it past Viper goalie Ryan Feliu at 6:56.

The tie was short lived as Viper forward Robert Dorgan wristed in the puck past New Hartford netminder Dylan Smith at 6:49 taking back the lead, 2-1.

Champ - Westchester 1, New Hartford 0 end 1st

Another correction - Bradlee Pesce's squirt goalie brother is Adam. He has another skating brother named Brett. (Blame that on my failure to look at my notes!)

The last two periods have belonged to New Hartford, wearing down oponnents and utilizing its team speed to go ahead later. Westchester may be the one squad that can skate a full 51 minutes with the band of Spartans.

Shots through one period: New Hartford 15, Westchester 7.

Champ - Westchester up 1-0 early

Early correction...No. 31 Dylan Smith in goal for New Hartford (blame it on tired eyes).

Westchester was struggling generating any offense from inside the slot early on, but seconds after Scott Miele was denied on the Vipers lone breakaway early in the period he put back a rebound past New Hartford goalie Dylan Smith at 5:15 of the first period for a 1-0 lead.

Champ - Ready to rumble?

It was 14 games in the making but the puck is ready to drop for the NYSAHA Tier II 16U midget state championship contest at the Weibel Avenue Rink in Saratoga Springs.

The contest is academic as both squads earned berths in the USA Hockey 16U National Tournament in Buffalo April 2-6, tonight they are playing for seeding berth.

Both match up in the speed, scoring and goaltending categories and both can claim unfinished business for their own programs.

New Hartford failed to advance out of the NYSAHA Tier II squirt state tournament last weekend just down the road in Clifton Park and Westchester lost a 3-2 heartbreaker to the Buffalo Bisons in triple overtime.

Bradlee Pesce can avenge his little brother, Anthony with a state championship trophy tonight.

The programs contrast in origination and structure. New Hartford can add

"High School" to their name at any time as the squad is all Spartans with the exception of three players. They lost to eventual Division II state champion Skaneateles in the first round of sectionals and are now playing for a state title.

Westchester is made up of all-stars from Section I want to own a state banner for their travel program.

New Hartford is in road blue, Westchester in home whites.

In goal for New Hartford No. 35 Ryan Lewis and for Westchester, No. 30 Dan Feliu.

Puck drops now...

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Game notes - semi No. 2 - Westchester 5, CP Dynamos 2

Here are my live game notes sent from my Nextel Blackberry (shameless plug) during the NYSAHA U16 midget state championship tournament.

Clifton Park showed new life when Michael Kennyflipped a pass in from David Ferris at 8:19 of the third period, cutting Westchester's lead in half.

The Vipers would respond with their fourth powerplay goal of the day at 10:19 on Matthew Oliverio's tally taking back a three-goal lead, 5-2.

Shane Robichaud started the third period in goal for the CP Dynamos.

3:44 left in the game...

S2 - Westchester 4, CP Dynamos 1 end 2nd

Westchester tacked on two more powerplay goals in the second half of the second session of play.

Connor Lawrence put back Robert Dorgan's shot during a 4-on-3 power play at 8:37 for the 3-1 lead.

The Vipers scored their fourth goal of the period with another power play goal finsihed off when Ron Sherding put back a cross ice pass from Dorgan, started by Erik Blumberg at 16:26.

Shots on goal: Clifton Park 15, Westchester 19. Penalties: Clifton Park 6, Westchester 8.

S2 - 2-1 Westchester v CP Dynamo 2nd

Westchester's Matthew Oliverio put back Christopher Abramo's initial shot during a Viper power play to tie the second semifinal at one apiece at 3:54.

The Vipers went ahead, 2-1 at 6:29 when an initial shot on Clifton Park goalie Dan Sacks was stopped, but not smothered and poked into the goal.

Marc Glaviano in net for Westchester.

S2 - CP Dynamos 1, Westchester 0 1st

Clifton Park's Jordan Bobrow put backa rebond from Anthony Delzotto's shot on net at 10:03 of the first period to take a 1-0 lead over Westchester in the second semifinal of the NYSAHA Tier II U16 midget state championship tournament. Dillon Frinton had the second assist on the opening goal.

The Dynamos are skating hard, holding a 10-1 shot advantage over the Vipers with 2:22 left in the first period.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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Game notes - Semi- New Hartford 8, long Island 1

Here are my live game updates from the NYSAHA U16 midget ice hockey state championship tournament Sunday from Weible Avenue Rink in Saratoga Springs.

New Hartford advances to the state championship game at 5 p.m. and will face the winner of the upcoming Westchester/Clifton Park contest.

Final shots: New Hartford 33, Long Island 24.

S1 - New Hartford 6, Long Island 1

You can say that the New Hartford squad is special, in special teams way, that is.

New Hartford's Jason Fitzgerald scored the squad's third consecutive short-handed goal of the contest at 1:42 of the third period for a commanding 4-1 lead.

The squad proved that it could score with a man-advantage when Michael Zalewski wristed in a power play goal at 3:18.

New Hartford added an even-strength tally less than a minute later with on Michael Critelli's strike at 4:03 for a 6-1 New Hartford advantage.

Long Island goalie Joseph Eppedio replaced by Richard Righi after the sixth tally.

S1 - New Hartford 3, LI 1 end 2nd

Long Island had to focus on staying out of the penalty box to be effective, but it didn't harm New Hartford who scored two short-handed goals on the same penalty kill to go ahead, 3-1 late in the second period.

Each time New Hartford chipped the puck up and off the boards to find a skater deep in the Long Island end, creating two consecutive 1 on 1's against Long Island goalie Joseph Eppedio.

With Daniel Sheets in the box for hooking, Jacob Silberlicht sent the puck up and off the board, onto the stick of Clayton Whittemore and wristed the puck past Eppedio at 14:44.

New Hartford used the same formula again at 15:35 when Michael Zalewski richochet the puck to Nathan Mallinder who skated in and beat Eppedio on his stick side for the 3-1 lead.

Some conversations between New Hartford coaches and referees about penalties, New Hartford with 7 and Long Island 4.

Start of third now and LI opening with a 2 minute power play opportunity.

S1 - tied 1-1 LI v New Hartford

New Hartford's Michael Critelli put the puck passed Long Island's screened goaltender, Joseph Eppedio at 5:46 of the second period to knot the semifinal at one apiece.

Critelli took a pass from Jacob Silberlicht and soft-tossed it on net, finding its way past the Rebel netminder.

6:43 left in the second...

S1 - LI 1, New Hartford 0 end 1st

New Hartford came to life, putting eight shots on Long Island goalie Joseph Eppedio, but failed to convert.

The Rebels retorted with continued pressure, finishing the first with seven shots, but more important, a leading goal.

New Hartford is strong digging the puck out from the corners and creating opportunities with passes across the slot, but ni goals yet.

Long Island applying the pressure consistently.

Start of second...

S1 - Long Island 1, New Hartford 0 11:22 1st

Long Island's Dakota Davidson put back a rebound from Andy Koniuch's shot at 5:38 of the first period of play in the first semifinal.

New Hartford has yet to put a shot on goal as the Rebels are closing down the slot.

S1 - Live - Long Island v New Hartford

Live from the Weibel Avenue Rink in Saratoga Springs the first of two NYSAHA Tier II 16U midget state championship semifinals.

Th e Long Island Rebels are in their road blue jerseys and New Hartford in their home whites.

It's a pair of 35's in goal, Ryan Lewis for New Hartford and Joseph Eppedio for Long Island.

The puck just dropped....

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

NYSAHA - Midget - Scoring/Goaltending prelims

2008 NYSAHA 16U midget state championship
Scoring and goalie statistics
Scoring statistics G A Pts
Clifton Park

Jake Hendrickson 3 0 3
Chris Huck 2 1 3
Michael Kenny 2 1 3
Derek Discanio 0 3 3
Jordan Bobrow 2 0 2
David Ferris 0 2 2
Dillon Frinton 1 0 1
Brian Frederick 1 0 1
Matt Findlay 0 1 1
Anthony Delzotto 0 1 1
Conrad Bernard 0 1 1

Freeport
Andrew Friedman 2 2 4
William Kempner 2 1 3
Paul Molinari 2 1 3
Timothy Root 0 3 3
Michael Brolly 1 1 2
Pat Esposito 1 0 1

Grand Niagara
Matthew Malley 3 0 3
T.J. Bullock 1 2 3
Michael Janese 0 1 1
Joseph Casale 0 1 1
Robert Schiffhauer 0 1 1

New Hartford
Michael Zalewski 7 6 13
Jason Fitzgerald 2 5 7
Thomas Frorentino 2 4 6
Jacob Silberlicht 4 1 5
Clayton Whittemore 2 1 3
Nathan Mallinder 2 0 2
Alex Damiani 0 2 2
Daniel Sheets 0 1 1
Ryan Gros 0 1 1
Michael Critelli 0 1 1
Robert Jorgensen 0 1 1

Southtowns
Ryan Sheehan 2 1 3
Derrick Esford 1 1 2
Anthony Draves 1 1 2
Andrew Atkinson 0 2 2
Michael Walsh 1 0 1
Kyle Piekarec 1 0 1
Alec Monckton 1 0 1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 1 0 1
Anthony George 1 0 1
Russell Hurley 0 1 1
Robert Mascia 1 0 1

Tonawanda
John Maloney 3 1 4
Tom Meka 1 1 2
Justin Gardner 1 1 2
Christian Panepinto 0 2 2
John Tronolone 1 0 1
John Barrick 1 0 1
Dan Marcotte 0 1 1
Paul Tatu 0 1 1

Westchester
Matthew Oliverio 6 1 7
Christopher Mastrocola 4 1 5
Robert Dorgan 4 0 4
Christopher Abramo 2 1 3
Craig Halpin 2 1 3
Rene Kovac 2 1 3
Alex Lopez 1 2 3
Bradlee Pesce 0 2 2
Ron Sherding 1 1 2
Joseph Grispin 0 2 2
Scott Miele 0 1 1
Ryan McGee 0 1 1

Long Island
Jake Mastrandrea 3 0 3
Andy Koniuch 0 2 2
Nicholas Souza 1 0 1
Todd Greene 1 0 1
John Rossi 1 0 1
Dakota Davidson 0 1 1

Goalie stats Shots Svs. GA
Clifton Park

Shane Robichaud 69 61 8
Dan Sacks 11 8 3

Freeport
Jimmy Georgas 69 64 5
Kyle Rebman 38 32 6

Grand Niagara
Mitchell Stessing 40 31 9
Jordan Schroeder 36 30 6

Long Island
Joseph Eppedio 56 48 8
Richard Righi 23 19 4

New Hartford
Dylan Smith 43 38 5
Ryan Lewis 32 26 6

Southtowns
Shawn Starkweather 50 43 7
Peter Johnson 20 18 2

Tonawanda
P.J. Bluff 80 74 6

Westchester
Dan Feliu 47 44 3
Marc Glaviano 18 14 4

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NYSAHA - Midget - Standings Day Two

2008 NYSAHA 16U Midget State Championship
Tournament Standings
Through Day 2

Division I W L T GF GA PTs

New Hartford 3 0 0 19 11 6
Clifton Park 2 1 0 12 9 4
Freeport 1 2 0 8 12 2
Tonawanda 0 3 0 7 14 0

Division II W L T GF GA PTs
Westchester 3 0 0 22 7 6
Long Island 1 1 1 6 13 3
Southtowns 1 2 0 10 8 2
Niagara 0 2 1 4 14 1

Championship Sunday schedule
DI winner New Hartford vs. DII 2nd Long Island, 9 a.m.
DII winner Westchester vs. DI 2nd Clifton Park, 11 a.m.
State championship game, 5 p.m.

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NYSAHA - Midget - Long Island 3, Southtowns 2

SARATOGA SPRINGS – It was a fitting finale for the second day of the New York State Amateur Hockey Association Tier II U16 Midget State Championship Tournament’s pool play, two squads vying for the last open berth in the semifinals. No tie-breakers, no point differentials, just the head-to-head outcome in a winner take all in the 51 minute preliminary round finale.

When the snow from the Olympic sheet at the Weibel Avenue Rink in Saratoga Springs settled, the Long Island Rebels stood tall, saluting their parents in the stands after holding off Western New York’s Southtowns Stars, 3-2, to advance to Sunday morning’s semifinal against New Hartford.

With the game tied at two goals apiece and a chance to play for another day hanging in the balance, Rebel forward John Rossi came up with his biggest goal of the year with 7:26 left in regulation.

“I kept going down (to the net) and Todd Greene threw it at the net,” Rossi said. “I backhanded it and it went off the goalie’s blocker. I hit it with my stick and knocked it in, what a great feeling.”

While the contest was a constant thrill for the Long Island champions and their contingent in the stands, the entire evening was bittersweet for the Southtowns Stars.

The squad had a goal waived off at 6:38 of the first period. The Stars were rushing Rebel goaltender Joseph Eppedio and the play was busy around the net but the puck remained live, trickling between the netminder’s pads and across the goal line, but the whistle had already been blown.

Long Island held a two-goal lead in the first period, opening with Greene’s score from an assist by Andy Koniuch at 6:44 and Jake Mastrandrea’s short-handed tally at 14:14.

Things continued to get worse for the Stars.

Forward Alexander Zach was taken down on his way towards Eppedio and taken down. After a conference among the three on-ice officials, Zach was awarded a penalty shot at 3:06 of the second period. He skated down the slot, veering left and shot the puck low towards the right side. Eppedio dropped his pad down and deflected the vulcanized rubber prize away from its intended destination for the save.

“I knew they had to come back, they’ve shown that ability,” Long Island coach Mike Hendrickson said. “We got into trouble with penalties in front of the net.”

The Southtowns Stars, for the second time on Saturday, surged from a deficit to tie the contest.

Derrick Esford scored a powerplay goal during a 5-on-3 with assists from Ryan Sheehan and Russell Hurley at 1:57. Southtowns took advantage of another man-advantage when Robert Mascia scored an unassisted powerplay goal at 6:33 to tie the game at two apiece.

One minute later Mastrandrea would score the game-winner.

“We just took the first half of the game off,” Stars coach David Burke said. “We had nine shots in the first two periods.”

Faced with elimination the Southtowns responded once again, tying the contest but failing to put the game away.

“They wanted it bad, too much,” Burke said. “They didn’t play as a team and forced it, not shooting the puck.”

The Stars put 18 shots on Eppedio in the third, coming up with goals twice, but failing to advance to the finals. That honor belongs to the Rebels.

“We just won the Long Island championship and they come alive in must-win games,” Hendrickson said. “They’re better in pressure situations.”

Long Island (1-1-1) will take on New Hartford (3-0) in the 9 a.m. semifinal while rival Westchester (3-0) will face Clifton Park (2-1) at 11. The championship final is set for 5 p.m.

LONG ISLAND 3, SOUTHTOWNS 2
First period scoring:
1. Long Island, Todd Greene (Andy Koniuch), 4:44. 2. Long Island, Jake Mastrandrea (unassisted), 14:14, shg.
Penalties: Long Island – Ashton Moss (roughing), 6:38; Ed Shinnick (cross checking), 13:05. Southtowns – Anthony Draves (roughing), 6:38; Ryan Sheehan (boarding), 8:46; Anthony Draves (crosschecking), 14:20.

Second period scoring: None.
Penalties: Long Island – Andy Koniuch (high stick), 2:53; Korey Hendrickson (unsportsmanlike), 6:44. Southtowns – Ryan Sheehan (unsportsmanlike), 6:44; Michael Breckon (unsportsmanlike), 7:39; Michael Breckon (10:00 misconduct), 7:39.

Third period scoring: 3. Southtowns, Derrick Esford (Ryan Sheehan, Russell Hurley), 1:57, ppg. 4. Southtowns, Robert Mascia (unassisted), 6:33, ppg. 5. Long Island, John Rossi (unassisted), 7:26.
Penalties: Long Island – Ed Shinnick (check from behind), :20; Ed Shinnick (check from behind 10:00), :20; Ashton Moss (cross check), 1:25; Patrick Omlor (unsportsmanlike), 4:29; Nicholas Souza (tripping), 5:02; Korey Hendrickson (cross checking), 10:49; Timmy Roggemann (unsportsmanlike), 17:00. Southtowns – Ryan Sheehan (unsportsmanlike), 6:29; Anthony Draves (unsportsmanlike), 17:00.

Long Island 2 0 1 – 3
Southtowns 0 0 2 – 2
Goalie saves: Long Island –
Joseph Eppedio, 25 saves. Southtowns, Shawn Starkweather, 19 saves.

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NYSAHA - Midget - Westchester 8, Grand Niagara 2

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Westchester coach Mark Pecchia will finally talk about the semifinals, but only after the Westchester Vipers posted an 8-2 victory over the Grand Niagara Jr. Purple Eagles and earned the No. 1 seed in Division II.

Westchester will take on the Clifton Park Dynamos squad at 11 a.m. in the second semifinal. New Hartford will meet the winner of the Long Island Rebels/Southtown Stars in the 9 a.m. tilt.

The Vipers were led by Christopher Mastrocola’s hat trick and assist, for Westchester’s third straight win in the tournament.

“We work the puck and practice that everyday,” Mastrocola said. “We always look for the open guys.”

Mastrocola was just one of the weapons available to the Vipers throughout the tournament.

“Today I finally found my legs,” Mastrocola said. “I was able to use a little more speed and I was going wide to the net versus up the middle.”

The two squads played to a 1-1 tie in the first period with Mastrocola opening the scoring at 4:14 from an assist by Joseph Grispin. Grand Niagara tied it at 11:34 when Mathew Malley put back a shot from T.J. Bullock set up by Robert Schiffhauer.

The second period belonged to Westchester as the downstate squad plowed in seven consecutive goals, forcing Jr. Purple Eagle coach Gary Burns to make a goalie change.

Rene Kovac scored for the Vipers at 3:15 of the second from assists by Mastrocola and Ryan McGee. Mastrocola tallied his second goal of the contest when Kovac sent the puck across the slot and he tipped it in. Westchester used the cross ice move to its advantage again at 8:14 when Robert Dorgan scored from Christopher Abramo’s pass at 11:16.

Viper forward Ron Sherding scored a power play goal 14:08, tipping in a shot by Craig Halpin.

The four-goal second period pulled Mitchell Stessing from the net, finishing his night with 17 saves and four goals. Jordan Schroeder was inserted in net for the Jr. Purple Eagles.

He was welcomed with Mastrocola’s hat trick goal, a short-handed special with an assist from Alex Lopez at 16:28.

Westchester wasn’t done for the night yet, Matthew Oliverio scored a short-handed goal with an assist from Joseph Grispin and Halpin made it an 8-1 rout with his first goal of the game at 8:30.

Grand Niagara still had the final say, scoring the game-ending tally, Malley’s second goal of the evening courtesy of another Bullock assist at 10:37.

While the Vipers have shown an impressive attack, its defense stood out for the second time in the tournament.

“We had five two-on-one’s and didn’t get a puck on net from any of them,” Grand Niagara coach Gary Burns said. “We were hoping that we were going to win the game and see what happens in the 6 p.m. game and see if we got in.”

The Vipers maintained a perfect record in the tournament with a 9-1 victory over Long Island, a 5-4 win over Southtowns and the 8-2 finale over Grand Niagara. The Westchester squad never appeared to look past the Jr. Purple Eagles Saturday afternoon.

“We wanted to make sure that we played well heading into the tomorrow,” Mark Pecchia said. “We didn’t want to pull one off like we did this morning.”

The Vipers squad is made up of all-stars from throughout Section I and all have experience in big games. Westchester captured one tournament title earlier in the year and fell in the quarterfinal s of the prestigious Silver Stick tournament.

WESTCHESTER 8, GRAND NIAGARA 2
First period scoring:
1. Westchester, Christopher Mastrocola (Joseph Grispin), 4:16. 2. Grand Niagara, Matthew Malley (T.J. Bullock, Robert Schiffhauer), 11:34.
Penalties: Westchester – Alex Lopez (unsportsmanlike), 9:13. Grand Niagara – Weston Hilts (hooking), 9:13.

Second period scoring: 3. Westchester, Rene Kovac (Christopher Mastrocola, Ryan McGee), 3:15. 4. Westchester, Christopher Mastrocola (Rene Kovac, Alex Lopez), 9:24. 5. Westchester, Robert Dorgan (Christopher Abramo), 11:16. 6. Westchester, Ron Sherding (Craig Halpin), 14:08, ppg. 7. Westchester, Christopher Mastrocola (Alex Lopez), 16:28, shg.
Penalties: Westchester – Connor Lawrence (interference), 7:02. Connor Lawrence (interference), 15:44. Grand Niagara – Ryan Teeto (holding), 12:24.

Third period scoring: 8. Westchester, Matthew Oliverio (Joseph Grispin), :23, shg. 9. Westchester, Craig Halpin (unassisted), 8:20. 10. Grand Niagara, Matthew Malley (T.J. Bullock), 10:37.
Penalties – Grand Niagara, Konor Krueger (interference), 12:00.

Westchester 1 5 2 – 8
Grand Niagara 1 0 1 – 2
Goalie saves: Westchester –
Dan Feliu, 24 saves. Grand Niagara – Mitchell Stessing 17 saves, Jordan Schroeder 11 saves.

NYSAHA - Midget - CP Dynamo 3, Tonawanda 1

SARATOGA SPRINGS – For the Clifton Park Dynamo U16 midget ice hockey team it was ‘win and you’re in’ while the Tonawanda Lightning had to win, with authority if they had any hopes of advancing to today’s New York State Amateur Hockey Association state championship semifinals at the Weibel Avenue Rink.

Clifton Park held off an aggressive Tonawanda squad and advanced to the semifinal with a 3-1 win over the Lightning, but not without a fight.

Tonawanda coach Tom Diehl said the tournament hadn’t seen the best out of his Lightning squad during their two previous losses, but the team came out aggressive and ready to skate.

The Dynamo took a one goal lead at 12:37 of the first period when Michael Kenny put back Anthony Delzotto’s shot that deflected off the pads of Tonawanda’s P.J. Bluff.

The lead was short lived after John Maloney stole the puck at center ice and raced in on Clifton Park netminder Shane Robichaud and wristed the puck over the goalie’s shoulder, knotting the contest at one apiece.

The two teams traded shots, shifts and barbs with each other before the action bubbled to a boil in the third period.

With everything on the line, tempers flared and an neither team could find a solution, pushing and shoving became the norm between the two teams. In the third period, five roughing penalties were assessed between the two squads.

As time wound down, it appeared that the two combatants would have to settle for a tie in regulation, but forward Conrad Bernard negated that as an option, breaking away with the puck and firing on P.J. Bluff.

“We were on the penalty kill and I skated across the center line and intercepted it at mid-ice,” Bernard said. “I skated in and backhanded off the side of his pad and Freddie (Brian Frederick) was there to put it in.”

The Lightning remained aggressive, pulling Bluff for a man-advantage and focusing the action down in the Dynamo zone. Clifton Park managed to skate the puck up ice, but couldn’t find the empty net and Tonawanda raced back up the ice.

“You’re scared when you see them come back at you,” Dynamo goaltender Shane Robichaud said. “It’s like an ESPN highlight reel where a team misses the empty net and they come back and score. I didn’t let that happen.”

Tonawanda was again thwarted by the Dynamos and a Clifton Park-friendly post in the final moments, releasing the puck again towards the Lightning end. This time, the puck had an escort and Jake Hendrickson was able to beat the Tonawanda defender who jumped in front of the goal. Hendrickson deked the skater and slipped it past for his second empty-net goal of the tournament, this time with an assist from Derek Discanio with 9.4 seconds left in the contest.

“Today was a very good hockey game for us,” Tonawanda head coach Tom Diehl said. “This is the second game in a row we outshot them but couldn’t get the bounces or finish our chances.”

After two disappointing loss and needing a lot of help to advance, the Lightning skated as aggressive as they had in the tournament, matching up well against the Dynamo’s speed.

“I’m not surprised how good a game it was,” Dynamo coach Brad Shaver said. “It was a playoff game and everyone has a shot. It was a great game for the kids and the fans, but not for me.”

Clifton Park will take on the top team from Division II at 11 a.m. today in the tournament’s second semifinal.

The Dynamos will have to become more effective in less than 24 hours if they hope to advance to the 5 p.m. finale.

“We discussed finishing our scoring opportunities,” Shaver said. “We’re getting some good scoring chances, but finishing has been our nemesis lately.”

The state champion earns a berth in the USA Hockey Tier II National Championship tournament April 2 to 6 in Buffalo.

“Tomorrow will be our toughest game all year,” Shaver said.

CLIFTON PARK 3, TONAWANDA 1
First period scoring:
1. Clifton Park, Michael Kenny (Anthony Delzotto), 12:37. 2. Tonawanda, John Maloney (Paul Tatu), 14:47.
Penalties: Clifton Park – (Slashing), 7:34. Tonawanda – John Barrick (cross checking), 16:44; Jim Tronolone (interference), :03.

Second period scoring: None.
Penalties: Clifton Park – (Slashing), 7:13; (Hooking), 4:54. Tonawanda – Dan Marcotte (roughing), 11:36; Christian Panepinto (tripping), 3:54. John Maloney (cross checking), 2:26.

Third period scoring: 3. Clifton Park, Brian Frederick (Conrad Bernard), 1:02. 4. Clifton Park, Jake Hendrickson (Derek Discanio), :9.4, empty net.
Penalties: Clifton Park – Anthony Delzotto (boarding), :31; David Ferris (roughing), 1:23; Michael Kenny (roughing), 6:24; Conrad Bernard (roughing to the head), 11:56. Tonawanda – Christian Panepinto (roughing), 1:23; Greg Kapodistria (roughing), 6:24.

Clifton Park 1 0 2 – 3
Tonawanda 1 0 0 – 1
Goalie saves: Clifton Park,
Shane Robichaud 28 saves. Tonawanda, P.J. Bluff, 25 saves.

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NYSAHA - Midget - New Hartford 6, Freeport 2

SARATOGA SPRINGS – New Hartford controlled its own destiny entering Saturday’s long contest against the Freeport Arrows, a win, a tie or a loss by no more than one goal would send the red, white and blue Central New York squad to Sunday’s semifinals.

They didn’t fumble their chances, overpowering the Freeport Arrows 6-2 and became the first squad to officially punch its ticket into the crossover contests.

New Hartford started out sluggish, only scoring a single goal in the opening period a wrist shot by forward Jason Fitzgerald from an assist by Michael Zalewski at 2:40.

Freeport responded with a game-tying power play goal by Andrew Friedman, unassisted making it a contest, but possibly awaking the giant within the red, white and blue jerseys of New Hartford.

“In the first period our emphasis was on defense and try to outskate them,” New Hartford coach James Zalewski said. “With their short bench we wanted for them to tire out for the second and third period.”

It worked as New Harford poured in four consecutive scores against Arrow goaltender Kyle Rebman.

Thomas Frorentino plucked a puck out of the air that was tossed on net by Ryan Gros set up by a pass from Zalewski at 7:50 of the second. New Hartford continued to pressure Rebman in his own end until Clayton Whittemore put back a shot by Alex Damiani at 7:12. Freeport’s woes continued when Zalewski scored his first goal of the game, wristing in a shot from the slot at 6:16. New Hartford closed out the period with Jacob Silberlicht’s goal at 4:14 set up by assists from Michael Critelli and Robert Jorgensen. New Hartford’s patience paid off.

“My top line (Michael Zalewski, Thomas Frorentino and Jason Fitzgerald) is the same line at the high school (New Hartford High),” Zalewski said. “They played together since September and are our power play line in high school. That’s one of the reasons why we’ve been successful.”

Both squads added goals in the third period before New Hartford advanced and Freeport began making plans for their departure.

The person with the best seat to appreciate the New Hartford line’s scoring prowess has been high school goaltender Dylan Smith who earned the win with 19 saves.

“Their goals get me pumped up,” Smith said. “I have to continue to be focused and our second line is playing great too.”

The chemistry has been key to New Hartford’s success throughout the travel midget hockey season.

“It’s just a continuation from high school,” Smith said. “It feels routine, practicing 2 ½-hours a day, it all flows for us.”

New Hartford will get its second shot at a state championship after falling in the first round of the Section III Division II playoffs to eventual state champion Skaneateles. It will be the number one seed in Division I and face the No. 2 squad out of Division II at 9 a.m. Sunday. Freeport could see another day, only in a rare case tie-breaking scenario.

NEW HARTFORD 6, FREEPORT 2
First period scoring:
1. New Hartford, Jason Fitzgerald (Michael Zalewski), 2:40.
Penalties: New Hartford – Alex Damiani (roughing), 5:53. Freeport – Ivan Macheras (charging), 9:00.

Second period scoring: 2. Freeport, Andrew Friedman (unassisted), 9:31, ppg. 3. New Hartford, Thomas Frorentino (Ryan Gros, Michael Zalewski), 7:50. 4. New Hartford, Clayton Whittemore (Alex Damiani), 7:12. 5. Michael Zalewski (unassisted), 6:16. 6. Jacob Silberlicht (Michael Critelli, Robert Jorgensen), 4:14.
Penalties: New Hartford – Michael Critelli (high stick), 10:12. Freeport – Kevin Barry (delay of game), 13:25.

Third period scoring: 7. New Hartford, Michael Zalewski (Jason Fitzgerald), 4:04, ppg. 8. Freeport, Wiliam Kempner (Andrew Friedman, Michael Brolly), 1:54.
Penalties: New Hartford – Michael Zalewski (elbowing), 16:10; Thomas Frorentino (hooking), 6:26; Christopher Luker (10:00 game misconduct), :11. Freeport – Kevin Barry (check from behind), 5:00; Kevin Barry (game misconduct), :11; Ivan Macheras (high stick), 5:52; Paul Molinari (10:00 game misconduct), :11.

New Hartford 1 4 1 – 6
Freeport 0 1 1 – 2
Goalies saves: New Hartford –
Dylan Smith, 19 saves. Freeport – Kyle Rebman, 32 saves.

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NYSAHA - Midget - Long Island 2, Niagara 2

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Long Island Rebels and the Grand Niagara Jr. Purple Eagles became the first squads to end their 51 minute contest in a tie and both earned new life in the 2008 NYSAHA Tier II 16U Midget State Championship Tournament with must-win contests now slated for this evening.

Long Island forward Jake Mastrandrea powered the rebels with two goals, both tying the contest after the Jr. Purple Eagles pulled ahead in the first period on two occasions.

“We were a little sloppy and needed to work more as a team,” Mastrandrea said. “We needed to go to the net and get our opportunities and turn them into goals.”

Grand Niagara opened the contest with Matthew Malley’s power play goal from an assist by Michael Janese at 2:16 and Long Island’s Mastrandrea answered with his opening salvo at 4:58 from an assist by Andy Koniuch.

The Jr. Purple Eagles took the lead, 2-1, at 15:20 of the first period when Joseph Casale found T.J. Bullock in front.

The Rebels were unable to score the equalizer on Grand Niagara goaltender Jordan Schroeder until it took advantage of a power play. Mastrandrea wristed the puck up into the corner courtesy of an assist by Dakota Davidson at 5:29 of the second.

From there, the two squads remained knotted a two goals apiece for the remainder of the contest.

“We didn’t pick our corners like we used to and we didn’t have a lot of second chances,” Long Island coach Mike Hendrickson said. “We weren’t crashing the goal and without a couple power play goals we would have a tough afternoon.”

Grand Niagara goaltender Jordan Schroeder turned back 19 of the 21 shots he faced, negating those corners that the Rebels were fond of.

“My focus is on angles and cutting down their angles and controlling rebounds,” Schroeder said. “I don’t worry about the corners, but if I took them away, great.”

Long Island was routed by rival Westchester, 9-1 Friday and must defeat Western New York’s Southtowns Stars at 6 p.m. in the tournament pool play finale.

“The tie doesn’t hurt us,” Hendrickson said. “It keeps us involved for Sunday. Yesterday was a big disappointment and it was important for us to bounce back.”

For Grand Niagara coach Gary Burns, the tie didn’t sit as well with him.

“The one point disappoints me,” Burns said. “I thought we should have won. I think we’re a better team.”

The Jr. Purple Eagles defense prevented the Rebels from crashing in on Schroeder and reduced their scoring chances.

“They had a tendency to throw the puck at the net and our defense did a good job controlling the bodies near the net,” Burns said.

With the score locked at two apiece, Burns chose to be conservative late in the contest.

“That’s why I didn’t pull the goalie,” Burns explained. “It keeps me in the equation. If we lose, we’re out.”

Grand Niagara will take on Westchester (2-0) at 4 p.m. and needs a victory along with some help to advance.

“We have to come out and do a better job playing our forecheck,” Burns said. “We have to do a better job keeping our scoring options open. “

GRAND NIAGARA 2, LONG ISLAND 2
First period scoring:
1. Grand Niagara, Matthew Malley (Michael Janese), 2:16, ppg. 2. Long Island, Jake Mastrandrea (Andy Koniuch), 4:58. 3. Grand Niagara, T.J. Bullock (Joseph Casale), 15:20.
Penalties: Niagara – None. Long Island – Michael Marino (holding), :49; Korey Hendrickson (holding), 11:40.

Second period scoring: 4. Long Island, Jake Mastrandrea (Dakota Davidson), 5:29, ppg.
Penalties: Niagara – Weston Hilts (holding), 4:45; Nicholas Burns (interference), 13:05. Long Island – Anthony Chiantella (holding), 8:54.

Third period scoring: None.
Penalties: Niagara – Matthew Malley (interference), 4:16. Long Island – Misconduct (10 mins), 12:36.

Niagara 2 0 0 – 2
Long Island 1 1 0 – 2
Goalie saves: Niagara –
Jordan Schroeder, 19. Long Island – Richard Righi, 13.

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NYSAHA - Midget - Westchester 5, Southtowns 4

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Southtowns Stars spotted the Westchester Vipers a four-goal lead to open Saturday’s second day of play in the NYSAHA Tier II 16U Midget State Championship tournament in Saratoga Springs and it was just one too many for the Western New York based squad to overcome, falling 5-4.

The Vipers earned their second victory in the tournament, almost guaranteeing themselves a position in Sunday’s semifinals barring a loss at 4 p.m. to Grand Niagara and coming up short on any potential tie-breaker.

The Southtowns squad now faces a must-win contest in the pool play finale 6 p.m. tonight against the Long Island Rebels.

“We were forechecking really well in the beginning and then we let up and let them dictate the play,” Westchester forward Matthew Oliverio said.

Viper forward Christopher Mastrocolo scored at 8:22 of the first on an unassisted goal to open the contest. Oliverio followed with an unassisted power play goal at 9:08 and Westchester piled on its second straight man-advantage goal at 9:59 when Alex Lopex connected on an assist from Rene Kovac at 9:59.

Oliverio made it a four-goal lead with his second unassisted goal of the contest at 2:01 of the second period.

“We were not prepared, ready to play,” Southtowns coach David Burke said. “We just woke up halfway through the game.”

Once the alarm sounded, the Stars became the aggressors, putting up four unanswered goals of their own tying the contest at 2:45 of the third period.

Stars forward Ryan Sheehan made the first cut into the lead with an unassisted goal at 10:56 of the second and Anthony Draves followed with his own solo tally at 16:42, cutting the lead in half, 4-2.

Southtowns attack continued after the break in the third period with defenseman Matthew Fitzpatrick scoring on an assist from Sheehan at 1:04. The Stars forward, Anthony George, knotted things at four apiece at 2:45 in the final stanza adding even more drama to Saturday’s opener.

“They (Southtowns) kept working hard and at the end of the second period they opened up the ice and our guys got caught deep,” Westchester coach Mark Pecchia said. “They never quit and we got ourselves in trouble with penalties.”

Westchester took to the penalty box on 14 times while Southtowns took a man off the ice on eight different occasions.

Both squads appeared even on the ice lead and potentially headed for the tournament’s first tie contest, but Westchester forward Christopher Abramo scored the game winner with his unassisted goal at 11:59.

“They showed they could come back,” Oliverio said about his opponents. “They forechecked our defense back and never gave up. We knew we had to play better in the third period.”

Southtowns (1-1) must now defeat the Long Island Rebels, potentially with authority to have a chance to advance to Sunday’s semifinals.

“They were quiet,” Burke said about his squad’s loss. “I think they’ll rally back. We’re still in control of our own destiny.”

WESTCHESTER 5, SOUTHTOWNS 4
First period scoring:
1. Westchester, Christopher Mastrocola (unassisted), 8:22. 2. Westchester, Matthew Oliverio, 9:08, ppg. 3. Alex Lopez (Rene Kovac), 9:59, ppg.
Penalties: Southtowns – Michael Walsh (interference); Derrick Esford (elbowing); Andrew Atkinson (tripping). Westchester – Scott Miele (tripping); Marc Glaviano (tripping); Robert Dorgan (elbowing).

Second period scoring: 4. Westchester, Matthew Oliverio (unassisted), 2:01. 5. Southtowns, Ryan Sheehan (unassisted), 10:56. 6. Anthony Draves (unassisted), 16:42.
Penalties: Southtowns – Timothy Felong (cross checking); Alexander Zach (roughing). Westchester – Ron Sherding (interference); Christopher Abramo (high stick); Craig Halpin (roughing); Christopher Abramo (interference); Robert Dorgan (holding); Ron Sherding (slashing); Connor Lawrence (cross checking).

Third period scoring: 7. Matthew Fitzpatrick (Ryan Sheehan), 1:04. 8. Anthony George (unassisted), 2:45. 9. Westchester, Christopher Abramo (unassisted), 11:59.
Penalties: Southtowns – Alec Monckton (elbowing); Timothy Gelong (head contact); Derrick Esford (head contact). Westchester – Robert Dorgan (holding); Christopher Abramo (hooking); Connor Lawrence (interference).

Southtowns 0 2 2 – 4
Westchester 3 1 1 – 5
Goalie saves: Southtowns –
Shawn Startweather, 7 saves. Peter Johnson, 18 saves. Westchester – Marc Glaviano, 14 saves.

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G12 - Notes - Long Island 2, Southtowns 0 end 2nd

The Long Island Rebels are ready to punch their ticket into the semifinals, up 2-0 on Western New York's Southtowns Stars.

Todd Greene and Jake Mastrandrea each scored goals for Long Island in the first period and goaltender Joseph Eppedio has made it stand, turning back all 9 shots he faced.

Shawn Starkweather is in net for Southtowns with 13 saves through two.

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G11 - Notes - Westchester 8, Grand Niagara 2

Now its official, Westchester coach Mark Pecchia will acknowledge that the Vipers are in the NYSAHA Tier II 16U Midget State tournament semifinal after an 8-2 win over Grand Niagara.

Westchester's Christopher Mastrocola led the Vipers with 3 goals and an assist.
Goaltender Dan Feliu earned the win, turning back 34 of the 36 shots he faced.

Westchester will take on Clifton Park in the 11 a.m. semifinal at the Weibel Avenue Rink in Saratoga Springs. New Hartford will take on the winner of tonight's Long Island/Southtowns finale.

G11 - Westchester 6, Grand Niagara 1 end 2nd
The Westchester Vipers know how to finish off their shots, putting on an offensive clinic in the second period against Grand Niagara's Jr. Purple Eagles scoring five goals in the second stanza.

Grand Niagara has 22 shots on goal while Westchester has done its damage with 23.

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G10 - Notes - CP Dynamo 3, Tonawanda 1

It was win and you're in and the CP Dynamo's advanced courtesy of a rebound putback from Brian Frederick from a backghand by Conrad Bernard at 2:02 of the third period.

Jake Hendrickson had the honor of scoring his second empty net goal of the tournament with nine seconds remaining.

Things were heated in the third with five roughing penalties and a small skirmish underneath the stands afterwards. No one was hurt or penalized, just some pushing and shoving.

Clifton Park will be the No. 2 seed out of Division I with a competitor to be determined in the next two games.

CP Dynamo Shane Robichaud gets the win, turning back 29 of 30 shots. Tonawanda's P.J. Bluff had 25 saves.

CP Dynamo 2, Tonawanda 1
Less than a minute after a small skirmish broke out near the Clifton Park net and Michael Kenny was sent to the sin bin for his actions, the Dynamo went ahead, 2-1 on a short-handed put back by forward Brian Frederick.

Forward Conrad Bernard skated in on Tonawanda goalie P.J. Bluff and shot as Frederick followed up putting back the pad save for the go-ahead and potential semifinal, advancing goal at 1:02 of the third.

G10 - CP Dynamos 1, Tonawanda 1 through 2
There is nothing like desperate, hard playing ice hockey.

Both teams continue to fly up and down the ice with each defense turning back the aggressor.

It may come down to has the better game plan or who gives the more passionate speech but the future of these two teams rides on the third period.

Still tied at two apiece.

Shots: CP Dynamo 15, Tonanwanda 21

G10 - CP Dyanamo 1, Tonawanda 1 end 1st
Clifton Park needs a win to have a chance to play on Sunday and Tonawanda needs to win by four goals to advance.

Still no answers after a 1-1 in the first.

CP Dynamo forward Michael Kenny put back a rebound for the early go-ahead goal at 12:37.

Lightning forward John Maloney stole the puck at his opposite blue line and skated in on Clifton Park goalie Shane Robichaud at 14:47 knotting the contest at one apiece.

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G9 - Notes - New Hartford 6, Freeport 2

New Hartford became the first team to advance to Sunday's semifinals with a 6-2 win over the Long Island-based Freeport Arrows.

New Hartford (3-0) will have to find out who its oponnent will be after today's play is complete.

G9 - New Hartford 5, Freeport 1 through 2
Earlier I posted that New Hartford was in the driver's seat for the swmifinals and Coach James Zalewski corrected me that his squad needed a win, a tie or a loss by nomore than one goal to advance to Sunday's semifinals.

I stand corrected and his squad responded, taking a 5-1 lead and outshooting the Freeport Arrows by a 3 to 1 margin through two periods.

After a sluggish start, New Hartford went up at 2:40 of the first.

Freeport made it interesting, tying it up with a powerplay goal at 9:31 of the second.

From there, the floodgates opened.

New Hartford sent what appeared to be an endless barrage of shots on Freeport goalie Kyle Rebman breaking through on four different occassions in a four-minute span, taking a commanding 5-1 lead.

Shots New Hartford: 31, Freeport 13.

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G8 - Notes - Niagara 2, Long Island 2 tie

Things had to get interesting as the 2-2 now makes both late games must wins and win tie-breakers to advance to Sunday's semifinals.

Niagara (0-1-1) must beat Westchester (2-0) and Long Island (0-1-1) must beat Southtowns at 6 p.m and both need help with the tie-break differentials.

G8 - Niagara 2, Long island 2 end 2nd
Long Island tied it at two apiece on Jake Mastrandrea's second goal of the game. His second came at 5:29 on a power play assist from Dakota Davidson.

With corrections...

Grand Niagara struck first in Saturday's second game of the NYSAHA Tier II 16U midget state tournamment on a power play goal by forward XXEric VanBenschotenXX (corr. Matthew Malley assisted by Michael Janese) at 2:16 of the first.

Long Island knotted the contest at 1-1 on xxAnthony Chiantella'sxx (corr. Jake Mastrandrea's goal at 4:58.

Grand Niagara went ahead, 2-1 with a tally from in front of the net at 15:20.

In goal for Jr. Purple Eagles, Jordan Schroeder. For LI Rebels, Richard Righi.

Shots: Niagara 5, Long Island 5.

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G7 - Notes - Westchester 5, Southtowns 4

Westchester's Ron Sherding was in the right place at the right time.

He put back a rebound off the goalie's pads that squirted up into the slot.

He slid it back under the goalie's pads and into the back of the net at 12:33 of the third, going up 5-4.

G7 - Southtowns 4, Westchester 4 start 3rd
The Southtowns Stars tied the contest 2:36 into the third period in a barn burner.

I just got here so I'll update from here.

Shots: westchester 14, Southtowns 23

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NYSAHA - Midget - Scoring/Goaltending stats

2008 NYSAHA 16U midget state championship
Scoring and goalie statistics
Through Day One

Scoring statistics G A Pts
Clifton Park

Chris Huck 2 1 3
Jake Hendrickson 2 0 2
Jordan Bobrow 2 0 2
Michael Kenny 1 1 2
David Ferris 0 2 2
Derek Discanio 0 2 2
Dillon Frinton 1 0 1
Matt Findlay 0 1 1

Freeport
Paul Molinari 2 1 3
Timothy Root 0 3 3
Andrew Friedman 1 1 2
William Kempner 1 1 2
Michael Brolly 1 0 1
Pat Esposito 1 0 1

Long Island
Nicholas Souza 1 0 1

New Hartford
Michael Zalewski 5 4 9
Jason Fitzgerald 1 4 5
Thomas Frorentino 1 4 5
Jacob Silberlicht 3 1 4
Nathan Mallinder 2 0 2
Clayton Whittemore 1 1 2
Alex Damiani 0 1 1
Daniel Sheets 0 1 1

Southtowns
Andrew Atkinson 0 2 2
Michael Walsh 1 0 1
Kyle Piekarec 1 0 1
Ryan Sheehan 1 0 1
Alec Monckton 1 0 1
Derrick Esford 0 1 1
Anthony Draves 0 1 1

Tonawanda
John Maloney 2 1 3
Tom Meka 1 1 2
Justin Gardner 1 1 2
Christian Panepinto 0 2 2
John Tronolone 1 0 1
John Barrick 1 0 1
Dan Marcotte 0 1 1

Westchester
Matthew Oliverio 3 1 4
Robert Dorgan 3 0 3
Bradlee Pesce 0 2 2
Christopher Abramo 1 0 1
Craig Halpin 1 0 1
Rene Kovac 1 0 1
Ron Sherding 0 1 1
Scott Miele 0 1 1

Goalie stats Shots Svs. GA
Clifton Park

Shane Robichaud 38 33 5
Dan Sacks 11 8 3

Freeport
Jimmy Georgas 69 64 5

Grand Niagara
Mitchell Stessing 18 14 4

Long Island
Joseph Eppedio 29 23 6
Richard Righi 8 6 2

New Hartford
Dylan Smith 22 19 3
Ryan Lewis 32 26 6

Southtowns
Shawn Starkweather 17 17 0

Tonawanda
P.J. Bluff 62 49 11

Westchester
Dan Deliu 21 20 1

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NYSAHA - Midget - Standings Day One

2008 NYSAHA 16U Midget State Championship
Tournament Standings
Through Day 1


Division I W L GF GA
New Hartford 2 0 13 9
Freeport 1 1 6 6
Clifton Park 1 1 9 8
Tonawanda 0 2 6 11

Division II W L GF GA
Westchester 1 0 9 1
Southtowns 1 0 4 0
Niagara 0 1 0 4
Long Island 0 1 1 9

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Friday, March 14, 2008

NYSAHA - midget -Freeport 5, Tonawanda 3

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Long Island-based Freeport Arrows 16U midget ice hockey team jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and held off the Tonawanda Lightning for a 5-3 win in the final contest of the NYSAHA state championship tournament at the Weibel Avenue Rink in Saratoga Springs.

Freeport was led by forward Paul Molinari’s pair of scores, giving the Arrows their first win of the day.

Forward William Kempner put the downstate squad on the board with a goal at 3:41 of the first period from an assist by Andrew Friedman. Forward Michael Brolly followed up with a goal at 16:16 from an assist by Kempner. Molinari tallied an unassisted goal with nine seconds left in the first for the commanding 3-0 lead.

“I was on the left side and the puck went up in the air,” Molinari said. “When it came down I hit it with my stick and it hit the goalie’s chest. When it dropped, I put it in.”

The Arrows are playing with one of the shortest benches in the tournament, only 11 skaters and the Freeport squad lost defenseman Jimmy Pizzo with a separated shoulder in the early contest. Fortunately, forward Michael Brolly competed a final earlier and made it up to Saratoga Springs for the second contest.

“We play better when we’re up,” Freeport coach Charlie Boudiette said. “Being short, it’s harder to catch up. In the first game they wore us down.”

Tonawanda put itself on the board at 11:54 of the second with John Barrick’s unassisted goal.

Freeport continued to apply pressure, when Pat Esposito scored a powerplay goal at 6:42 of the third, putting back rebounds from original shots by Paul Molinari and Timothy Root.

Tonawanda cut into the lead at 8:50 of the third when John Maloney put back Christian Panepinto’s shot that rebounded off Arrow goaltender Jimmy Georgras, cutting the lead, 4-2.

Molinari put Freeport ahead by three again with his unassisted goal at 11:18 of the third period, scoring on a power play goal, timing his entry onto the ice perfectly. He sprung from the bench as an Arrows penalty expired and was hit on the fly by Root.
“He hit me with a saucer pass across the slot,” Molinari said. “I was a big opening in the corner and put it up there.”

Tonawanda wouldn’t go quietly, pulling goaltender P.J. Bluff for a man-advantage and forward John Maloney took advantage of it, tipping in Justin Gardner’s shot in front of the net, cutting the lead, 5-3 with 18 seconds left.

Tension ran high throughout the third period with the Arrows being called for five penalties, including a major for roughing. The Lightning responded in kind with four of their own infractions, a total of 17 whistled in the contest.

“It was their second loss today and they’re not playing for anything tomorrow,” Molinari said. “They wanted to fight back.”

Freeport (1-1) faces an uphill battle, taking on unbeaten New Hartford (2-0) at noon in their pool play finale. A win gives them a chance to advance to the semifinals, a loss and they have to wait for the outcome of the later contests to see how the tiebreakers work out.

FREEPORT 5, TONAWANDA 3
First period: Scoring:
1. William Kempner (Andrew Friedman), 3:41. 2. Michael Brolly (William Kempner), 16:16. 3. Paul Molinari (unassisted), 16:51.
Penalties: Freeport – Ivan Macheras (interference), 13:09; Tonawanda – none.
Second period: Scoring: 4. Tonawanda, John Barrick (unassisted), 11:54.
Penalties: Freeport – Joseph Ditizio (roughing), 10:36; Ivan Macheras (high stick), 12:11; William Kempner (roughing), 15:42. Tonawanda – Jack McCall (roughing), 10:36; Jesse Shaw (interference), 12:11; P.J. Bluff (unsportsmanlike), 15:42; Christian Panepinto (high stick), 15:42.
Third period: Scoring: 5. Freeport, Pat Esposito (Paul Molinari, Timothy Root), 6:42, ppg. 6. Tonawanda, John Maloney (Christian Panepinto), 8:50. 7. Freeport, Paul Molinari (Timothy Root), 11:18, ppg. 8. Tonawanda, John Maloney (Justin Gardner), 15:42, ppg.
Penalties: Freeport – Joseph Ditizio (hit from behind), :40; Joseph Ditizio (misconduct), :40; Andrew Friedman (interference), 9:09; Kyle Rebman (major roughing), 10:49; Kevin Barry (slash), 14:26; Ivan Macheras (high stick), 14:52. Tonawanda - (roughing), 5:34; (charging), 10:49; (roughing), 10:49; (unsportsmanlike), 14:06.

Freeport 3 0 2 – 5
Tonawanda 0 1 2 – 3
Goalie saves:
Freeport, Jimmy Georgas, 39 saves. Tonawanda, P.J. Bluff, 20 saves.

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NYSAHA - midget -New Hartford 7, Clifton Park 6

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Clifton Park Dynamo coach Brad Shaver isn’t a fan of moral victories and after spotting New Hartford a three-goal lead in the opening period of the NYSAHA Tier II 16U midget state tournament Friday night, a 7-6 loss couldn’t cut it for the local ice hockey coach.

“Reality is the game is 0-0 when the puck drops in the first period,” Shaver said. “You can’t go down, 7-3, 7-4, the games are over then. We gave ourselves few options.”

New Hartford was the first team to secure a spot in Sunday morning’s semifinals with its second win of the day. New Hartford will face Freeport at noon in their final contest of pool play.

The red, white and blue fully utilized its forechecking unit to keep the puck in the Clifton Park zone throughout the first period, putting up three consecutive goals before the Dynamo cut into the lead, 3-1 with 94 seconds left in the opening session.

“We like to come out quick with our forecheck,” Jason Fitzgerald said. “We have a lot of speed and use that to our advantage, trying to win the battles in the corners.”

New Hartford continued to add to its lead, up to four goals when Michael Zalewski scored his third goal of the contest at 57 seconds of the second period, earning the hat trick on the same scoring play that teammate Thomas Frorentino secured his “playmaker” third assist of the contest.

“We move the puck really well,” Thomas Frorentino said. “We had a lot of shots on net that rolled right in.”

Dynamo starting goaltender Dan Sacks was victimized for the first three New Hartford goals and was lifted for game one starter, Shane Robichaud. The replacement goalie gave up four additional goals and the two netminders combined for 30 saves.

As the Central New York visitor continued to apply pressure, Clifton Park bent, but didn’t break in its second contest of the day.

Chris Huck scored a power play goal at 7:57 of the second from an assist by Derek Discanio to cut the lead, 5-2, but New Hartford went up again by four with Michael Critelli’s power play goal less than a minute later.

Clifton Park would answer yet again, with its own power play goal at 12:17 from Jordan Bobrow courtesy of an Anthony Delzotto assist. New Hartford would again stretch the lead to four goals 21 seconds later, again on a tally from Zalewski, his fourth tally on the day.

The Dynamo lifted their spirits with 43 seconds left in the second when Dillon Frinton scored from Discanio to cut the lead, 7-4.

“Coach gave us an inspirational speech during the break,” Jake Hendrickson said. “We came out hard in the third.”

Bobrow scored his second goal of the game, putting back a shot by Kenny at 3:15 and the Dynamo continued to press on, bringing the game back within one goal when Chris Huck scored on a slapshot from atop the left circle at 6:57 from a cross ice pass from David Ferris.

New Hartford would then reinforce its back checking to reduce the chance of an odd-man rush and secure the second victory of the day.

The loss left the Dynamo coach more than disgruntled about his teams inability to handle New Hartford in the Clifton Park end.

“Our defense accounted for too many goals,” Shaver said. “They were often flat-footed and were puck watching. Usually they are great for us, but tonight they got beat to a lot of pucks.”

Clifton Park must win Saturday when it faces Tonawanda at 2 p.m. a potential must-win for both squads.

“Tonight we were unfocused, not ready to play the price and didn’t execute the simple plays. If we do that again tomorrow, it’ll be like trying to run uphill with rollerblades on…again.”

NEW HARTFORD 7, CLIFTON PARK 6
First period scoring:
1. New Hartford, Michael Zalewski (Jason Fitzgerald) 6:59, ppg. 2. New Hartford, Nathan Mallinder (Thomas Frorentino, Michael Zalewski), 12:19. 3. New Hartford, Michael Zalewski (Thomas Frorentino, Jason Fitzgerald), 4:12. 4. Clifton Park, Michael Kenny (unassisted), 15:26.
Penalties: Clifton Park – Michael Kenny (hit after the whistle), 11:11. New Hartford – Ryan Gros (interference), 3:27.

Second period scoring: 5. New Hartford, Michael Zalewski (Thomas Frorentino), :57. 6. New Hartford, Nathan Mallinder (unassisted), 4:49, ppg. 7. Clifton Park, Chris Huck (Derek Discanio), 7:57. 8. New Hartford, Jacob Silberlicht (Daniel Sheets), 8:33. 9. Clifton Park, Jordan Bobrow (Anthony Discanio), 12:17, ppg. 10. New Hartford, Michael Zalewski (Thomas Frorentino, Jason Fitzgerald), 4;22. 11. Clifton Park, Dillon Frinton (Derek Discanio), 16:17.
Penalties: Clifton Park – Chris Huck (roughing), 3:04; Brett Kangas (roughing), 12:32. New Hartford – Robert Jorgensen (interference), 1:33; Ryan Lewis (tripping), 12:03.

Third period scoring: 12. Clifton Park, Jordan Bobrow (Michael Kenny), 3:15. 13. Clifton Park, Chris Huck (David Ferris), 6:57, ppg.
Penalties: Clifton Park – None. New Hartford – Ryan Lewis (roughing), 5:15; Nathan Mallinder (charging), 6:57.

New Hartford 3 4 0 – 7
Clifton Park 1 3 2 – 6
Goalie saves: Clifton Park –
Dan Sacks, 8. Shane Robichaud, 22. New Hartford – Ryan Lewis, 26.

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NYSAHA - midget -Southtowns 4, Grand Niagara 0

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Southtowns Stars continued their dominance of the Grand Niagara Jr. Purple Eagles, beating the Western New York rival for the third time in four meetings this season, shutting them out in the NYSAHA 16U midget state championship tournament opener for both squads Friday at the Weibel Avenue Rink in Saratoga Springs.

Both teams had to shake off some road rust, failing to score in the first period, but as the contest progressed, Southtowns put up two goals in the second and third period for the 4-0 shutout victory.

“I think they came out too hyped up,” Southtowns coach David Burke said. “They are very serious about this tournament and were too torque up. They settled after the first period.”

Forward Michael Walsh made his first goal of the tournament count, scoring the game-winner at 1:45 of the second period.

“Andrew (Atkinson) took a shot and I just tipped if off my stick,” Michael Walsh said. “Getting that first goal, it gave us a lot of momentum and sets a tone for the rest of the game.”

The Stars utilized the Olympic size sheet to its fullest against the Jr. Purple Eagles.

“We move the puck well and have more room to move,” Andrew Atkinson said.

Southtowns Anthony Draves put the Stars ahead, 2-0, from a pair of assists from Kyle Piekarec and Atkinson at 15:45.

The Stars went up 3-0 on Ryan Sheehan’s goal courtesy of an assist by Derrick Esford at 6:49 and saw Alec Monckton finish off Grand Niagara with his goal at 10:53 from an assist by Anthony Draves.

Southtowns goaltender Shawn Starkweather earned the shutout, turning back all 17 shots he faced. Jr. Purple Eagle netminder Mitchell Stessing stopped 14 of the 18 shots he faced.

The Stars will take to the large ice sheet twice on Saturday, facing Westchester at 8 a.m. and closing out the round robin competition against the Long Island Rebels at 6 p.m. The top two teams in each division advance to Sunday’s semifinals with the final set for 5 p.m. The state champion will advance to the USA Hockey National Tournament in Buffalo, April 2 to 5.

“We got two points tonight and if we get two more on Saturday we’ll be playing on Sunday,” Burke said.

SOUTHTOWNS 4, GRAND NIAGARA 0
First period:
Scoring: None.
Penalties: None.
Second period: Scoring: 1. Southtowns, Michael Walsh (Andrew Atkinson), 1:45. 2. Southtowns, Kyle Piekarec (Andrew Atkinson), 15:45.
Penalties: Southtowns – Anthony Draves (interference), 11:42; Matthew Fitzpatrick (interference), 13:15.
Third period: Scoring: 3. Ryan Sheehan (Derrick Esford), 6:49. 4. Alec Monckton (Anthony Draves), 10:53.
Penalties: Grand Niagara, Konor Krueger (interference), 2:53. Anthony Draves (tripping), 7:27.
Grand Niagara 0 0 0 – 0
Southtowns 0 2 2 – 4
Goalie saves: Grand Niagara –
Mitchell Stessing, 14 saves. Southtowns, Shawn Starkweather, 17.

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NYSAHA - midget - Westchester 9, Long Island 1

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Westchester Vipers appear to bring their best when they visit the Capital Region for NYSAHA state championship tournaments.

Last weekend the Vipers squirt team posted a 5-1 record and advanced to the NYSAHA Tier II squirt state championship contest, falling to the Buffalo Bisons, 3-2, in triple overtime.

On Friday, the Westchester program showed off its offensive prowess again, this time dismantling the Long Island Rebels 9-1 in the first round of the 16U midget state championship event at the Weibel Avenue Rink in Saratoga Springs.

Westchester was led by forward Matthew Oliverio’s hat trick and assist as the Vipers dismissed Long Island for the sixth consecutive time this season.

“This was not the ultimate opening match-up,” Westchester coach Mark Pecchia said. “We would rather have opened with a team we weren’t familiar with.”

Despite owning the regular season series, Pecchia had his doubts.

“Maybe you let down in game six,” Pecchia said. “It’s an important game so you tell them to go out and play their game.”

Christopher Abramo put the Vipers up first when he stuffed the puck under Long Island goalie Joseph Eppidio three minutes into the contest. The Rebels showed signs of life in the downstate brawl when forward Nicholas Souza scored on a rebound off Westchester goaltender Dan Feliu at 10:47.

Viper’s Robert Dorgan put back Ron Sherding’s shot on the goalie three minutes later for what would become the game-winner, but Westchester was far from done scoring.

Matthew Oliverio scored the first of his two scores, wristing the puck high from an assist by Bradlee Pesce at 14:35. The duo would team up again one minute later, this time, Oliverio slid the puck under Long Island’s Eppidio for a 4-1 first period lead.

Craig Halpin tallied an unassisted powerplay goal at 3:15 of the second period, giving Westchester a commanding 5-1 lead.

Things heated up in the third period, both scoring and penalty count as the two familiar squads squared off throughout the remaining 17 minutes.

Westchester’s Dorgan wristed in a short-handed goal three minutes into the final stanza for his second goal of the contest. Pesce scored midway though the third period teamed-up with Scott Miele and Oliverio with his goal at 8:53. Rene Kovac entered the score sheet with his unassisted goal at 12:02 and Oliverio finished off the Rebels with his hat trick tally at 16:48.

The Vipers put 38 shots on Long Island’s pair of goaltenders, Eppedio and Richard Righi who entered late in the contest.

Westchester’s Dan Feliu earned the team’s hard had award and topper as the Viper’s hardest worker, turning back 20 out of 21 shots he faced.

“I’ve only faced them (Long Island) twice,” Feliu said. “I have to practice against my team every day and you’ve seen them. They’re the most talented team out there, so today, my job is easy.”

Feliu was happy to get the call for the start, but had pressure.

“Even though you beat someone five times, you don’t want this to be the time to lose,” Feliu said. “When I feel sharp in goal, I don’t worry too much.”

WESTCHESTER 9, LONG ISLAND 1
First period: Scoring:
1. Westchester, Christopher Abramo (unassisted), 2:57. 2. Long Island, Nicholas Souza (unassisted), 10:47. 3. Westchester, Robert Dorgan (Ron Sherding), 13:37. 4. Westchester, Matthew Oliverio (Bradlee Pesce), 14:35. 5. Westchester,Matthew Oliverio (Bradlee Pesce), 15:34.
Penalties: Long Island – Todd Greene (interference), 3:28; Ed Shinnick (hit from behind), 7;13; Ed Shinnick (hit from behind), 11:25; Korey Hendrickson (delay of game), 15:34. Westchester – Ron Sherding (holding), 7:13; Alex Lopez (roughing), 11:25; Aidan McHugh (tripping), 15:56.

Second period: Scoring: 6. Westchester, Craig Halpin (unassisted), 3;15, ppg.
Penalties: Long Island – Anthony Chiantella (tripping), 1:26; Anthony Chiantella (hooking), 1:26; Jake Mastrandrea (slashing), 5:53 Michael Mario (holding), 9:30; Anthony Chiantella (tripping), 15:33. Westchester — Ron Sherding (elbowing), 6:18; Aidan McHugh (high stick), 16:43.

Third period: Scoring: 7. Westchester, Robert Dorgan (unassisted), 2:50, shg. 8. Westchester, Robert Dorgan (Scott Miele, Matthew Oliverio), 8:53. 9. Rene Kovac (unassisted), 12:02. 10. Matthew Oliverio (unassisted), 16:48.
Penalties: Long Island – Anthony Chiantella (charging), 2:57; Dakota Davidson (interference), 3:48; Korey Hendrickson (unsportsmanlike), 5:53; Korey Hendrickson (misconduct), 5:53; Michael Marino (hit from behind), 5:54. Westchester – Ron Sherding (high stick), 2:07.

Long Island 1 0 0 – 1
Westchester 4 1 4 – 9
Goalie saves:
Long Island, Joseph Eppedio 23 saves, Richard Righi 6 saves. Westchester, Dan Feliu 20 saves.

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