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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: NYSAHA - midget -Freeport 5, Tonawanda 3

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.

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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