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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: NYSAHA - Midget - New Hartford 6, Freeport 2

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.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

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.

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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