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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: NYSAHA - Midget - Westchester 5, Southtowns 4

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 - 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.”

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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