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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: NYSAHA - midget - Westchester 9, Long Island 1

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 - 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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