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New York Youth Notebook: Overtimes Galore In New York Youth Tournaments

By Russell Jaslow - Special to, 03/26/14, 3:30PM MDT


Arguably, the most thrilling moment in all of sports is overtime playoff hockey. Of course for the coaches, and especially the parents, it’s the most nerve wracking, cardiac-inducing moment in sports.

The New York State Tier I youth tournaments saw plenty of playoff overtime action, including an 18-and-Under championship game that required two overtimes to determine a winner.

With five teams competing for the 18U title, there were no semifinal games. The top two teams from the round robin went straight to the championship final.

They were Clifton Park and the Buffalo Regals. In the preliminary round, they played to a 2-2 tie. In the final, they were deadlocked at 0-0 before Clifton Park’s Dylan O’Sick finally scored on the power play in the waning minutes of the second overtime. Brandon Raghwel got the shutout.

“Usually we run an umbrella on the power play,” Clifton Park coach Brad Shaver said. “This time we set up an I-formation to take away the check and crashed the net. We just jammed it in. We knew at that time of the game the ice was lousy and it was not going to be a pretty goal that was going to win it.”

The first half of regulation was fairly even.

“To be honest, I thought the Regals had the better of play in the third and overtimes,” Shaver said. “We took way too many penalties in the final game. That really hurt us. We stuck to our defensive system. When we do that, we don't give up many goals.”

Now, it's on to the Toyota-USA Hockey Tier I Youth National Championships April 2-6 in Green Bay, Wis.

“Just focus on one game at a time,” Shaver said. “Our goal is to make the quarterfinals that Saturday. And then we’ll go from there.”

Quadruple OT Semifinal

In the Tier I 16U group, the Long Island Gulls needed four overtimes to advance past the semifinals in a 5-4 win over the Buffalo Regals.

The Westchester Express needed double overtime to win their semifinal game over the Syracuse Nationals.

In the championship game, Long Island won the battle of downstate, 4-1. The Gulls’ offense certainly soared in the states, scoring 36 goals in five games.

Regal Domination

No overtimes were needed to determine the winner in Tier I 14U tournament as the Buffalo Regals dominated the group.

They cruised through the round robin, beating Long Island Royals 7-3, West Seneca Wings 5-1, and Clifton Park 11-0.

The Regals had a tougher time against the Syracuse Nationals in the semifinal round, prevailing 3-2.

“I thought the toughest game was against Syracuse,” Buffalo coach Brian Gasuik said. “They are well coached and have players that really gave us a run for our money.”

The Regals then cruised past West Seneca again in the finals, this time 9-3.

“It seems they [West Seneca] ran out of gas with a great [double overtime] performance against Rochester early Sunday,” Gasuik said. “We feel we are hitting our peak at the right time.”

Two North Country Titles

The northernmost county in New York, St. Lawrence, took home two Tier II championships. St. Lawrence Thunder teams won the 14U and 16U groups.

The 14U championship game against the Camillus Cougars was nip and tuck the whole way. The teams were tied at 2-2, 3-3 and 4-4. The game winner came on a rising shot through a crowd with 2:13 left in regulation.

The 16U Thunder team had an easier time in their final game, defeating Monroe County, 7-2. St. Lawrence also scored seven goals against Monroe in the round robin with a shutout.

The Clarence Mustangs won the Tier II 18U title with a 2-1 victory over the Center State Stampede. Harlan LoVullo and Nick Godin scored the goals to give the Clarence organization its first state title and trip to the national championships.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

District Champions

Youth Tier I

14U: Buffalo Regals

16U: Long Island Gulls

18U: Clifton Park

Youth Tier II

14U: St. Lawrence Thunder

16U: St. Lawrence Thunder

18U: Clarence Mustangs

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