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New York Girls Notebook: West Seneca and Plattsburgh Play to 12 OTs in NY Semis

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


The highlight of the New York State girls’ tournament was the Tier II 14-and-Under semifinal match between Plattsburgh and West Seneca Wings.

The  two teams played to a scoreless tie after regulation, forcing overtime. And then they went through one overtime without scoring. Then another. And another. A fourth one. Through the fifth one.

This continued on and on and on and on ... until finally in the 12th overtime — yes, 12 as in a dozen — West Seneca finally scored the game's lone goal with 1:32 left, just short of reaching the baker’s dozen.

At that age group, teams play 15-minute periods and then five-minute overtimes. Thus, the teams took 103:28 before someone finally scored.

Needless to say, the Wings didn't have much left for the finals as the CNY Bobcats, with Jessica Foote in net, took the title with a 3-0 victory over the exhausted team. CNY also beat West Seneca 4-0 in the round robin.

More Tight Contests

The tiny North Country college town of Potsdam grabbed the Tier II 16U title. Every game except the title game was a one-goal victory, with the semifinals being decided in overtime.

The preliminary round saw the Potsdam Icestorm beat Monroe County 3-2, Skaneateles 1-0, and Troy/Albany Icecats 3-2. Potsdam needed overtime to beat the Brewster Lady Bulldogs 2-1 in the semifinals.

Potsdam clinched a spot in the Toyota-USA Hockey Tier II Girls National Championships with a 3-1 victory over Monroe County, which also needed overtime in the semifinals.

The remaining Tier II age group also needed multiple overtimes to decide the title, though compared to the aforementioned epic battle, the 19U girls only needed a “measly” two extra periods.

Chazy Youth defeated the Buffalo Hornets 5-4, thus depriving Buffalo the chance to play close to home in Amherst, N.Y. at the national championships. Earlier in the tournament, Chazy Youth beat the Hornets 6-1.

Limited Tier I Competition

The Tier I competition was limited in New York this season. In fact, there was only one team at the 19U age group.

The 19U Buffalo Bisons were supposed to play the National Sports Academy in a two-game series, but the NSA was forced to cut back its schedule, which included skipping the state championship. Therefore, the Bisons were able to book their travel weeks ago to Marlborough, Mass. for the Toyota-USA Hockey Tier I Girls National Championships.

The three-team 16U field wound up going to the tiebreaker, which was not a surprise to Buffalo Regals coach Thomas Ruggiero.

“With a three-team tournament with all teams being very equal, we knew the tiebreaker would probably come into play,” he said. “We talked about it before the first game and, fortunately for us, it came into our favor."

The Buffalo Regals beat the Buffalo Bisons, 3-1. Then, the Syracuse Nationals beat the Regals, 2-1. Lastly, the Bisons beat the Nationals, 2-1.

The Regals were awarded the state championship by virtue of goal differential. There were two bids for nationals, and Syracuse won the tiebreaker for the second spot.

“We had to play our crosstown rivals, and that’s always an emotional game,” Ruggiero said. “Then, we had to play Syracuse just three hours later. They got to sleep in. They were rested.

“We were actually up 1-0. When we fell behind 2-1, we called timeout. We knew there were two bids to nationals available. We were more concerned with that. If we happen to win states, that would be nice, but we wanted to make sure we got to nationals. So, we told them we weren't going to pull our goalie.”

This strategy was to avoid giving up an empty net goal and spoil their goal differential. It worked.

Ruggiero mentioned the team's goals at nationals.

“Like everyone, we're just worried about our first game,” he said. “Give them our best game and figure out a way to cross over to the quarterfinals. We play to win every game, but in the round robin, we don't have to.”

The largest Tier I field was in the 14U age group, which consisted of five teams. They played a round robin followed by the top two teams squaring off in a championship game.

Those two teams were the Syracuse Nationals and the Buffalo Regals. In the preliminary round, Syracuse pounded Buffalo, 6-0. However, when it counted, the Regals reversed the outcome, winning the title game 2-1 and punching their ticket to the nationals.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

District Champions

Girls Tier I

14U: Buffalo Regals

16U: Buffalo Regals (champs)

16U: Syracuse Nationals

19U: Buffalo Bisons

Girls Tier II

14U: CNY Bobcats

16U: Potsdam Icestorm

19U: Chazy Youth

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