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Shorthanded Overtime Goal Sends Rochester to Nationals

By Russell Jaslow - Special to, 03/11/15, 11:30PM MDT


Ciara Barone scored the decisive goal in the Tier I 14U title game.

Perhaps the only thing better than a playoff over time goal is a shorthanded overtime goal that secures a championship.

That’s exactly what the Rochester Monarchs did against the Syracuse Nationals in the New York girls Tier I 14U state championship.

A goaltending battle sent a scoreless game into overtime, where Rochester committed an early penalty. That didn’t matter to Ciara Barone, who picked up the puck in her own zone and raced through center ice. She went to her left and sped past the remaining defenders to go in alone against the goaltender. Barone didn’t waste any time, shooting the puck into the net.

“Once our captain got a little bit of ice, she could go all the way, and I knew it would be in the back of the net,” Rochester coach Gary Moss said. “She’s missed so many opportunities this weekend, and she never misses.”

Barone almost didn’t get the opportunity. With about 10 seconds left in regulation, Syracuse had a three-on-one that appeared was going to result in a sure goal. However, the Nationals could not convert it, allowing Barone to be the hero at 1:58 of the extra period.

Moss knew the title tilt was going to be a battle.

“We’re evenly matched teams,” he said. “We’ve played each other three times now. We’re 3-3. I thought the game was very intense and for these young players, it was quite an emotional roller coaster for us. Great hockey game. Both teams worked so hard.”

The Monarchs play under the Perinton Youth Hockey Association umbrella, and this is the first year fielding a girls team.

“They grew so much,” Moss said. “That’s all we got is one team. We just don’t have the numbers around here.”

Thus, Moss said his goal for the Toyota-USA Hockey Girls Tier I National Championships in Green Bay, Wis. on March 26-30 is very simple: “To get these girls experience in the nationals. That’s what I want is experience.”

Another New Program Goes to Nationals

Compared to the Rochester Monarchs, the Cazenovia Lady Chiefs are a seasoned program. However, they have only been around five years, and they, too, won a New York state title in the Tier II 19U division.

After a shootout loss to the Lady Islanders, Cazenovia swept through the tournament with four straight wins, culminating in a 4-1 win over Lake Placid. Alexis Peters scored the second and fourth goals, while Madeline Norton opened the scoring with Amelia Gajewski notching the other. Alexis Becker and Lauren Pray alternated games in net, with Pray getting the call for the finals.

Next up are the national championships in Lansing, Mich.

“Winning this was an accomplishment for many girls,” Cazenovia coach Chris Malicki said. “I’ll say 80 percent of the girls have never been to the states or won a championship. The rest is gravy now. Now, we just want to go out and see how we do with the best teams in the nation and hopefully compete and hold our heads high.”

Small Fields in Tier I

The remaining girls Tier I groups had small fields, with three in 16U and just two in 19U.

For the older group, Buffalo Regals and Niagara Jr. Purple Eagles played a two-game series. The scores were nearly identical as Niagara won 5-1 and 5-0.

Rachel de Perio got things going in Game 1 with a first period shorthanded breakaway goal while being tripped. Jordan Roetzer banged home a rebound in front to start off the second period, followed by a second goal by de Perio, also on a rebound.

Abby Welch made it 4-0, pouncing on a rebound and firing it in nearside. McKenna Rushford then single handedly beat the entire Buffalo team and placed the puck into the upper corner to break the shutout. But Michele Robillard wrapped up the scoring with 16 seconds left in the second when she put in a loose puck up high from the slot.

Just like the first game, Niagara scored one in the first, four in the second, and none in the third. Brooke Baker started and ended the scoring, with Paige Voight, Welch and Roetzer sandwiched in between.

In 16U, the three teams played a round robin in one day. The Syracuse Nationals won both their games despite getting the hardest time slots.

“Our game times right from the beginning were challenging due to Game 1 being played at 6:25 a.m. and game two at 8:50 p.m.,” Syracuse coach Jeff Rose said.

Syracuse struggled in its first game against the Buffalo Regals. Buffalo jumped out to 2-0 and 3-1 leads. Gina Scibetta got the first for Syracuse before the Nationals went on a four-goal spurt to win 5-4. Lane Perl got things going from the point to end the second period down 3-2.

“The coaches had a talk with the girls and explained to them hard work and effort are the only way to win this game, and they have 15 minutes to get it done,” Rose said. “Not turning over the puck will be key.”

Scibetta then went out and scored twice in two minutes for the hat trick. Madison Gneo got the insurance goal while Kayla McCabe settled things down in net for the win.

Next up was the Buffalo Bisons, coming off a 7-1 loss to the Regals. Despite plenty of shots, the game remained scoreless well into the second period.

“The girls were playing hard and doing exactly what we asked them to do, but we were unable to find the back of the net,” Rose said.

Finally, Miranda Kolb scored off a scrum in front of the net. Shortly afterward, Nicole Moriarity made it 2-0 before the second intermission. Buffalo got one back in the third, but Syracuse hung on for the 2-1 win. This time, Ellie Wheeler got the win in goal.

“I believe our season was definitely one of learning and adapting to different styles of play,” Rose said. “We are a hard working team that has come together by knowing that every time we step on the ice we need to give 100 percent effort, and you have to do your job. I am very proud of the way my team has pulled together and played throughout the season. Our goals at the national tournament are to be competitive and represent New York state girls’ hockey at the highest possible level.”

Amherst Had to Earn It This Year

Last year, the Toyota-USA Hockey Girls Tier II National Championships were held in Amherst, N.Y., so the host organization got an automatic entry. This year, if any Amherst team wanted in, they had to earn it themselves.

That’s exactly what the 14U Lady Knights did, holding off a determined Potsdam Icestorm 5-3 in the championship game.

After sweeping through the round robin, Amherst needed double overtime to beat the Brewster Lady Bulldogs in the semifinals, 4-3.

In the final, Amanda Gaffney gave Amherst the early lead by skating by everyone down the left side to tuck it in the near side. After Potsdam tied the game on a goal by Lizzy Christy off a scramble just as one of two Amherst penalties ended, the Lady Knights scored three goals thanks to Gaffney, Jenna Woods and Holly Schmelzer.

However, Potsdam wasn’t throwing in the towel, as it scored two power play goals. The Icestorm kept jamming at the puck before Alana McDonald finally put it in. With a two-man advantage, Mattie Trempler top shelved it from the left edge of the crease.

Late in the game, Potsdam had another power play and put intense pressure on Amherst. However, the Lady Knights withstood the storm and Schmelzer got an empty netter to seal the win.

Another Championship Overtime

West Seneca won the Tier II 16U group with a 2-1 overtime victory over Skaneateles. Earlier in the round robin, West Seneca beat Skaneateles, 3-1. That came after a 3-1 victory over Cazenovia and a 6-0 shutout over Webster. West Seneca also got a shutout in the semifinals, beating Troy-Albany, 2-0.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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