| June 3, 2011 - |
After two out bracket games that did not involve Section Five, the 2011 NYS tournament will be fully underway on Saturday, June 4th. There are four sites throughout the state running quarter final games, including the "Western Regionals" which feature Section Five hosting Section Six at Growney Stadium on the St. John Fisher College campus.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association sets the order of the games and they rotate the starting times for each of the classes each year. This year the order will be A, B, C. The Class A game, featuring Pittsford vs Clarence will start at 1:00. The Class B game between Irondequoit and Niagara Wheatfield has a planned start at 3:30 and the Class C game featuring Penn Yan and Silver Creek is planned to start at 6:00 PM.
PITTSFORD vs CLARENCE
Clarence won their first fourteen games and then lost two in a row (Orchard Park 11-7 and Amherst 11-8). They faced OP again in the Section Six Class A finals, and won 7-5, breaking a sixteen year championship streak by the Quakers.
Orchard Park had a 95 game winning streak against Buffalo teams broken earlier this year when they lost to Silver Creek, who is the Section Six Champion this year in Class C.
Clarence senior Dave DeCirce scored an unassisted goal with just under three seconds left in the half to take the score to 5-2 OP. The goal helped shift the momentum and Clarence took control in the second half scoring five unanswered goals. Seniors Cooper Wittig (midfielder) and Charles Warkenthien (attack) both had two of the second half goals and the other goal was scored by DeCirce. Wittig scored with just over four seconds left in the third quarter to tie the game at 5-5. Wittig scored the go-ahead goal early in the final quarter.
Clarence was 4-0 against Section Five during the regular season as they defeated Rush-Henrietta (11-8), Schroeder (17-5), Penn Yan (7-6) and Aquinas (9-5).
Pittsford comes into the game with an undefeated season (19-0), one of only four teams in the state that still have perfect records. The Panthers have many different offensive threats, but the ball often starts with possession gained by face off midfielder and All-American, James Burke. The future Air Force Academy cadet will be up against a very creditable Red Devil face off man, junior Jack Lally. Burke (31g-15a) can take the ball right down the center of the field for goals, but the Panthers have offensive power from many different directions. Twenty-one players on the team have scored goals this year. Junior middie, Corey Parke leads the team in goals with 32g-9a. Senior midfielder Matt Gold (22g-19a), who was named the Class A Tournament MVP, leads in assists. Attackmen Alex Kober (27g-10a), Jack Lauroesch (21g-16a) and Albie DiPasquale (24g-9a) allow the Panthers to strike from anywhere.
On the defensive end of the field junior Defenseman Kevin Sanna leads a strong, team-oriented defense who protect junior goalie Conor Quinn who has made 125 saves this year and is capable of exciting one-on-one saves.
Look for the first part of the game to look even. Pittsford often slows down the pace of the game testing match ups and controlling the ball. Once they find the ones they like, they are capable of scoring many goals. The Red Devils, however, are on a mission too.
IRONDEQUOIT vs NIAGARA-WHEATFIELD
The second quarter final game is the Class B game between Irondequoit (16-3) and Niagara-Wheatfield (14-5). The Falcons had a thrilling overtime 10-9 win against Hamburg on Wednesday when junior midfielder Cory Becker (2g) picked up a ground ball on a turnover and raced both the defense and the goalie to the cage. The Falcons led 8-4 at the half, but Hamburg came back in the second half and tied the game with thirty seconds left in the game.
Niagara-Wheatfield junior goalie Rob Eisenbart has a great game for the Falcons, including a spectacular save at the very end of the game that forced the overtime period. Senior attackman Mo Bissel scored three goals, junior attackman Brad Thomas and senior attackman Anthony Patterson both had two goals for the Falcons.
Irondequoit started out slowly against Churchville in their championship game, but took off and had a demonstrative 18-8 win. The Eagles are loaded with talent and after spending a significant part of their season dealing with injuries is now at full strength. Six players have over twenty goals. Senior midfielder Emmy Poccia leads the scoring list with 46g-6a and junior middie (and All-American) Nick Doktor leads in assists and points with 45g-38a (83pts). Attackmen Max Kostyk (30g-23a) and Academic All-American Greg Coholan (21g-6a) are running on high gear at this point in their senior year.
Senior defenseman Colby Wehner and junior defenseman Andrew Cordes were Class B All Tournament team selections protecting junior goalie Eric Fischer who has made 132 saves this year. Doktor, Poccia and Gunnar Miller made the team along with Coholan, who was named Tournament MVP.
Irondequoit has the advantage this year, having won last year where they advanced to the final four in the State Tournament. Niagara-Wheatfield's last championship was in 1986. Look for the Eagles to score early and often.
PENN YAN vs SILVER CREEK
Penn Yan spent the entire season focused on their mission to make up for last year's championship loss to Aquinas. Up to that point the Mustangs had been the only Section Five team to ever win a Class C title. They won their first championship in 1987 and had an unbeaten streak from 1998 to 2009. The Mustangs are back on top and know how to win. They were the Class C State Champions in 2001 and have been State semi finalists thirteen times.
Playing against Bath-Haverling in the Section Five finals, the Mustangs led 8-3 at halftime and cruised to a 12-6 win. They had six players named to the All-Tournament team.
Rion Davison led the scoring with 4g-1a along with Ryan Maciejewski (1g-4a), Dylan Yonts (2g-1a), James Voigt (3g), Anthony Luppino (1g-2a). Joining R. Maciejewski, B. Maciejewski, Yonts, Davison and Voigt on the All-Tournament team was defenseman Baird Wilber.
Yonts leads the team in scoring, assists and points (51g-41a, 92pts). Luppino has 22g-13a, Maciejewski has 29g-28a, Davison (32g-7a) and Voigt has 27g-14a. Freshman attackman Bradley Voigt has scored 25g-11a this year and freshman goalie, Brandon Maciejewski had made 143 saves (63%) this season.
Silver Creek is 15-1, with their only loss thus far in a 16-15 overtime game against Niagara-Wheatfield in mid May. The Black Knights beat Amherst 17-10 in the Section Six Class C finals to earn their NYS ticket. They beat Orchard Park 12-11 in early May, but other than Niagara-Wheatfield, the Black Knights have not been challenged this year. They have averaged 20 goals per game while their defense had allowed an average of 7 against. In nine games (out of sixteen) they scored at least twenty goals.
Their win last Wednesday against Amherst gave the Black Knights their third straight Class C championship. Last year they lost to Aquinas 14-11 in the NYS quarter finals.
Sophomore Zed Williams had 4g-3a and his brother, senior Zach Williams added 1g-7a and the Silver Creek defense shut out Amherst, 4-0, in the last quarter.
In Penn Yan's last outing in the Western Regionals they beat the Black Knights 17-6. They are experienced and they are disciplined and know what it takes to win in the State tournament. Although Silver Creek wants to be the first Section Six team to make it to the final four, if the Mustangs can control the ball and limit shots from the Williams boys, they should return to the semifinals.