The magical year for West Seneca West’s sports teams continues.
The Indians’ men’s hockey team will attempt to join their football team as state champions after defeating the John Jay Indians (Section I) 3-0 on Saturday afternoon at the HarborCenter.
“It’s always nice to be playing with a lead, and it’s the first time in a while that we’ve started a game with a lead,” coach Kevin Rozo said. “It’s huge. The music that the PA announcer plays when we score, it gets the fans and the guys on our bench going, so to establish a lead was great.”
Tyler Dunning opened the scoring midway through the second period with a wrist shot into a yawning net during a John Jay power play. Three minutes into the third period, Matt Myers increased the lead to 2-0 by burying a rebound after a host of teammates crashed Taylor Isom’s crease.
It was the type of goal that typifies playoff hockey at all levels. Nothing fancy and not meant for the highlight reel. Which suited Myers just fine.
“Everyone was just fighting for the puck, and I saw it in between someone’s skates and just backhanded it in,” Myers said. “Grinding in front of the net, it doesn’t matter how pretty it is. If it’s a shot from the point or if it’s in the crease, a goal’s a goal. At this stage, it doesn’t matter what it looks like, as long it goes on the scoreboard it’s fine with me.”
Colin Deubell then sealed the win on a breakaway given to him by Parker Leemer and Aaron Highway. Noah Sobczyk recorded 24 saves in the shutout.
“Noah was lights-out for us today,” Rozo said. “He’s been outstanding lately. The switch flipped for him in early February, and he’s been on an absolute tear. If you want to go far, you need your goalie to stand on his head for you, and he’s been doing that.”
The Indians are one step away from a state championship, and by giving their school a second title in a four-month span, it would be the ultimate scenario for the program.
“This is something you wish for in every sport you play in,” Myers, who also lead the football team to championship glory as their starting quarterback, said. “We feel like we’re on top of the world right now, and we owe it to each other to give our best. As long as we play our game, I think we can win tomorrow.”