Recapping Yesterday’s Games
St. Joe’s 1, Clarence 1
Clarence epitomized the bend-but-don’t-break mentality in last night’s contest with St. Joe’s. In what proved to be one of the more physical contests so far this year, much of the game was played down in the Clarence defensive zone.
Matthew Binkowski finished with 37 saves for the Red Devils – only allowing a single goal from SJCI’s Jayden Baldinelli (assisted by Kellen Pulera) late in the first period. Clarence answered back two minutes later, courtesy of Nicholas Modeas (assisted by Nicholas Messuro), to take a 1-1 tie into the first intermission.
That would ultimately be the final score as neither team was able to find the net during the next two periods or overtime.
Clarence will be back in action on Thursday at Northtown Center where they will take on Lancaster (1-3) at 8:15pm. St. Joe’s will head down to Leisure Rinks on Friday to face off with Frontier at 5:30pm. That game will be the Falcons’ 2018-19 Fed debut.
North Tonawanda 7, Lockport-Niagara Falls 4
The Lumberjacks scored six unanswered goals as they picked up their first win of the season. Jackson Burns and Connor Krupa led the way with four points each. Jack Tollar had two goals and an assist. Drew Merino scored two goals and assisted on another for Lockport-Niagara Falls.
“We knew that tonight was going to be the night that we hoped to turn things around,” NT coach Alan Zbytek said. “We still have things to improve on in order to beat other teams in this league.”
Kenmore West 5, Sweet Home 2
Sweet Home jumped out to a quick two-goal lead in the first minute of the game with goals from Anthony Genau (assisted by Tyler Goodwin) and Eric Abbate.
The Blue Devils clamped down on the defensive front and would go on to score five unanswered goals.. the fifth being an empty-netter with two seconds to go.
Kenmore West goals were scored by Cam Crosier (3), Dylan Speck (1) and Michael Barker (1).
The Blue Devils are off until Saturday when they take on North Tonawanda (1-2) at Northtown Center @ 1pm. Sweet Home will also play their next game at Northtown Center – they’ll go up against Williamsville East (1-0) @ 6pm on Thursday.
Grand Island 4, Amherst 0
While it’s a team’s finish to the season which ultimately matters, getting off on the right foot certainly makes a difference down the road.
Grand Island has made the most of their first three games, scoring 22 goals while only giving up one, the best in the Boys Federation.
“I’m happy with the way that we’re playing but we’re not satisfied,” Grand Island coach Don Pray said after their 4-0 win over Amherst Monday night. ”
The bulk of the scoring has been coming from their top line of junior Tyler Hunt, along with seniors Josh Conta and Dylan Russo.
“I like the way the line is working the puck to one another,” Pray said. “We’re emphasizing that we’re going to cycle the puck down low. Right now, they’re doing quite well.”
The trio has accounted for two-thirds of the Vikings’ goals.
“We’ve been cycling the puck and dishing pucks to the net,” said Conta, who has seven goals and three assists. “Everything has been luck and skill.”
Conta, who only had one goal in 2017-18, took the area by storm with his five-goal performance in Grand Island’s season-opening win over Lew-Port and has continued to assert his offensive dominance in their following two games.
Russo is the only returning double-digit point-getter for the Vikings. The senior, who scored 27 points last season, has been the facilitator so far with no goals and 11 assists.
Monday night, Hunt, who has seven goals and six assists, took the spotlight netting his second-straight hat trick.
Not only was Hunt not playing on the varsity squad last season, the junior was playing defenseman for the Grand Island JV team which won a State title.
“Just the chemistry with my linemates,” Hunt said about the success he’s been having this season. “I used to play when I was younger with Russo and Conta.”
The rest of the team will have an opportunity to build chemistry this weekend as Grand Island is going on their annual North Country trip. The Vikings have meetings with Ogdensburgh, Beekmantown and Plattsburgh.
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