WNY Athletics

Kenmore West Advances Past Grand Island

Kenmore West 3, Grand Island 1

The Blue Devils scored three 3rd period goals Monday night to trip up the reigning Section VI D-II champion Grand Island Vikings at the HarborCenter. Ken West won the quarterfinal game 3-1 in front of a large student section.

Each team went scoreless through the first two periods thanks to some great goaltending from Max Pelino (KW) and Robert Currie (GI).

With the win Kenmore West will move into the semifinal round for the third time in 4 years.

“This is a team of 24 guys that just work hard for each other every day,” Kenmore West head coach Rob Roszak said. “They just kept playing hard and bringing the pressure.”

It was a slow start for the Blue Devils as GI outshot them 6-2 after period 1. The second, however, was a different story. The Kenmore West offense picked up the pace, outshooting the Vikings 8-7, with both Currie and Pelino making key saves for their respective clubs.

Kenmore West caught a break in the third when Joe Collesano picked off a Vikings clearing attempt and rifled a shot past Currie, giving the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead. The key to the goal was Sam Hromchak’s forecheck, creating the turnover.

Moments later Braden Zeler put Kenmore West up by two with a little over two minutes left in regulation.

The Vikings didn’t panic. With the goalie pulled and time winding down Brian O’Neill jammed home a rebound after a flurry of action in front of Pelino.

The Blue Devils’ Dylan Speck would put the game out of reach just 22 seconds later with an empty net goal; sending Kenmore West to the semis.

The Blue Devils needed a total team effort to beat Grand Island and that’s exactly what they did. Led by returning captain P.J. Abbott who missed the last two games. The defenseman had a number of big hits that ignited his teammates. “I was really hoping for another game, I told the guys to play hard for the seniors and for me,” Abbott said after the game.

Kenmore West will face top-seeded Williamsville South at HarborCenter on Thursday @ 6:15pm.

Watch on Demand: https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/wny-athletics/gam5ac46cc4cc


Featured image provided courtesy of Jen Rumschik

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