WNY Athletics

Northtowns take down Southtowns, 7-4, in first All-Star Game

The inaugural Section VI Boys Federation Hockey Senior All-Star Game took place on Tuesday night at the LECOM Harborcenter and it was full of fireworks.

Two teams compromised of the best Western New York had to offer – one representing seniors from the Northtowns, the other the Southtowns – ended with the North squad skating away with a 7-4 final decision.

“This was a phenomenal success as far as I’m concerned,” sectional chairman and Clarence coach Rick Brooks said. “It’s the first time Section VI has hosted this type of all-star game for seniors and I think the kids had a ball. They were laughing and joking with each other and the referees had a good time too, so I couldn’t have hoped for more.”

Others involved with the game echoed Brooks’ sentiments.

“I wish we would have come out with a win, but it is what it is and it’s really all about having fun and that’s what we did,” Sweet Home senior August Trifilo, who suited up for the Southtowns squad, said. “It was a bunch of really good hockey players coming together just to play a game, and the experience was incredible.”

After a scoreless first period, the second was where the offensive prowess began. Loic Fisher of Amherst got the South on the board first with a goal about two minutes in and the North answered back less than a minute later when Anthony LaGreca of Niagara Wheatfield lit the lamp. Will Mainstone of Starpoint got the North in front 2-1 a few minutes after and the team increased their lead when Ian Wirth of Kenmore West got on the board.

The period nearly ended that way, but there was more offense to be had. Orchard Park’s Presley Schilitz cashed in on a two-on-one to pull the South to within a goal late in the stanza and the North responded via a wrist shot from Max Methien of Canisius.

The show continued in the third period when LaGreca got his second of the game on a backhanded opportunity and Wheatfield’s Roman Adamschick followed up with a goal of his own within 30 seconds – making it a 6-2 lead for the North. The South wouldn’t go quietly, however, as Schilitz’s Quaker teammate Frank Neeson got a goal of his own and Andrew Usinski from Lancaster added a tally but an empty-net score sealed the win for the North.

The idea for this type of event came from Brooks and the Section VI committee. Unlike the Bowman Cup, which pits seniors from Buffalo against their counterparts in Rochester, the idea was to do one for just hockey players from Western New York.

“Other sections do these types of senior all-star games and Section VI does them sometimes for other sports. So our committee proposed it to the section and the section approved,” Brooks said. “We took our All-Federation teams from Division I and Division II and then we made sure that every school had at least one person on it. And we took our First Team all-stars from each division and then pieced it together.

“We hope that will be an annual occurrence and I think the turnout here will go a long way to making that happen.”

Many of the other coaches who ran the North and South teams agreed.

“I thought it was a fun time,” Jack Panek of St. Francis said. “I think those guys really proved that they earned the label of an all-star and for a lot of those guys that’s their last high school hockey experience, so I think they left it all out there and it’s a good opportunity for guys who are used to usually beating each other up to play with each other and get the recognition they’ve earned throughout the season.”

“I think it’s great that we did it,” West Seneca West’s Kevin Rozo said. “It was just a great idea to get these guys together who have battled each other since they were little to get out there and have a chance to put on their high school jerseys one more time and go for a skate. It’s a tradition that is overdue and I hope it continues.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *