Season eight of Girls Federation High School Hockey in WNY officially begins this afternoon at Riverworks. The all-girls team made up of the three Williamsville schools (North, South and East) will lace them up for a game against the Hamburg, Eden and West Seneca (HEWS) squad.
HEWS is looking to improve on a 1-15-1 season from a year ago. They have won just four games in the past four years. Brian Hillery returns to head coaching duties for a third season. Hillery is also the varsity football coach at McKinley.
Meanwhile, Williamsville is led by Rich Hopkins, who has been coaching this team since the league’s inception. His squad was a favorite to win it all last year, after posting a 15-0-3 regular season record. After earning a first-round bye in the Section VI playoff’s they were bounced out of the semi’s by Kenmore/Grand Island (KENGI) 4-2.
In the WNY Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Finals (WNYGVIHF) they dropped another 4-2 decision to eventual state final runner-up Frontier, Lancaster, Orchard Park better known as the FLOP.
“We expect to be competitive, always, but the goal is to win the league,” Coach Hopkins said. “We lost some of our goal scoring production as you do every year but we have some players still that are capable of doing the job.”
Holly Schmelzer returns to lead Williamsville in her senior season. Last year she finished with 15 goals and is expected to jump to the top of the scoring charts this season. With Schmelzer and returning forwards Amada Gaffney and Jenna Woods, Williamsville possesses perhaps the most lethal forward line in the league.
“Schmelzer and Gaffney are both being pursued by D1 college programs,” added Hopkins.
Defensively Williamsville’s core defensive unit will be counted on if they wish to repeat their successes of a year ago. Elizabeth Sidorski, Victoria Morog, Rachel Juneau, Kaylee Conover and Emily Schule’s all played an integral part in the 2016-17 campaign. Along with one of the best goalie tandems in the league in Rose Quattro and 2nd team all-star Jenna Lukomski there is no reason to believe that Williamsville won’t have a terrific season.
Additional Williamsville players to watch in 2017-18 are sophomore’s Erin Roland (F) and Laura Kaplan (D).
Puck drop is at 4:30pm at Buffalo Riverworks.
Monsignor Martin vs Lancaster, Iroquois, Depew (LID) 4 p.m. @ Holiday
Williamsville vs Clarence, Amherst, Sweet Home (CASH) 4 p.m. @ Northtown
Frontier, Lake Shore, Orchard Park (FLOP) vs Kenmore West, East, Grand Island (KenGI) 7:40 p.m. @ Lincoln
League Rosters, Stats and Standings
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