Safe to say there is not a hotter team in WNY. Maybe the entire state.
Bella Jayme scored twice including the Game winner as Kenmore/Grand Island beat host Section VII Plattsburgh, 5-2, in the title game of the first North Country Shootout that was played over the weekend.
KenGI advanced to the title game after beating Section VII Saranac/Lake Placid 6-2 in the opening round.
SLP subbed for Section X Massena who had to pull out of the tourney after their district was shut down due to Covid.
Having already won the Holiday Shootout, which they co-hosted with Niagara County, this win carries even more weight.
The combination of traveling and facing teams from out of Section VI gave KenGI a very strong simulation of a state tourney setting.
“We came into it knowing Plattsburgh was one of the top teams in the state. They’re at the top of their section,” said junior goalie Carolyn Bourgeault, who made 22 saves in the title game.
“We knew it was gonna be a tough game .and the fact that we had the privilege to even play them was awesome. The win itself not only put into perspective not only for the team, but also for everyone else, how good of a team Kenmore/Grand Island really is. And the potential we really do have if we were to make states in February.”
Senior Carissa Buyea, who also scored twice in the championship game, said this was a great example of every girl working as one for a common goal.
“This win was huge because it shows how far we have come as a team and shows the resilience our team has,” said Buyea.
“It shows that we can play against any team in this league and as a team we bring 100% effort every game.”
KenGI also showed that all-important aspect of resilience when their backs are against the wall.
In both games, they were down after the first period. Nevertheless, they didn’t fold. They kept fighting.
Trailing SLP by a 2-1 score after the first period, KenGI exploded for a four-goal third period.
Eighth grader Teagan Willats scored the game winner.
Down 1-0 to the Lady Hornets, a three goal second period carried KenGI to the win.
KenGI, especially as of late, has not been in many situations this season where they have had to come from behind to win.
To display that sense of compete in this scenario shows just how much heart KenGI has. How they have the belief that no game is out of reach and they will always battle to the final buzzer.
“Coming from behind isn’t something we’ve had to do much of this year with the success that we have had,” said Bourgeault. “So coming from behind was definitely a challenge for the team. It definitely showed the want and the will to win that our girls really do have. And that no game is out of (reach) until the end of the third period.
Especially playing Plattsburgh. That team does have a lot of talent as well as we do. And it really showed that when you out talent said the team that comes out wanting to win more is the team that will win.”
Emiliana Cassillo scored twice in the win over Saranac/Lake Placid.
While the race for first heats up, teams currently in the lower half of the standings continue to do what they can to prepare for the playoffs. HEWS is ready to play the role of spoiler come playoff time. While their improvement and hard work may not be reflected in their record, coach Eric Cooper believes his girls are getting better every day.
“I like how our girls have stepped up their game and become more competitive,” said Cooper.
“We had a rough stretch where we were giving up way too many quality chances and it was costing us goals. We’ve tightened up our defensive zone play and have created better offensive chances, which has out us in good position to win games. We’re looking to continue that, as the second half of the season gets underway.
1st: Bella Jayme-KenGI
Five goals this week including four in the tourney.
2nd: Carolyn Bourgeault-KenGI
Four starts. Four wins. Can’t ask for much more than what Bourgeault did this week.
3rd: Madison Flory-KenGI
Seven point week highlighted by 3 helpers in the tourney championship game.
Stick tap: Riley Andzel-HEWS.
It’s never easy to score on Carolyn Bourgeault, but Andzel did it twice in a loss to KenGI.
WNYAthletics.com will be livestreaming Thursday afternoons game at Northtown Center between Clarence/Amherst/Sweet Home (CASH) and Niagara County (NiCo), with a roster that includes players from Starpoint, Niagara-Wheatfield, Lew-Port and North Tonawanda. Stu Boyar and Randy Schultz will have the call.
Leave a Reply