BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Sticks, hats and gloves scattered about the ice after the Orchard Park, Starpoint and Nichols boys hockey teams won Western New York Federation championships on Super Monday at KeyBank Center.
Orchard Park repeated in the large school division with a 4-1 win against Clarence, Starpoint beat Niagara Wheatfield 8-3 for its third small school title in four years, and Nichols won 4-1 against St. Francis to claim the Niagara Cup for the second year in a row after returning to the Fed.
“It’s real special,” said Presley Schiltz, who had the winning goal for Orchard Park.
Nichols (16-1-1), ranked No. 2 in the state among large schools, will play in the Catholic state championship game Sunday on Coney Island, while third-ranked Orchard Park (16-4-2) and Starpoint (18-5), the No. 10 small school, advance to NYSPHSAA regional playoff games Saturday at Harborcenter.
“We’re pretty confident with the way we’ve been playing that we can get past any team right now,” Orchard Park goaltender Brayden Hearn said.
Schiltz, Logan Ward and Carter Zakrzewski scored for Orchard Park in a span of 6:29 to break open a game that was tied 1-1 after two periods. Jonah Reashor had the early goal, and Frank Neeson tallied two assists as the Quakers won their 10th game in a row since losing to Nichols. Daniel Sherry had a first-period goal for Clarence, ranked No. 11 in the state.
Jake Caffrey and Griffin Johnston each had a goal and an assist for Nichols, which avenged an early season loss to St. Francis and extended its unbeaten streak to 16 games. McLean Agrette scored the go-ahead goal on a power play in the second period, Drury Schmidt added an empty-netter and Alex Glofka made 31 saves. Brady Hill had the lone goal to give St. Francis the lead in the first period.
Nichols, which also has a prep hockey program, has no seniors and five juniors on its 22-player Fed roster.
“It shows that our second team in the school can beat any top team in the area,” Vikings coach R.J. Gicewicz said. “And we are really looking forward to next year, building off these two championships.”
Starpoint, a state finalist last season, won its third championship in its sixth year in the Fed by scoring six straight goals after spotting local rival Niagara Wheatfield and early lead.
Alec Kirk and Jacob Cyrek each scored twice, while Gavin Russell, Frankie Cardarella, Justin Bull, and Mike Merrifield had single tallies. Anthony LaGreca scored twice for Niagara Wheatfield, and William Coble had the other goal.
Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.