Weekly Feature

2014-03-26 / Sports

First Team recipients loaded with experience

2013-14 All-Bee Girls Hockey

Rachel Grampp (Williamsville), far left, Rachel Lenard (Monsignor Martin Association), Maddie Norton (Lancaster/Iroquois), Lauren Pray (Kenmore), Maddie Grisko (Amherst/Sweet Home), Erin Gehen (West Seneca) and Missy Mallon (Amherst/Sweet Home) are members of the 2014 All-Bee Girls Hockey First Team. Pray is the Girls MVP. Pictured in the back row is Kenmore’s Jeff Orlowski, the All-Bee Girls Coach of the Year. 
Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Rachel Grampp (Williamsville), far left, Rachel Lenard (Monsignor Martin Association), Maddie Norton (Lancaster/Iroquois), Lauren Pray (Kenmore), Maddie Grisko (Amherst/Sweet Home), Erin Gehen (West Seneca) and Missy Mallon (Amherst/Sweet Home) are members of the 2014 All-Bee Girls Hockey First Team. Pray is the Girls MVP. Pictured in the back row is Kenmore’s Jeff Orlowski, the All-Bee Girls Coach of the Year. Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com The 2014 All-Bee Girls Hockey team looks similar to last year’s inaugural squad.

Four of the six selections — West Seneca’s Erin Gehen, Monsignor Martin Association’s Rachel Lenard, Williamsville’s Rachel Grampp and Amherst/Sweet Home’s Missy Mallon — are repeat picks.

Another First Team selection from last year, Kenmore goalie Lauren Pray, is the Bee’s inaugural Girls Hockey MVP.

The First Team was determined by seven coaches from the Bee’s coverage area.

Erin Gehen, Forward
West Seneca

Erin Gehen has been the face of West Seneca girls hockey since the program debuted four years ago.

The senior forward led the league in scoring every year and finished her four-year high school career with league-highs for goals (108), assists (69) and points (177). All of these achievements took place over 72 games.

Gehen became the first player in Western New York Varsity Girls Ice Hockey Federation history to record 100 career goals, accomplishing the feat against Amherst/Sweet Home on Dec. 19, her 63rd career game.

Gehen finished her senior season scoring 17 of West Seneca’s 27 goals and added eight assists.

“She was a very important part of our success over the past four years,” West Seneca coach Brian Hillery said. “She was a coach’s dream to have. She was always the first person on the ice and last person off the ice at practice. She has the drive and determination to be great. It was extremely fun to coach her. We were very lucky to have had her on our team.”

While Gehen was an extremely hard worker and a consistent player, Hillery said her best asset was her endurance.

“She had a nonstop motor,” Hillery said. “She could stay on the ice the whole game if we allowed her to. Sometimes we had to force her off the ice. Teams couldn’t match up lines with her because she was on the ice for two-thirds of a game. It was a matchup nightmare for other teams.”

Gehen is the league’s only four-time Federation First Team All-star.

Missy Mallon, Forward
Amherst/Sweet Home

Missy Mallon has been a cornerstone of Amherst/Sweet Home since the team was formed four years ago.

A two-time captain, Mallon always made her presence felt on the ice.

The senior forward scored a short-handed goal in the team’s come-from-behind 6-4 win over Williamsville, its first victory over Williamsville in team history.

Mallon scored four times in the team’s 6-2 victory over Orchard Park/Frontier.

She added two goals in the team’s 3-1 win against the Monsignor Martin Association, which included a tally in the first nine seconds of the game and a back-handed goal in the second period.

Amherst/Sweet Home finished with a 9-7 record and advanced to the Federation semifinals.

Mallon finished the season with 14 goals and eight assists for 25 points, which ranked her as the third-highest scorer in the league.

“There really wasn’t a single game where Missy didn’t show up,” coach Nicola Adimey said. “She was an all-around team player, did not back down, forechecked and backchecked, saw the ice well and scored beautiful goals.”

Mallon also earned Federation First Team honors.

She will be attending Buffalo State College and is planning to play on its hockey team.

Rachel Lenard, Forward
Monsignor Martin Association

Rachel Lenard was a stabilizing force for the Monsignor Martin Association.

With 10 freshmen on the roster, the senior captain from Nardin was the team’s second-leading scorer with 10 goals and 10 assists and helped the MMA to a 9-5-2 record and an appearance in the Federation semifinals.

“Rachel’s play was crucial with how we ended up this year,” MMA coach Linda Mroz said. “She was pretty consistent throughout the whole year, which is what I was counting on with her being a senior and a captain.”

Mroz said Lenard was always looking to set up her teammates.

Lenard’s tremendous play rubbed off on linemate Kaitlin Drew-Mead, a freshman at Sacred Heart. Lenard assisted on seven of Drew-Mead’s goals, and Drew-Mead assisted on seven of Lenard’s goals.

“They became almost inseparable,” Mroz said. “They knew where one another would be on the ice. It was nice to watch a freshman play with a senior and to build that relationship throughout the season.”

Lenard is a three-time Federation First Team all-star. She was a Second Team selection as a freshman with Orchard Park/Frontier.

Lenard will continue her hockey career at Oswego State College.

Rachel Grampp, Defense

Whether Williamsville was protecting a one-goal lead or needing a goal to tie a game, coach Rick Hopkins could always rely on Rachel Grampp to deliver.

The senior received the most votes of any defenseman on the ballot despite missing the final five games with a concussion.

“She was one of the girls in the league who could take over a game,” Hopkins said. “She was a dynamic player to watch. She saw the ice extremely well and was a great passer. She dominated at both ends.”

Not only a solid defenseman, Grampp had the ability to generate passes for odd-man rushes toward the opponents’ net.

Grampp was Williamsville’s team MVP and finished as the team’s second-leading scorer with six goals and 10 assists in 12 games.

Grampp makes her second appearance on the All-Bee First Team. She also was a Federation First Team selection.

Grampp will continue her playing career at Elmira College.

Maddie Grisko, Defense
Amherst/Sweet Home

Maddie Grisko anchored the Amherst/Sweet Home defense since her freshman year.

She was named team co-captain with Missy Mallon after serving as an assistant captain in her junior season.

One of Grisko’s four goals she scored was the game winner with 15 seconds remaining to knock off previously unbeaten Lancaster/ Iroquois, 5-4.

She also recorded four assists.

“She’s a strong defenseman,” Adimey said. “She was very intense and always ready to rush the puck if she saw an opportunity to create scoring chances for us. She was an important player on our power play. She never gave up.”

Grisko was also named as a Federation First Team all-star.

She will be attending Rochester Institute of Technology.

Maddie Norton, Goalie

When Lancaster’s girls hockey team merged with Iroquois, co-coach Peter Tonsoline felt the key to the squad’s success would be the play of goalie Maddie Norton.

The Lancaster junior didn’t disappoint, recording three shutouts to help the Lancaster/Iroquois team finish with an 11-5-1 record and make appearances in the Section VI and Federation title games. Lancaster went 0-57 over its first three years of existence.

Norton, Lancaster’s goalie for the past three years, came to tryouts wanting to play forward, but the team needed her experience in net. Tonsoline said if there was another experienced goalie on the roster, she could have played forward.

“I knew she was the key to the merger if she wanted to play goalie,” Tonsoline said. “She would have rather played forward. She could be an outstanding player up front, but you don’t find goalies like that anywhere.”

Tonsoline puts Norton’s athletic abilities in net on par with Kenmore’s Lauren Pray — the inaugural All-Bee Girls MVP. The only difference was Pray has more big-game experience.

“She’s an incredible athlete,” Tonsoline said. “She’s the most motivated at practice. Her athleticism is remarkable. She makes it look effortless.”

One of Norton’s best games came in the team’s 3-2 win over the Monsignor Martin Association on Dec. 19.

“I felt that game was a turning point of the season for us, and Maddie shut them down,” Tonso- line said.

Norton is a Federation honorable mention this year and is a returning Second Team All-Bee selection.

email: pnagy@beenews.com

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