Weekly Feature



2014-03-26 / Sports

Kenmore’s Jeff Orlowski named All-Bee Girls Hockey Coach of Year

by PATRICK J. NAGY
Reporter


Kenmore’s Jeff Orlowski was voted the 2014 All-Bee Girls Hockey Coach of the Year by his coaching peers within The Bee’s coverage area. Kenmore’s Jeff Orlowski was voted the 2014 All-Bee Girls Hockey Coach of the Year by his coaching peers within The Bee’s coverage area. Jeff Orlowski has coached hockey for 20 years but never coached girls hockey until Kenmore started a team four years ago.

It’s been a winning formula, as under Orlowski’s direction, Kenmore has won the past three Section VI titles in addition to winning the team’s first Federation crown this season.

Both wins came over the combined Lancaster/Iroquois team, 2-1, in the sectional final and 2-1 in double overtime in the Federation final.

It’s the first time in the four-year history of the league that a team has won both titles in the same year. Kenmore lost to Potsdam, 2-1, in the state semifinals and finished with a 13-4-2 record.

“Our league was so close from top to bottom so to be the first team to win the section and Federation titles in the same year is awesome,” said Orlowski, the All-Bee Girls Hockey Coach of the Year. “I can’t say enough about the girls. It’s a joy to coach them. When people tell me congratulations about the sectional title, I say, ‘I don’t do anything. The girls do all of the work.’”

Orlowski said he is only as good as the talent on the team and there was plenty on this year’s roster.

It all begins in the back with junior goalie Lauren Pray, a returning three-time Federation First Team goalie.

Other league all-stars were senior forward Jill Battista (second team), senior defenseman Kaeli Mathias (second team), sophomore forward Emily King (honorable mention), sophomore defenseman Grace Simmons (honorable mention) and freshman forward Olivia Smith (honorable mention).

There is also sophomore forward Lina Mirabella, who scored the game-winning goal in the Federation final. Three years ago, Mirabella scored the game-winning goal in the Section VI championship game against West Seneca in the team’s 1-0 win.

Orlowski credits assistant coach Matt Miller and volunteer coaches John Dollendorf and Rob Berke for their help in the team’s success. He also lauded the support from Kenmore Athletics Director Brett Banker and Superintendent Mark Mondanaro.

Prior to taking over as the Kenmore girls coach, Orlowski was head coach of the North Tonawanda boys hockey club team and started the Kenmore East boys hockey Federation program in 2000.

email: pnagy@beenews.com

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