Weekly Feature



2014-03-26 / Sports

Kenmore’s Lauren Pray named inaugural girls hockey MVP

by PATRICK J. NAGY
Reporter


Goalie Lauren Pray, the Bee’s inaugural All-Bee Girls Hockey MVP, helped Kenmore become the first girls ice hockey team to win the Section VI and Federation titles in the same year. 
File photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Goalie Lauren Pray, the Bee’s inaugural All-Bee Girls Hockey MVP, helped Kenmore become the first girls ice hockey team to win the Section VI and Federation titles in the same year. File photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com When the stakes are high, Kenmore goalie Lauren Pray always delivers.

The inaugural All-Bee Girls MVP has excelled in many high-pressure situations with the Kenmore Federation girls ice hockey team this season, none bigger than the stop she made against Lancaster/ Iroquois in the Western New York Varsity Girls Ice Hockey Federation title game.

With Lancaster/Iroquois on a two-on-one rush at the end of the first overtime, Pray moved from her left to her right, slid across the net and made a toe save. Pray followed the performance with 32 saves in Kenmore’s 2-1 loss against Potsdam in the state semifinals.

Kenmore coach Jeff Orlowski said the team’s 2-0 deficit against Potsdam after two periods could have been 5-0 had she not made big saves.

“She’s a big-game goalie,” Orlowski said. “Before a game and during intermission, she always says she’s nervous but once the game is on, she’s calm, cool and collected and gets the job done.”

Pray is a big reason for Kenmore winning three consecutive Section VI titles, along with its first Federation title.

This season, she posted a 9-3-2 regular-season record with two shutouts, a 1.49 goals against average and a .929 save percentage, plus a 4-1 postseason record with a shutout, 1.15 goals against average and a .958 save percentage.

Her stats over her three-year career are impressive: a 28-14-3 record with 7.5 shutouts and a 1.48 goals against average.

“If we’re up by two goals, I’m thinking we got it because she’s not going to let in three goals,” Orlowski said.

Pray has all of the tools of a successful goalie.

“She’s got great lateral movement,” Orlowski said. “She moves from side to side so well that when teams come in on a two-on-one and moves the puck from side to side, she can beat them to it. Her angles are excellent. She allows us to take chances. If our forwards or defense make a mistake, we know she is going to be back there to bail us out.”

Hockey is in her blood. Her father, Don, is head coach of the Grand Island Federation boys team. Her uncle, Kyle, is head coach of the Kenmore East boys team.

Pray has been named a Federation First Team selection for the past three seasons. She was on last year’s inaugural All-Bee First Team.

email: pnagy@beenews.com

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