Weekly Feature



2018-01-03 / Sports

West hockey moves to .500 in league play

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI
Reporter


Kenmore West's Owen Green gives a quick pass during a game against West Seneca West at the West Seneca Town Rink Dec. 18. The Blue Devils came away with a 1-0 win over the Indians. 
Photo by Daniel RosatiPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Kenmore West's Owen Green gives a quick pass during a game against West Seneca West at the West Seneca Town Rink Dec. 18. The Blue Devils came away with a 1-0 win over the Indians. Photo by Daniel RosatiPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Kenmore West boys’ hockey might have had a slow start to the season, but the Blue Devils are coming on strong. After an 0-3 start to the year, the team is now 4-5 overall and 4-4 in Federation play.

Kenmore West travelled to Greece for a non-league matchup, but lost 4-1. They followed that up with two impressive Federation wins. On Dec. 18, they defeated West Seneca West 1-0. The game was noticeably different than the past few games, which saw plenty of goals scored. Ethan Yotter tallied the lone goal of this game off an assist from Michael Barker. Chris Cairns made 28 saves in the victory.

“I think both teams kind of limited each other’s quality scoring chances,” Kenmore West coach Rob Roszak said. “I think we did a good job of keeping them out of the scoring areas and our goalie Chris Cairns made big saves when he had to make big saves.”

They got back to their high-scoring ways Saturday with a 5-4 win over Williamsville East. They were down 4-1 early in the second period and rallied to tie the game heading into the third. They scored the lone tally of the final period, coming away with a 5-4 win. Yotter had two goals and two assists while Barker had a goal and three assists. Owen Green and Tim Seyfang also scored. Cam Crosier had two assists.

“I thought we did a good job,” Roszak said. “We told the forwards to push it wide on their defense and go hard to the net. I think we did a good job of putting their defense under pressure by driving it wide. We tied the game at four after two periods. We got the winner with four or five minutes left in the third period.”

That game was typical of what has worked for Kenmore West this season. Yotter and Barker have once again been very productive for the Blue Devils. Yotter has 16 points through eight games, while Barker has 12. The third member of their line, Crosier, is third on the team with seven points.

“They’re both trying to continue where they left off last year,” Roszak said. “They were the leading scorers for us last year and two of the leading scorers in Federation. They’re kind of the two that keep pace in terms of their production. I’m really happy with their play. Their line mate Cam Crosier has really kind of stepped up his game too this year where he has kind of made the best of the situation. He’s playing some really good hockey both offensively and defensively for us.”

The team is in the midst of a two-week break between games. They practiced only once over the Christmas break, taking the time off to rest and recover.

“We only had one practice during break,” Roszak said. “December was a long month for us, we had a lot of games. We gave the kids a break in terms of skating. We get back at it Tuesday. I figured I’d give the kids some time off to enjoy the holiday and rest up a little bit.”

The team will take on West Seneca East Friday and then Hamburg on Sunday. They’ll head into January play much better than they were a few weeks ago.

“We’re right in the mix where we want to be in the Fed,” Roszak said. “We want to either win the division or get as high of a seed as possible. We had a slow start, but the team is kind of realizing what needs to get done in order to meet the goal.”

email: tnigrelli@beenews.com

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