Braves rally for win over Blue Devils
February 21, 2011
Perinton, N.Y. —
Whenever the Canandaigua Braves and Victor Blue Devils hockey teams get together, you can expect the unexpected. Saturday afternoon the No. 2 seed Blue Devils were facing the No. 7 seed Canandaigua Braves in the quarterfinal round of the Class B sectionals at Thomas Creek Ice Arena.
After the Blue Devils opened up with an early 1-0 lead on a nice Matt Portland pass to Blue Devil goal-scorer Trevor O’Shea, Victor and CA slugged it out on defense until a D.J. Goldstein goal tied things up mid-way through the third period.
Then, with the final seconds ticking off the clock, Goldstein got his second goal of the night, firing the puck into the net in front of a myriad of both Blue Devil and Braves players as the final whistle blew.
“It was insane,” said Goldstein after the game. “It came off of a nice face-off win from Nick Como. I new time was running out so I just took the shot, it bounced off of a couple of Victor kids and found the back of the net. This was a great game. Fantastic finish.”
Brave co-captain Mark Greer talked about the win.
“This was a hard fought game,” said Greer. “It’s always a tough game when we play Victor. I think that losing to them in the sectionals last year might have made the difference this year. It was in the back of our minds.”
Bryan Yehl and Nick Como were credited with assists on Goldstein’s first goal while Como had the lone assist on the game-winner.
“We hung in there after their first goal and kept on knocking on the door until we got in on a nice back-hander from D.J.,” said CA coach Jim Armstrong. “As far as the winning goal we had been working on a face-off play that worked out well. It’s a very exciting win for us.”
Max Lucchesi made 14 saves for CA while Zeb Clarke made 18 saves for Victor.
While their was some dispute to the timing of the winning goal, it was a moot point as far as Victor coach Mike Ferreri was concerned.
“It is what it is, but this was a great game,” was his first thought. “Both teams played the game very well tonight. It was a physical game and our kids did everything we asked of them. It was such a well played game that it was a shame someone had to loose. I’m just very proud of how our kids played. To have defended our league title and to have gotten 14 wins on the season is nothing to hang our heads over. We accomplished a lot. It was a good season.”
Victor finishes it’s season with a 14-5-5-1 record and a league title while the Braves, now 13-8-1 on the season, move into the Class B semifinals where they will face the winner of the No. 3 Webster Thomas vs No. 6 Spencerport game this Thursday evening at MCC.
Copyright 2011 MPNnow. Some rights reserved
Blue Devils lock up first round bye with win
February 13, 2011
Victor 4, Brighton/ER/HF-L 2
Trevor O’Shea scored twice and added an assist while Matt Portland and Mike Whitehair each had a goal and an assist in the win for the Blue Devils.
The victory ensured Victor (14-5-1) a first-round bye in the sectionals and they will play Saturday in the quarterfinals.
Zeb Clarke had 21 saves to earn the win while Victor forced Brighton goalie Bracket Bourne to make 26 stops.
Victor hockey stymied by Batavia-Notre Dame in 4-1 loss
February 10, 2011
Batavia, N.Y. —
Last Friday, with the Victor Blue Devils 2-0 win over the Batavia Blue Devils at Thomas Creek, Victor clinched their second straight Monroe County North-South Division III league championship. That’s the silver lining.
“We clinched the league title with (that) win,” said Victor Coach Mike Ferreri. “It’s really great for the kids. They have worked hard all season and have really impressed us so far this year. It’s our second year in a row that we have won the league title and it certainly hasn’t been easy. Every game in this league is a challenge. It’s a tough game every time we go out on the ice. Nothing was easy this year.”
Along with the good must come a little bad as the Blue Devils traveled to the Falletti Ice Arena in Batavia on Tuesday night to face Batavia-Notre Dame, coming away on the losing end of a 4-1 score.
With the loss, the North-South league champion Blue Devils now carry a 13-4-1-1 record into their final regular season game this Saturday against Brighton-East-HF-L at MCC Sports Center 1.
“I’ll tell you, they came ready to play,” said Ferreri of host B-ND. “They played really well tonight, especially their goalie Tom Dehr.”
The Blue Devils kept Dehr busy but could only get one shot of 35 past him. That one goal was scored by Michael Whitehair, unassisted, in the second period. Zeb Clarke made 13 saves for Victor.
Scoring for B-ND, who scored two goals each in the first and second periods, was Zach Blew, Jack Nenni, Dylan Versage and Tyler Kessler. Teammate Brett Perfitt had two assist in the game while Blew and Nenni had one assist each.
Ferreri probably wouldn't venture a comment on the thought, but Blue Devil's fans, getting back to that silver lining, might be thinking that now, after clinching a league title and with one game left in the regular season, might not have been a bad time to get a loss out of their system. Sectionals and what lays beyond start next week.
Copyright 2011 MPNnow. Some rights reserved
Victor wins final home game of the year 2-0
February 6, 2011
The Victor hockey team played host to Batavia on Friday night and defeated the Devils to improve to 13-4-1 on the season.
Mike Whitehair scored both goals for Victor in the first period, running his total to 20 on the season.
The first goal came at 5:04 into the period, when Whitehair scored off assists from Trevor O’Shea and Parker Delaney.
Whitehair scored again three minutes later to put Victor up 2-0, this time assisted by Matt Portland.
Zeb Clarke made 27 saves for Victor, giving him six shutouts on the season.
Adam Kurek turned away 22 shots for Batavia (7-10-1).
Victor shuts out Bishop Kearney-East Irondequoit in hockey.
February 2, 2011
Perinton, N.Y. —
In Tuesday afternoon’s 4-0 win over Bishop Kearney-East Irondequoit at Thomas Creek Ice Arena the Blue Devils were led by Zeb Clarke and an offensive attack that saw four different scorers account for each of the Blue Devil goals.
Clark got his fifth league-leading shut out of the season, stopping 19 shots while Matt Portland, Michael Whitehair, Parker Delaney and Steve Grabowski each scored a goal for Victor, who sit atop the MC D-III North\South division with a 12-3-1-1 record.
The Blue Devils scored two power play goals in the game and according to Victor coach Mike Ferreri, besides doing nothing fancy, the power play goals are also a key to their game.
“I don’t think we played our best tonight but we were very opportunistic with our power play,” said Ferreri after the game. “We try to make the power play one of or strengths. We preach to the kids to just keep it simple and that is what sort of, once again, happened tonight.”
For Portland this game against BK/EI was a chance to get even for a 2-2 tie earlier in the season.
“We started off tonight on the right foot tonight. Came out strong and kept it up all the way through the game,” said Portland. “We wanted revenge for that tie and came away with the win tonight.”
Copyright 2011 MPNnow. Some rights reserved
January 30, 2011
Niagara Falls 4
Hats off to the Victor hockey team - twice. Two players registered hat tricks as the Devils earned a win over Niagara Falls of Section 6.
Trevor O’Shea and Parker Delaney both scored three times as Victor moves to 11-4-1 on the season.
They will play again Tuesday against Bishop Kearney/Eastridge.
Victor hockey toppled by Gates Chili
January 28, 2011
Perinton, N.Y. — Victor Blue Devils hockey coach Mike Ferreri alluded to a fact that in his team’s previous game, a 1-0 win over Webster Thomas a week ago, his team didn’t do anything fancy but just go out and win the game.
Well, Thursday afternoon, the Blue Devils continued with that “nothing fancy” attitude. Only difference this time around was that Thursday’s game was against Monroe County Division-I leading Gates Chili.
In fact, both teams played nothing but a solid, close-checking game with not a goal scored until 1:11 left in the second period when G-C’s Steve Castner scored off a loose puck to the right of Blue Devils goalie Zeb Clarke.
Five minutes later, just under four minutes into the final period, Victor’s Michael Whitehair knotted the score on a nifty power-play backhand while skating across the crease.
A little over 1:30 after Whitehair’s score, G-C’s John Mosca put away the eventual game-winner on a deflected shot that got between the legs of a spread-eagle Clarke sprawling to his right.
In a game as closely played as this one was, it was easy afterward for Ferreri to stay positive despite the loss.
“It was a great game,” he said with an easy smile. “I thought it was very even, back-and-forth. Zeb played well. Our goalie played well, their goalie played well. Just two teams that played a very good, tough game.”
Spartan coach Joe Jehlen had the same thoughts.
“Two good teams battling,” he said outside his team’s locker room after the game. “Victor is a strong team with a strong goaltender. They have players that really work hard and are well coached. We knew we were in for a battle. A good, tough, hard-fought hockey game.”
Spartan goalie Matt Ryan gave up Victor’s lone goal, stopping 17 shots for G-C (11-1-3-0) while at the other end of the ice Clarke made 23 saves for the Blue Devils (10-3-1-1). G-C’s John Wise had the assist on Castner’s goal. Tteammate Mark Caufield got the assist on the game-winner when the rebound of his shot was gathered up by Mosca, who rifled it to Clarke’s right where it was deflected by a crowd of players in the crease.
Parker Delaney had an assist on Whitehair’s goal for Victor.
“Coming off an emotional game against Fairport on Saturday, it seemed like it took us a little bit to get into the game,” Jehlen said. “Today was definitely a grind-it-out, character type of a win. We stayed strong and got the job done.”
Outside the locker room down the hall it certainly wasn’t doom and gloom after the loss.
“I think our kids are pretty fired-up about beating Thomas last week and what we just said there in the locker room was that the effort tonight was a little bit better than it was that night against (Thomas),” Ferreri said. “The outcome was a little different but I think that our kids now know that they can play with the best, which is a good sign.”
Copyright 2011 MPNnow. Some rights reserved
Whitehair's first-period goal is enough as Victor tops Webster Thomas
January 21, 2011
Webster, N.Y. —
When talking with Victor Blue Devil hockey coach Mike Ferreri after his team came away with one of their more difficult road wins of the season, a 1-0 thriller over the Webster Thomas Titans at the Webster Arena Thursday evening, Ferreri basically said it was his teams lack of playing above their heads that got them the win. That and a quick mid-first period Michael Whitehair catch-and-shoot goal which goalie Zeb Clarke and the rest of the stingy Victor defense made stand over a long rest-of-the-game.
“We did the simple things in the offensive and defensive ends tonight,” said Ferreri. “We did nothing fancy. Just won our battles and came away with a win.”
It was a threesome of Blue Devil juniors who were the focal point of the key road win as not only was the game’s lone goal-scorer a junior but so was the game’s second hero, Clarke, who faced 37 Titan shots with not one getting by him. Joe DiRose made 17 saves for Thomas (7-4-2).
“Basically all we did was play tight defense, close the box and prevent them from getting anything in the lanes,” said Clarke of the defense in front of him. “Our defense did a good job of moving them out of the box, giving me the best chance at seeing the puck.”
“Zebby is the best goalie in Section 5,” said Whitehair of Clarke, who’s giving up an average of only one and a half goals per game. “He’s got great form and cuts the off angles real well.”
Whitehair was asked about his game-winner, a power play goal which came off a deft pass from the third junior — Matt Portland.
“We were trying to get it set up and Portland was up-top,” he explained of the power play. “He found the seam, saw the perfect pass and the goalie didn’t have a chance. It was a great pass to my stick and I made a quick shot to the left side.”
Senior teammate Trevor O’Shea also had an assist on the goal.
“They had the goalie beat,” continued their coach. “It was a great back-door play.”
Looking to give credit where due, Ferreri continued.
“Zeb’s been doing a tremendous job in goal lately. At practice he’s focused. He’s getting quicker and he doesn’t give up many second opportunities. Our kids played as a team tonight. They played very well together,” he concluded.
“This is a team I don’t think we have ever beaten and we really wanted this win,” concluded Whitehair. “This is a good momentum builder.”
Which bodes well for what lays ahead for the Blue Devils (10-2-1-1) as after a week’s break in the schedule, next Thursday the Blue Devils face what should be their biggest test so far this season, taking the ice against previously undefeated Gates-Chili, who lost their first game of the season 3-1 to Webster Schroeder Thursday night. The Blue Devil-Spartans game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at Thomas Creek Ice Arena.
Copyright 2011 MPNnow. Some rights reserved
Blue Devils Blank Geneva 3-0
January 19, 2011
Matt Portland had two goals and Trevor O'Shea also scored for the Blue Devils (9-3-1), who outshot the Panthers 40-11. Zeb Clarke recorded 11 saves for the shutout. Elliott Messmer had 37 saves for the Panthers (4-11).
Victor Wins a Tight One vs Brighton
January 16, 2011
The Victor hockey team improved to 8-3-1 on Friday night with a win over Brighton/ER/HF-L.
Trevor O’Shea put the Blue Devils up 1-0 when he scored on a power play with 8:45 left in the first period. Steve Grabowski and Mike Whitehair each earned an assist on the goal.
The teams played even until 6:30 left in the second period when Parker Delaney scored his sixth goal of the season for Victor to put the Blue Devils up 2-0.
Brighton/ER/HF-L was able to keep the pressure on, and James Spencer cut the deficit to just one goal when he scored with 1:15 left in the second period.
That would be the end of the scoring however, as Victor’s Zeb Clarke finished with 15 saves to earn the win.
Brackett Bourne made 23 saves for Brighton/ER/HF-L (8-4-1) in the loss.
Victor wins in OT
January 12, 2011
Notre Dame-Batavia 2
The Victor hockey team improved to 7-3-1 on Tuesday with an overtime win over Notre Dame-Batavia.
With the score tied 1-1 heading into the final period, Notre Dame’s Brett Perfitt scored off a pass from Jack Nenni to give the Fighting Irish a lead with time running down.
With 7:40 left in the contest, Victor’s Mike Whitehair scored his 14th goal of the season to tie the score at 2-2. The teams would play even for the remainder of regulation and head into overtime to decide a winner.
Midway into overtime, after failing to score on a power play opportunity, Notre Dame was penalized for too many men on the ice and gave Victor a chance to score with a man advantage.
Victor would capitalize on the advantage, as Matt Portland and Parker Delaney teamed up to find Steve Grabowski to give the Blue Devils the overtime win.
Zeb Clark made 34 saves to earn the win for Victor while Tom Dehr turned away 21 shots for Notre Dame.
Victor Hockey Team Improves to 6-3-1
January 9, 2011
Trailing 1-0 after two periods of play, Victor scored three goals in the final period to defeat visiting Geneseo/Livonia.
Josh Wester gave Geneseo/Livonia a 1-0 lead six minutes into the second period when he beat Victor goalie Zeb Clarke, but Victor would lock down their defense and not allow another goal for the remainder of the contest.
Two minutes into the final period, Victor’s Steve Grabowski tied the score at 1-1 off an assist from Matt Portland.
The Blue Devils took the lead six minutes later, when Portland teamed up with Mike Whitehair to find Grabowski for his second goal of the game.
Parker Delaney added an empty net goal for Victor to secure the win.
Clark made 14 saves for Victor as the Blue Devils improve to 6-3-1.
Tyger Debell turned away 27 shots for Geneseo/Livonia in the loss.
Victor loses tough one to Canandaigua
January 7, 2011
Canandaigua, N.Y. — Take a mixture of power plays, rebounds, heavy physicality and late-game defense. Add to that what is arguably one of the biggest high school athletic rivalries in Section 5. Then top it all off with a star — Nicholas Starr, to be exact — and what you have are the ingredients for what was an incredibly entertaining high school hockey game Wednesday night.
In front of a packed house at the Greater Canandaigua Civic Center, the host CA Braves hockey team rallied around two power-play goals and a late third-period tiebreaking wrister from Starr that came off a rebound of teammate Charles Post’s preceding shot for a 3-2 win over the visiting Victor Blue Devils.
Despite the fact that Starr’s goal gave the Braves the lead and brought the CA crowd to its feet with 6:52 left in the game, CA still had one last major obstacle to get over to seal the win. With CA’s Bryan Yehl and Colin Guay both getting minor roughing penalties with 5:42 left in the game, the Braves win was put on their defense’s back. As Victor’s Steve Grabowski was in the penalty box with 16 seconds left on his time in the box at that point, the Blue Devils had a 2-man up advantage for 1:14.
The CA defense stood strong, with Brave goalie Nicholas Dilg making but a couple of saves while the Blue Devils spent a lot of the 2-man up passing the puck out front unsuccessfully trying to find an open shot, lane or pass. The CA defense put the exclamation on the Braves win, jamming the puck along the boards in the Blue Devil corner over the games final 12 seconds.
“They scored two power play goals and that was the difference I think,” said Victor coach Mike Ferreri after the game. “We had a chance at the end with that 5-on-3 but we couldn’t capitalize.
Every year it’s throw the records out the window between the two of us. It comes down to who plays the smartest style of hockey. It was a battle. We had our opportunities at the end and we just couldn’t finish.”
The biggest part of the Blue Devil’s failure to take advantage late was the play of Dilge.
“I think any team has to have good goaltending and make saves when needed to and (Victor’s Zeb Clarke) is as good as any that I have seen at the high school level,” said CA coach Jim Armstrong. “Our goalie made saves when he needed to in the third period. You have either luck or skill and (Dilge) made some good saves.”
Dilge made 17 saves on 19 shots for CA (4-5) while Clarke made 27 saves on 30 shots for Victor (5-2-1-1).
When asked about the physical in-your-face style of play in the game, which there was plenty of with Victor being whistled for nine penalties and CA five, Armstrong had a good answer.
“Well, I think we have that planned for any team we play but today we really wanted to get the puck in deep to make sure they knew who we were.”
Victor led 1-0 at the end of the first period on a Trevor O’Shea power play goal off of assists from Steven Grabowski and Parker Delaney. CA’s Post then tied the game up early in the second period with his first goal of the season making it 1-1. Teammate DJ Goldstein had the assist on the goal.
Michael Whitehair, on a nifty tuck-in maneuver at the left side goal post, got Victor back in the lead. O’Shea and Grabowski had the assists. Brad Adams then tied the game for the second time for CA on his power play goal coming off of assists from Post and Goldstein.
Then came Starr’s eventual game winning loan third period goal.
“It was a pretty big game for us,” admitted CA captain Mark Greer. “It’s always good to beat Victor at home. I think we really played as a team today. Had a lot of intensity. Victor is a good team and we know a lot of those guys from Midget hockey and stuff, so I think we really played with a lot of intensity and wanted the win.”
The season continues with Victor facing Geneseo-Livonia 5:30 Friday at Thomas Creek while CA travels to Skaneateles for a 2-day Friday and Saturday tournament.
Copyright 2011 MPNnow. Some rights reserved
Victor blanks Greece
January 2, 2011
Junior center Mike Whitehair scored three goals as Victor defeated Greece Arcadia/Olympia 4-0 at Thomas Creek Ice Arena on Friday.
Parker Delaney added a goal and an assist and Matt Portland had two assists for Victor (5-2-1).
Junior Zeb Clarke made 14 saves and Steven Grabowski added an assist.
Chris Higgins made 40 saves for Arcadia/Olympia.
-Democrand and Chronicle-
Victor hockey team scores late goal to defeat Batavia
December 22, 2010
Trevor O’Shea scored with 1:05 remaining in the third period off assists from Mike Whitehair and Matt Portland to defeat Batavia 1-0.
Gabe Rivas made 16 saves for the Blue Devils to earn his first career win.
Adam Kurek made 24 saves for Batavia (2-5-1, 1-2) to keep the Devils tied until late in the game.
Victor (4-2-1, 3-0-1) will next play at home against the Greece Lightning on December 31 at 11 a.m.
Playing It Forward
December 14, 2010
Rochester, N.Y. —
Ron Wilson - Messenger Post Media
No doubt about it, the Victor Blue Devil hockey team has some very important games coming up on its schedule this season. All of which, except one, have to varying degrees regular-season league championship and post-season sectional playoff implications.
All of that aside, this past Sunday night’s game against the Rochester Ice Cats
was, in Blue Devil coach Mike Ferreri’s eyes, a more important game than any other on their schedule when it came down to looking at what he called “the big picture.”
It didn’t matter who won this game, as no real score was kept, but it was an important game for both teams none-the-less. You see, the Rochester Ice Cats, members of Special Hockey International — a division of USA Hockey — is an organization that specializes in providing training in the game of ice hockey for individuals with developmental disabilities. The Ice Cats organization has an active roster of 38 players that are both male and female and range in age from eight to 40. The team is geared to individual needs with an emphasis on sportsmanship along with learning to interact with others and that was exactly what happened Sunday night at the Boys Club ice skating rink in Rochester.
“One of the things that we talked about at the beginning of this season was that being a part of this program would also teach life lessons and I think this was a great thing to kind of show our boys what the bigger picture is,” said Ferreri after the game. “I think it was a good experience for our boys. A humbling experience as well. I think our kids did an absolute tremendous job. They ate it up. They loved it.”
The overall goal of the Rochester Ice Cats organization is to allow all individuals with developmental disabilities in the Rochester and surrounding Monroe County area the opportunity to experience exciting fun in learning a new skill. The skill sets learned encompass skating, learning the game of hockey and being a member of a team. Additionally the Ice Cat’s players have the opportunity to meet new people from different areas and cities, experiencing travel and all the benefits that go along with it.
And make no mistake about it, behind head coach Tom Simmons and his staff, the Ice Cats play the game with a wealth of determination and flair as 11 different Cats scored in the game. One of the best of which came on a low hard slap shot from about 20 feet out by Michael Musak. Other goals for the Cats came from Daniel McCullough, Steve Frisbee, Kevin Simmons, Michelle Markham and Chris Hewitt, to name a few. Marc Demoras, MJ Kobryn and Marc Howard all had important stints in the nets for the Cats with all three at one time or another sprawled out on the ice making key saves.
For Ice Cats head coach Tom Simmons, the Ice Cats are a labor of love.
“The benefits here are that we get to see people try and then have a great time whether they succeed or not,” said Simmons during the post-game pizza, cookie and soda feast enjoyed by members of both teams. “All these kids over the years, I’ve been coaching for 10-11 years now, get a chance to be normal and that is a big thing for them. For them it’s; ‘I’m on the ice and I’m having a good time playing hockey.’ That’s important and that’s the biggest thing.”
These types of games are important for the high school team member and his family too.
“We were told by another set of high school kids that we were playing, by their parents, that it’s the first time that they have seen their kids smile playing the game of hockey because it wasn’t as competitive as it needed to be,” concluded Simmons. “That they had an opportunity to see another side of their kids. To me that’s wonderful.”
Rest assured this is not the last time you will see the Blue Devils and the Ice Cats mix it up on the ice as Ferreri liked everything that he saw Sunday night.
“The Ice Cats are one of Rochester’s best kept secrets,” pointed out Ferreri. “A lot of people don’t know about this team. I’ve been coaching for eight years and this is the first year I even knew this existed. I would like to spread the word more about this. Not just hockey but other programs in general. They talk about needing volunteers and looking for more kids and kids that graduate to help out. From a community stand point, I think this program is awesome.”
It is also awesome from a team standpoint as it gives the high school student-athlete a better perspective of how things can be for other folks. It gives them a chance to give back to their sport in a way that is more meaningful to not only the person they are playing against but themselves too. It gives the student-athlete a proper perspective on the need to, ‘pay it forward,’ and that was a little bit of what the Victor Blue Devil hockey team accomplished Sunday night.
For more information on becoming a member of the Rochester Ice Cats organization or wanting to help the Ice Cats in any other way, please contact Tom Simmons at firstname.lastname@example.org
Big third period propels Victor
December 12, 2010
Michael Whitehair had a goal and two assists and Steve Grabowski added a goal and an assist for Victor (3-2, 2-0).
Zeb Clarke made 20 saves and Matt Portland had two assists.
Parker Delaney also had a goal and an assist for the Blue Devils.
Geneseo/Livonia is 0-4-1.
-Democrat and Chronicle-
Victor levels record with win
December 8, 2010
Michael Whitehair scored the first three goals of the game and later added an assist as Victor defeated Geneva/Waterloo 8-0.
Parker Delaney scored one goal and had three assists and Trevor O’Shea added a goal and two assists as Victor improved to 2-2.
Matt Porland, Matt Roeder and Jake Garbeck each added a goal for the Blue Devils. For sophomores Roeder and Garbeck, their goal was the first of their varsity career.
Victor will next play this Saturday against Geneseo.
Victor uses quick start to edge Rush-Henrietta in hockey.
December 1, 2010
When Parker Delaney scored 23 seconds into the third period it seemed like Victor had the win in hand with a 4-1 lead. But, Rush-Henrietta didn’t quit and added two quick goals.
Zeb Clarke’s strong play between the pipes for the Blue Devils kept the Royal Comets from tying the game, as Victor started the season with a 4-3 win Tuesday at Thomas Creek Ice Arena.
“I think we could’ve played better,” Victor coach Mike Ferreri said. “At times we looked good, but I thought R-H did a very good job and at times they outplayed us. We hung in there which is a very good thing, but we’ve got a lot of things to do to get better.”
Royal Comets coach Brian Kleeman liked his team’s effort late in the game.
“Some teams when they’re down 4-1 they would quit, but you saw our guys, they fought and fought and we got it to 4-3,” he said. “We just couldn’t get that one when we needed it.”
The Blue Devils got on the board 1:07 into the game on a goal by Dylan Chase. James Inuzuka’s shot from the slot left a big rebound and Chase knocked the puck in.
“Part of our game plan was we wanted to get shots on net and shoot from anywhere because we felt the goaltender was giving up some rebounds,” Ferreri said. “It’s always good scoring first.”
Henrietta answered with five minutes left in the opening period on a pretty goal by Torry Whitcher. The forward used his speed to get behind his defender, faked out the goalie and scored with a backhand.
Matt Portland regained the lead for Victor when he scored two minutes later. He cut across the slot and beat Henrietta goalie Ryan Walsh far post.
Victor received another early goal in the second period. Steven Grabowski took a shot from the right point and Inuzuka deflected it past Walsh from in front of the net.
Delaney’s goal came off another rebound. Walsh couldn’t handle Michael Whitehair’s shot and the rebound went over the goalie. The puck sat in the crease until Delaney tapped it in.
The Royal Comets responded 30 seconds later on Whitcher’s second goal during four-on-four play. Whitcher recorded his third goal on the power play with 10 minutes left.
“We have six strong upperclassmen forwards on our first two lines,” Kleeman said. “They play fast, they’re aggressive and they’re very talented. Our speed down low is one of our strengths. We just have to work on our total game.”
Clarke said his team made some mistakes in the third period.
“I think we started out good,” he said. “But I think it got to our heads. We got too cocky and didn’t do the basics.”
Rush-Henrietta hurt their chances by committing three late penalties. The Royal Comets did gain the man advantage with 49 seconds left, but couldn’t capitalize due to Clarke’s strong goaltending. Clarke finished with 23 saves and Walsh finished with 19.
Victor lost ten players from a team that fell to Webster Thomas in the Section 5 Class B finals last season. This year’s squad is eager to get back in the finals.
“We’re all for it, we want to win,” Clarke said.
The Blue Devils (1-0) travel to Queensbury on Friday and Glens Falls on Saturday. The Royal Comets (0-1) visit Webster Thomas on Saturday.
Victor Blue Devils Hockey