Weekly Feature



2017-12-06 / Sports

State champion North boys hockey seeks to carry on winning tradition

PATRICK NAGY
Sports Reporter


Williamsville North’s Bryan Aduddle races down the ice during the Spartans’ 4-2 win over Syracuse during the 16th annual John J. Fromen Attorneys and L&M Financial Services Hockey Classic at the Northtown Center at Amherst Feature Rink. The sophomore defenseman scored the Spartans’ first goal of the season. North is the defending Division I state champion. 
Photo by Kathleen KramerPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Williamsville North’s Bryan Aduddle races down the ice during the Spartans’ 4-2 win over Syracuse during the 16th annual John J. Fromen Attorneys and L&M Financial Services Hockey Classic at the Northtown Center at Amherst Feature Rink. The sophomore defenseman scored the Spartans’ first goal of the season. North is the defending Division I state champion. Photo by Kathleen KramerPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com The bull’s-eye is always on the Williamsville North boys ice hockey team heading into a season but after winning the program’s eight Section VI and fifth Division I state titles in school history, the target has become bigger.

North coach Bob Rosen is hoping the returning players looked back on what they accomplished last year so they can carry on the tradition into this season.

North returns a boatload of players, including senior forwards Brett Sardina, Andrew Bruno and Matt Bielinski, and senior defensemen Griffin Green and Anthony Trigilio. All are three-year players.

Sardina and Bruno each finished their junior seasons with 42 points. Sardina led the Spartans with 25 goals and went on to earn First Team All-Bee, All-Western New York Large Schools and All-Federation Division I honors. Bruno was a Second Team Division I All-Federation and Honorable Mention All-Bee selection.

“Brett and Andrew both have great hockey sense and a tremendous skill set,” Rosen said.

Trigilio was North’s third-leading scorer for defenseman, tallying eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points, earning himself First Team All-Bee, All-WNY Large Schools and First Team Division

I All-Federation honors.

Other returning seniors include Ben Michaloski (forward), Trevor Cavalier (forward), Eric Cretella (defense) and Reilly Moyer (goalie).

Cavalier’s first varsity goal was the game winner against Section I’s Mamaroneck in last year’s Division I state semifinals.

Senior forward Colin Begley also returns to the program after not playing for three years due to focusing on cross-country.

Moyer, primarily the backup goalie last year, takes over as the starter with the graduation of Jake Zurat.

Moyer is no stranger to winning himself as he helped the North JV team win a Federation championship as a sophomore, the squad’s first of three consecutive titles.

“He has a great work ethic and works hard,” Rosen said. “He did a lot in our dryland program over the summer to be able to walk into his role.”

New players expected to contribute include junior forwards Christian Turchiarelli and Jeff Cummins; junior defenseman Tim O’Connor; sophomore forwards AJ Ferenczy, Kevin Martin, Adam Graesser, Jacob Okulewicz, Mason Meggo; and sophomore defenders Bryan Aduddle, David O’Donoghue and Ryan Powers.

Other players include senior defenseman Dominic Puma and sophomore goalie Cole Guzda.

Rosen said many of the above-mentioned players practiced with the varsity team last year, which he hopes make the transition to varsity easier.

“We feel that is a big part of our success between modified, JV and varsity,” Rosen said.

The Spartans have not missed a bit to begin the 2017-18 season, opening with a 4-0-1 record.

North opened its season by sweeping games against a combined team of players from five high schools from Syracuse, 4-2, Nov. 24 and McQuaid, 4-1, Nov. 25 to win the 16th annual John J. Fromen Attorneys and L&M Financial Services Hockey Classic at the Northtown Center at Amherst Feature Rink. North has won the event for the fifth straight year.

Syracuse scored twice in the first four minutes of the second period before North rallied for the win.

“We continued to do little things well and it eventually paid off for us,” Rosen said.

Aduddle deflected in a shot at 7:15 of the second period from Bruno.

“It was a big goal because we had 20 shots in the second period and we had nothing to show for it to that point,” Rosen said.

Sardina tied the score at 2-2 at 2:46 from Bruno and Bielinski.

Bruno scored the game-winning goal with 57 seconds left from Sardina and Bielinski.

“Bruno made a nice d to d regroup in the neutral zone and Bielinski made a nice pass over to Sardina and Bruno went in on a two-on-one and scored into the empty net,” Rosen said.

Green added an unassisted goal with eight seconds left.

Moyer made 20 saves and North tallied 44 shots on net.

North scored four times in the first period against Mc- Quaid. Bruno opened the scoring 1:10 into the game, assisted by Green.

Trigilio backhanded in a rebound from Turchiarelli at 10:37.

Sardina made it 3-0 on a shot to the short side of the net with 2:57 left in the period. Bielinski and O’Connor assisted on the goal. Bruno screened the goalie on the play.

Sardina added a power-play goal with 1:17 left, assisted by Bielinski and Bruno.

McQuaid broke Moyer’s shutout with four minutes left in the second.

Rosen said his team did a good job of limiting McQuaid to 17 shots on net. North had 36 shots on net.

North opened its league schedule with a 13-6 rout over Frontier Nov. 27 at HarborCenter.

The Spartans trailed 1-0 and led 6-2 after the first period and 9-3 after the second period.

Grasser led the Spartans with his first career hat trick. Rosen thinks that is the first time a player scored a hat trick in his first Federation game.

Other notable stats came from Sardina (two goals, four assists); Green (two goals, three assists); Okulewicz (two goals); and Bruno (five assists).

Moyer and Guzda split the goaltending duties.

North’s other two league games resulted in a 2-2 tie against Niagara-Wheatfield Friday at Niagara University and a 5-2 win over Canisius Sunday at HarborCenter.

North tied Niagara Wheatfield despite outshooting the Falcons, 52-19.

“We didn’t do a great job of winning some puck paddles,” Rosen said. “We got pucks behind the goalie and did not score on them. I hope it was a good learning experience for the kids.”

Okulewicz opened the scoring from Cretella at 12:08 of the second period.

Niagara Wheatfield answered 30 seconds later.

Sardina put North ahead 2-1 with a power-play goal at 4:44 of the second period, assisted by Green and Bielinski.

Niagara Wheatfield tied the game three minutes into the third period.

Bielinski scored North’s lone goal in the first period against Canisius from Okulewicz.

Sardina extended the lead to 2-0 with a short-handed goal at 13:27 of the second period, assisted by Bruno.

Nineteen seconds later, Canisius answered with a power-play goal, cutting North’s lead to 2-1. Sardina made it 3-1 at 5:24 from Bruno and Green.

Okulewicz put the Spartans ahead 4-1 two minutes in the third off a pass from Bielinski.

Five minutes later, Cretella tallied his first Federation goal from Cummins.

North outshot Canisius 28-15. Moyer recorded the win in net.

“We took a step backwards against Niagara Wheatfield and took a big step forward against Canisius, like doing some things in order to have success,” Rosen said.

North travels to Albany this weekend to face Shenendehowa at 8 p.m. Friday and Saratoga at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Don Kauth Tournament.

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