Weekly Feature



2012-12-05 / Sports

Monsignor Martin girls begin Federation title defense

by MIKE MIGLIORE Reporter

Chris Malicki is hoping for an encore performance for the Monsignor Martin girls hockey team in 2012-13.

Monsignor Martin broke through and won the Federation girls hockey championship a year ago with a 2-1 victory over West Seneca in the title game. The win concluded an 18-1-1 season for Monsignor Martin and gave them a title after falling short in the Federation semifinals a year earlier.

A run at back-to-back titles is not out of the question at all for Monsignor Martin this year as they return all but four girls from last year’s championship team. They will also add in nine new freshman girls to bolster the lineup.

“The incoming freshmen are all good skaters and well-coached,” said Malicki, Monsignor Martin’s head coach. “If this group puts it together, not many can skate with them at all. They just need to maintain their consistency.”

Returning veterans Julia Duquette (Mount St. Mary), Morgan Haettich (Mount Mercy) and Rachel Ziarnowski (Holy Angels) will captain Monsignor Martin this season. Malicki will be relying on them heavily for leadership on and off the ice.

Duquette and Ziarnowski will also be counted on for goal scoring. Ziarnowski tied for fourth in the Federation in scoring last year, while Duquette was fifth. Returning forward Rachel Lenard (Nardin) was third in the league in scoring.

Monsignor Martin will also return one of the best goaltenders in the Federation in senior Courtney Wesolowski (Holy Angels). Wesolowski joined the team last year and stood her ground in the crease to help lead Monsignor Martin to the title. Monsignor Martin will also use freshman Madeleine Utz (Nardin) often in goal. She played for the Sweet Home-Amherst team in both seventh and eighth grade.

Utz was in goal last Thursday and earned the shutout in Monsignor Martin’s 2-0 victory over Kenmore to open the season. Monsignor Martin got goals from Lenard and Katherine Lauber (Mount Mercy) in the win. Malicki said the line of Lenard, Lauber and Emma Ruggiero (Sacred Heart) was his best combination on Thursday. All three girls played for the team a year ago.

Malicki said the toughest competition his team will face on the way to another Federation title will come from Kenmore, Orchard Park-Frontier and Williamsville.

“Those three are really the teams to be on the lookout for,” Malicki said. “Any one of them can win it.”

The goal, though, for Monsignor Martin will be to repeat as Federation champions. With many of the girls on the roster entering their third season on the team, Malicki expects them to have their best season to date in the young history of Federation girls hockey. They still will be young, though, with 50 percent of the team made up of freshmen or sophomores. Malicki hopes those young players can look to the veterans for guidance as the team grows throughout the season.

“It will be a process,” Malicki said. “Last year, we didn’t peak too early. We need to build from the beginning and peak at the end. We have nine new kids. It’s up to our leaders to lead the roster.”

Malicki’s roster has expanded from 19 to 23 girls this season. The Catholic schools represented this year on the roster are Mount St. Mary, Sacred Heart, Mount Mercy, Nardin, Immaculata and Holy Angels.

Monsignor Martin will next play Lancaster Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at the Tacoma Rink. They will then travel to West Seneca to face Orchard Park-Frontier Friday at 3:45 p.m. at Leisure Rinks.

Monsignor Martin
2012-13 Schedule
12-6 Lancaster (Tacoma Rink)
......................................... 4:30 p.m.
12-7 Orchard Park/Frontier
(Tacoma Rink) ............. 3:45 p.m.
12-10 Amherst/Sweet Home
(Northtown) ................. 4:45 p.m.
12-13 West Seneca (Tacoma Rink)

......................................... 4:30 p.m.
12-21 Lancaster (Tacoma Rink)
......................................... 4:30 p.m.
1-3 Lancaster (Tacoma Rink) 4:30
p.m.
1-4 Williamsville (Northtown)
......................................... 3:45 p.m.
1-8 Kenmore (Lincoln Arena) 8:15
p.m.
1-10 Amherst/Sweet Home
(Tacoma Rink) ............. 4:30 p.m.
1-17 Orchard Park/Frontier
(Tacoma Rink) ............. 4:30 p.m.
1-18 West Seneca ........ 4:30 p.m.
1-21 Will. (Cazenovia Rink) 7 p.m.
1-24 Williamsville (Tacoma Rink)
......................................... 4:30 p.m.
1-28 Kenmore (Tacoma Rink) 7
p.m.
1-31 Orchard Park/Frontier
(Tacoma Rink)............. 4:30 p.m.
2-04 Amherst/Sweet Home
(Cazenovia Rink).............. 7 p.m.

email: mmigliore@beenews.com

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