Weekly Feature



2012-12-05 / Sports

North boys ice hockey debuts several new players

by PATRICK J. NAGY Reporter


Williamsville North’s Brad Bailey eyes up a check during the Spartans’ 5-3 win over Christian Brother Academy during the John J. Fromen/L&M Financial Services Classic Nov. 23 at the Northtown Center at Amherst Feature Rink. Bailey is one of several new players who will contribute this season for the Spartans. 
Photo by Patrick McPartlandPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Williamsville North’s Brad Bailey eyes up a check during the Spartans’ 5-3 win over Christian Brother Academy during the John J. Fromen/L&M Financial Services Classic Nov. 23 at the Northtown Center at Amherst Feature Rink. Bailey is one of several new players who will contribute this season for the Spartans. Photo by Patrick McPartlandPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Williamsville North has always been one of the top Federation boys ice hockey teams in the state, but if the Spartans want to be in the mix this season, several new players will have to get the job done.

Only four defensemen and five forwards return from last season’s 17-3-3 team that advanced to the Section VI Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation Large Schools final.

“This is as young as we’ve ever been in the 23 years that I’ve been here,” North coach Bob Rosen said. “Practices are different from what they have been in the past. The good thing is the kids have a great work ethic and have made huge improvements from the beginning of the season. We’re going to have our ups and downs for sure.”

The Spartans’ top returning forward is 6-foot-6, 225-pound senior forward Tyler Green, who recently signed a national of letter of intent to play baseball at Vanderbilt University.

Green will play at center, a position he never played in his previous two years with the team.

“He’s our go-to guy,” Rosen said. “Over the last two years, his skating has gotten so much better. This year, it has been a noticeable difference. He’s a big presence, has a great shot and sees the ice well. I hope he can handle all of the ice time we’re going to give him.”

Green has centered a line early in the season with juniors Brad Bailey and Bryce Ferrell. Bailey played a little on varsity last season, but mostly on JV; Ferrell played JV last season. Rosen said both players are continuing to develop their skills.

The only other returning forward with a lot of varsity experience is senior Jon Lunney.

Senior Eddie Rutkowski and sophomore MJ Bronsky were on the team last season, but saw limited time on the ice.

The rest of the forwards have little or no varsity experience, including senior Randy Brown, juniors Patrick Haynes and Jimmy Roberto, sophomores Dominic Cecere, Brendan Cunningham, Adam DiDonato, Andrew Mosher and Matt Noe, and freshman Jared Cummins.

The Spartans’ returning defensemen are seniors Ben Ferro and Alex Wapniewski and juniors Sean Bailey and Carmen De’Angelo. Junior Will Stryker and sophomores David Hnat, Kevin Gramlich and Brian Couto are making their varsity debuts. Rosen is counting on the defense to be a team strength.

He also expects freshmen Tyler Johnson and Matthew Ladd to lead the goalies. Sophomore Paul Lunney is also in the mix for playing time.

North opened its season by taking runner-up at the John J. Fromen/L&M Financial Services Classic, beating Christian Brothers Academy (Syracuse), 5-3, on Nov. 23 and losing to McQuaid (Rochester), 8-1, Nov. 24. Both games were played on the Northtown Center at Amherst Feature Rink.

It was the only the second time in the 12-year history of the tournament that North had not won it, and the second time McQuaid had ever beaten the Spartans.

McQuaid scored three goals in a span of 1:07 in the first period, including two power-play goals 30 seconds apart, and led, 6-0, after the second period.

“McQuaid capitalized on some opportunities,” Rosen said. “Mc- Quaid was bigger and stronger than us. We lost some people in coverage. I don’t think we were ready to play a game like that. We didn’t bear down when we had our chances. That is going to happen with a young group of kids.”

North finally got on the scoreboard 20 seconds into the third period with a power-play goal by Brad Bailey, assisted by Sean Bailey and Ferro.

North led CBA, 2-1, after the second period, and outscored the opposition, 3-2, in the third period.

“I pleased with how well we played because of how young we are and how we would handle certain situations,” Rosen said. “It was great to get out to a good start.”

Green scored an unassisted goal at 11:41 and assisted on North’s other two goals in the period scored by Hnat, a slap shot from the blue line at 10:48, and a back-handed shot by Ferrell at 8:30. Brad Bailey also assisted on Ferrell’s goal.

North built a 2-0 lead against CBA after the first period.

Ferrell started off the scoring with a snap shot into the top corner of the net with 4:35 remaining in the first period.

Cummins made it 2-0 with 1:54 remaining, taking a pass from Ferro, using a defenseman as a screen and beating the goalie to the glove side of the net.

“He made a nice play for it being his first varsity game,” Rosen said.

CBA scored with a minute remaining in the second period.

North outshot CBA, 31-17. Paul Lunney, who played most of the first period, and Johnson, split the win in the net.

Green and Ferrell were both named to the All-Tournament Team.

Williamsville North
2012-13 Schedule
12-8 Niagara-Wheatfield (NC Feature Rink) .......................... 3 p.m.

12-9 Orchard Park (NC Feature
Rink)............................ 12:40 p.m.
12-15 Frontier (NC Feature Rink)
.............................................. 3 p.m.
12-20 St. Joe’s (NC Feature Rink)
.............................................. 7 p.m.
12-26 Williamsville East (NC Feature Rink) .......................... 9 p.m.
12-28 at Shenendehowa (Clifton
Park)................................... 4 p.m.
12-29 at Saratoga (Weibel Rink) 2
p.m.
1-3 Lancaster (NC Feature Rink)
.............................................. 7 p.m.
1-12 Canisius (NC Feature Rink)
.............................................. 3 p.m.
1-17 Lockport (NC Olympic Rink)
.............................................. 7 p.m.
1-19 Niagara Falls (NC Olympic
Rink)................................... 5 p.m.
1-21 Sweet Home (NC Rink 2) 11
a.m.
1-24 Niagara-Wheatfield (Hyde
Park Ice Pavilion) ............ 5 p.m.
1-26 Orchard Park (NC Olympic
Rink)................................... 5 p.m.
1-31 St. Joe’s (NC Feature Rink) 7
p.m.
2-2 Canisius (NC Feature Rink) 3
p.m.
2-7 Clarence (NC Feature Rink) 9
p.m.

email: pnagy@beenews.com

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