The 2015-2016 Varsity Steelers Competed in the New York High School Club Hockey State Championship in Jamestown last weekend, March 5th - 7th, after completing a regular season with a 17-1 record. Their only loss came in over time against Wilson/Newfane in the first game of the season November 15th.
The post season started out with a 6-0 win over division rival Williamsville. next up in the WNY semi-finals they faced Iroquios in a best of 3 series and lost the first two games 2-4 and 2-6. Despite the loss the team earned a spot in the State Championship play-in game vs Eden/Lakeshore. They won the final spot in States with a 4-1 win last Monday, Feb 29th.
With the 3rd seed in the west the Steelers played the #1 state ranked Livettown/Hicksville Friday March 5th and with a late goal tied them 1-1. The next game was vs a Locust Valley/North Shore which the Steelers beat 3-1. Saturday night the Steelers earn the #1 seed in the semi-finals by besting Rockville Center/Malvenre 8-3 with a 3rd period burst of 4 goals.
The semi finals brought back the Locust Valley/North Shore team the Steelers beat 24 hour earlier. LV/NS jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. The Steelers fought back in the second period to tie the game at two. Regulation ended at that same score. Over Time brought 5 minutes of sudden death, 4 on 4 hockey but no one could end the game. The second OT was sudden death, 3 on 3 and looked like it was going to expire until Mike Meredith lost the puck in front of the net and recovered it before the LV/NS player left the offensive zone. Meredith fired a shot that was saved but bounced to Chris Buchanan who buried it with under a minute on the clock. Game over, on to the finals.
After the game the Steelers found out they were facing the same Iroquois team they lost to, twice, in the WNY Semi-finals. The Steelers controlled the game from the first shift and continued with the second line out when they put the puck past the Iroquois goaltender. Unlike the semi-final where the Steelers never lead until the final whistle, this game they had the lead from early in the first period and never looked back.
The following are your 2016 New York State High School Club Hockey League State Champion Varsity Steelers.
Nolan Mages (F), Zach Rybak (SC) & Jackson Taylor (F)
Christopher Buchanan (F), Austin Lewis (D), Alex Majka (D), Taylor Mattoon (D), Michael Meredith (F), Christian Michalski (D), Christopher Michalski (D), Dawson Rafan (F), Ryan Thompson (D) & Cole Tippens (F)
Joseph Caine (F), Joshua Crane (F), Stephen Formanowicz (F), Justin Price (F), Michael Szalkowski (F) & Nick Walter (F)
Head Coach Jay Bishop, Assistants Jeff Meredith, Mike Formanowicz, Mark Taylor, Ron Rybak & Keith Mages
Wayne Walter & Shannon Thompson
(SC) Silver Creek High School
(D) Dunkirk High School
(F) Fredonia High School
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