While the club leagues are just underway and the Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation skating in some nonleague action this weekend, it's as good a time as any to drop the puck on talking about the 2007-08 hockey season.
There is a great lineup of games at the Amherst Pepsi Center between some of the Federation's best against top teams from across the state on Friday and Saturday. Visiting are Massena, Saratoga, Skaneateles, Geneva, Shaker/Colonie and Batavia Notre Dame. Check out the lineup, as well as the entire season's schedule, at the Federation's helpful Web site. The Federation regular season begins Nov. 28.
Here's a mini-review of last season:
* St. Joe's won the Federation championship with a 5-2 victory over Williamsville North, which won the regular season Federation title. The Marauders finished 22-5-2 after winning the state Catholic title, their sixth in the last seven years.
* Williamsville North went 24-4-3 and advanced to the Division I state championship game, where it lost in double overtime to Ithaca, 2-1. North has won three of the last six Division I state titles.
* Underclassmen on last year's Federation all-star team were (players were juniors last year unless noted): First team -- Derek Mohney (Sweet Home G), Ryan Marko (Sweet Home F); second team -- Brandon Komm-10 (Williamsville North G); first team large school -- Joe Rogalski-9 (Lancaster D), Nick Fronczak-10 (Williamsville North D), Cole Schneider (St. Joe's F); second team large school -- Andy Olson-10 (Canisius G); first team small school -- Tom Tysowsky (Williamsville South G); second team small school -- Kyle Johnson (Bishop Timon-St. Jude G), Ryan Patterson (Kenmore East D), Tyler Underhill-10 (St. Francis F).
* Sweet Home's Mohney and Marko were also first team all-state selections in Division I.
* The St. Francis prep team fell in the championship game of the Midwest Prep League, 3-0, to St. Andrew's of Aurora, Ont.
* The Super Sunday champions in club hockey were: Niagara-Wheatfield (WNY Club large school), Cheektowaga (WNY Club small school), McKinley (Explorer League), St. Francis (Southtowns Club Division B) and West Seneca East (Southtowns Club Division A).
So which Federation team is going to end their season streaming onto the ice for the championship team photo? Who will be the surprise teams? Who are the best players?
Federation coaches, make sure you send your rosters and schedules (especially if you have a lot of nonleague games) to us via fax (849-4587) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks.
-- Keith McShea