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Live from Super Sunday Fed Catholic Final

The final game of the Federation hockey tripleheader for the Catholic title features Canisius against St. Francis.

Canisius stunned defending state Catholic champ St. Joe's in the semifinals to reach this gae, while St. Francis routed Timon-St. Jude in its semifinal.

This is rematch of final from two years ago won by Canisius. St. Francis lost in final to St. Joe's last year. Will the third time be the charm?

First period

Couple chances for each team so far but no goals. Pretty fast first period.

End of period, no score but Canisius will probably have a power play to start the second period. St. Francis' David Muszynski drilled Patrick Mitchell from behind at the end of the period. Rather unnecessary play. Mitchell down for about five minutes, with teams even going to locker room while he was still being attended to. Eventually gets up and leaves with a little help off the ice.

Muszynski gets minor and misconduct for checking from behind.

Second period

Canisius draws first blood. Brian Costello scores off assists by Patrick Mitchell and Dimitrios Koutsomitis with 11:31 left. Crusaders lead, 1-0.

St. Francis ties it 1-1 with 6:05 left. Bernardino Lettieri puts in rebound of Cooper Stefaniak shot. Lots of traffic in front of net on that goal.

Third period

Tight, physical game and finally St. Francis breaks through with a power-play goal with 5:28 left as David Kulczyk scores. Lettieri and Joe Kirst earn assists. Canisius penalized for tripping after the goal so another PP for Red Raiders.

Frannies may have just sealed it with empty-net goal with 42.6 seconds left by Matthew Higgins. St. Francis leads, 3-1.

Jeff Magavern makes it 4-1 five seconds later with long slapper from neutral zone.

St. Francis wins 4-1. First Fed title since 1999.

--Miguel Rodriguez

Live from Super Sunday Division II final

We're coming to you from First Niagara Center and the second of three Fed hockey title games today.

This game is rematch of last year's Division II final between defending champ Williamsville East and Kenmore East.

First period

Ken East, which scored 99 goals in 14 league games during the regular season, needs just 4:38 seconds to chase Flames starting goalie Tucker Weppner. Ken East's Anthony Amoia and Taylor Davis scored 38 seconds apart to give Bulldogs, 2-0 lead. Weppner hung out to dry on both goals. Maybe a spark the team type of goalie change as Will East also burns timeout to quell momentum and warm-up goalie Adam Dentico.

Goalie change appears to work as Cole Weppner (Tucker's brother) blasts slapper from right circle past Ken East's Mike Davern with 7:34 left. Ken East leads, 2-1.

End of first period. Ken East leads, 2-1. Shots on goal, Ken East 11-10. Will East played much better after goalie change. Not sure if it would put Weppner, who guided the team to state final last year, back in the game or ride it out with Dentico who really wasn't tested too much.

Second period

Taylor Davis scores his second goal of the game for Ken East with 10:05 left in he period to make it 3-1. Nice snap shot top left corner from low right circle while in on goalie with defenseman trying to cut him off.

With 8:10 left, Andy Robinson pumps in juicy rebound after hard bad-angle shot by Colin Farrell to give Ken East a 4-1 lead.

With 6:40 left, Will East not dead yet. Hunter Dee redirects a point shot off the faceoff to pull Flames within 4-2. Assists credited to Ben Sharf and Brenden Chambers.

This is like hockey in the mid to late 1980s. Goals fast and furious as Ken East regains a three-goal edge as Andrew Sturtz scores on a nifty backhand cutting across slot after juking past a defenseman to make it Ken East 5-2 with 4:33 left.

With 2:52 left, Ken East strikes on the power play as captain Don Battista scores off a goal-mouth scramble to make it a 6-2 lead for the Bulldogs.

End of period. Ken East cruising with 6-2 lead. Coach Kyle Pray one good period away from winning his third Fed title since 2006 and second with his alma mater. Ken East holds 22-17 edge in shots.

Third period

For whatever reason, the updates I provided for this period disappeared into never-never land.

With 5:02 left, Ken East now leads 8-2. Sturtz and Battista scored again for Ken East, this time against Tucker Weppner who returned to the goal crease for the Flames to start the third period.

With a minute left, Mike Diliberto scores to make it 9-2 Ken East.

Final score, Ken East 9, Williamsville East 2. Ken East last year's Division II runner-up ends Will East's championship reign.

We'll be back later with updates from the Fed Catholic final between Canisius and St. Francis, a game that will probably begin at 8 p.m. (an hour later than scheduled).

--Miguel Rodriguez

Live from Super Sunday

The three club hockey championship games are in the books at First Niagara Center.

Congratulations to Iroquois/Alden (Mixed), Hutch-Tech (Large) and Starpoint (Small) on winning your division championships (and from my point of view, in a timely fashion as it appears we’re only behind by about 15-20 minutes in terms of the schedule).

The Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation championship games will begin with the Large School (Division I) showdown between Williamsville North and Niagara-Wheatfield.

This is my seventh turn covering the Fed championship event and this is the sixth time North has been a title-game participant.

The Spartans, the defending state champions, will face a Niagara-Wheatfield team that they should be quite familiar with (besides being in the same league). This will be the third time in four years the two will meet for the right to advance to the state tournament. Niagara-Wheatfield stunned North in double overtime, 4-3, in 2009 at Buffalo State – the Falcons’ first year in the Fed after years of success as a club program. In 2010, as part of Super Sunday at the home of the Sabres, North earned a 2-0 triumph in the final over N-W.

Other notes before the start of the Fed tripleheader:

-- This will be the fourth time Canisius will be playing for a title in my presence.

 -- This will also be the fourth time Kyle Pray will be coaching one of the finalists. He guided Ken West to the championship in 2006 (my first Fed final as a reporter) against Canisius in overtime. He’s 1-1 as coach of Ken East in Small School (Division II) championship games, leading his alma mater to the title in 2009 before losing to eventual state finalist Williamsville East last year.

 -- Will this be the year St. Francis’ Fed team breaks its title drought? Third straight year the school’s No. 2 team (St. Francis’ Prep team is the program’s top dog) has reached final only to lose to eventual state Catholic champion (Canisius and St. Joe’s) in past two.

For the record, St. Francis won four Fed titles before forming its Prep Team.

Teams are finishing warm-ups for Division I final. We’ll be back shortly. 

Federation Division I Final

Through first 7:30 of opening period, Niagara-Wheatfield had couple chances, Brandon Schrader denied twice by North goalie Jake Griebner. N-W created some chances

With 6:30 left fine stop by N-W goalie Alex Kammerer on breakaway chance by Scott Sims, who had a hat trick during five-point night in semifinal win last Monday.

With 1:10 left in first period, Niagara-Wheatfield scores off a faceoff in North zone. Keith Haseley open for backdoor one-timer off feed from Anthony Vekitch, who took puck from left wall weaved toward net and noticed Haseley behind the defense. N-W leads, 1-0.

End of first period, Niagara-Wheatfield leads, 1-0. Falcons held 14-10 edge in shots, few more chances than North.

Second period

Couple chance for both teams early in the period. North goalie Griebner made fine save in tight in first minute and then gobbled up puck on two-on-1 in which N-W player looked like he wanted to pass until putting himself into a corner where he had no passing lane and was in too close on the goalie to do anything.

North had glorious chance to tie when a breakout pass riccocheted to a North forechecker in the right hash marks but the shot went over the net.

Griebner makes nice stick save with 10:12 left in period on Nick Matos to keep N-W from increasing its lead.

Both teams had power-play chances midway though period. Closest either came to scoring was a goal post by N-W. N-W earned its power play after phenomenal work killing off a Spartans' PP in which N-W forwards refused to give North defense any room to do anything.

With 3:25 left, Griebner makes a fine save on a redirected point shot by N-W.

Kammerer, the N-W goalie, not giving up much, doing fine job controlling rebounds.

N-W scores to take 2-0 lead with 1:34 left in the period. N-W bumped North defenseman off puck in zone, Mike Parisi picked up loose puck, passed to open Nick Matos for one-timer at right of crease, he hits post but Dillon Hayes jams in rebound during goal-mouth scramble.

N-W just missed chance to make it 3-0 with 24 seconds left in period but did draw hooking penalty against North so will have about 1:06 of power-play time to start the third period.

End of period. N-W held 12-9 edge in shots and 26-19 for the game. We'll be back shortly for the third period.

Third period

Good penalty kill to start third by North. Another goal would most likely had been curtains for Spartans.

With 10:22 left, Alex Kammerer keeps it 2-0. His and Scott Sims' sticks both redirect pass from corner by Jeff McAndrews and Kammerer on ice gets glove on it to keep it from going into net over him while sprawled on the ice.

With 8:23 left, bad break for North goalie Jake Griebner. Makes fine stop on breakaway by Hayes but rebound bounced up in air and hit his glove as he was poppingba ck up to his skates and tricked into net. N-W leads 3-0. Real quick, bang bang play. Goalie doing right thing popping up but just bad break on losing sight of the rebound in the air. It happens. Sometimes there's a blind spot with the masks when it comes to looking up (speaking from personal experience as a goalie).

With 4:41 left, N-W's Cory Becker scores on a wraparound to make it 4-0.

There will be a new New York State Division I hockey champion this year as Niagara-Wheatfield ends Williamsville North's reign with a 4-0 triumph.

We'll be back soon for Division II final between Ken East and Williamsville East.

-- Miguel Rodriguez

Live from the Manhattan Cup quarterfinals: Canisius, St. Joe's, St. Mary's, Timon roll

One day after Quarterfinal Friday for Section VI, the Monsignor Martin Association is holding its Manhattan Cup quarterterfinals.

I'll be at St. Joe's as they meet St. Francis at noon; St. Mary's and Niagara Catholic will follow. While I'll have updates from those games, tweets to the hashtag #preptalkscores will also automatically show up in the live blog. So if you are at the other games at Canisius High and you're updating via Twitter, be sure to include that hashtag. I'll have periodic tweets updating the game at @KeithMcSheaBN, but most of my play-by-play updating will come in the live blog.

Check out today's full schedule on our scoreboard page, where you can check back for updated box scores and highlights.

* * * 

Here's the live broadcast of Canisius' 11 a.m. game with Nichols, also available through the Crusaders' home page

Watch live streaming video from canisiushighschool at livestream.com

 

See you out at the games, in the chat and on the tweeter. :-)

Check out the rest of this blog for last night's post from Quarterfinal Friday as well as our PrepTalkTV episode.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/highschools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

PrepTalkTV: Quarterfinal Friday

PrepTalkTV has the wrapup of Quarterfinal Friday, including visits to five games -- including big wins or Williamsville North and Depew. Check out highlights, interviews and analysis:

Our previous videos from the 2012 basketball season: Canisius wins at Timon in OT on season's final big day (Feb. 16), St. Joe's comes back to win at Timon (Feb. 9), Jamestown wins in final seconds at Will North (Feb. 3), St. Joe's beats Timon in OT (Jan. 30), St. Joe's beats No. 1 Canisius (Jan. 27), Six stops, including Tim Nobles' 500th win for the Pine Valley girls (Jan. 20), a big win for Williamsville East (our debut on Jan. 17).

Our weekly football episodes from the fall are available here, while you can watch additional videos at Prep Talk Live

More sports and seasons are documented in PrepTalkTV episodes are on our video page.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/highschools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Quarterfinal Friday: The biggest #preptalkscores: Will North knocks off Ken West, Depew beats Dunkirk in OT

Tonight is one of the busiest, and one of the most important, nights in the boys basketball season. Quarterfinal Friday will determine the final fours for all of Section VI's eight classifications.

I'll be at Kenmore West for the doubleheader of Akron-CSAT in B-2 and Williamsville North at Kenmore West in AA. While I'll have updates from those games, tweets to the hashtag #preptalkscores will also automatically show up in the live blog. So if you are a game tonight and you're updating via Twitter, be sure to include that hashtag. I'll have periodic tweets updating the game at @KeithMcSheaBN, but most of my play-by-play updating will come in the live blog.

Check out tonight's full schedule on our scoreboard page, where you can check back throughout the night for updated box scores and highlights.

See you out at the games, in the chat and on the tweeter. :-)

* * *

Video reporter/producer Lauren Mariacher will be at McKinley for MST Seneca vs. Randolph, and she might stop by Maryvale-Riverside at Grabiarz before meeting up with us at Kenmore West. Video-photographer Jim McCoy will be at the doubleheader at Silver Creek, which includes the great Dunkirk-Depew showdown in B-1 before Silver Creek hosts Chautauqua Lake in C-2.

Here's the PrepTalkTV episode.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/highschools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Prequarterfinal Wednesday: With #preptalkscores, video, & live chat on alleged 'love affair' with a certain team

We will have our live chat tonight after I run around to prequarterfinal basketball games.

There's no video start as Lauren Mariacher is off -- plus, I'm not exactly sure when I'll be back in the ofice to get things started. I'd guess around 9:30 or 9:45 p.m.

We'll open the chat window early so we can share updates of #preptalkscores on a fairly busy night of outbracket games that will set the field for Quarterfinal Friday.

Tweets to the hashtag #preptalkscores will also automatically show up in the live blog (including mine). So if you are a game tonight and you're updating via Twitter, be sure to include that hashtag.

Check out tonight's full schedule on our scoreboard page, where you can check back throughout the night for updated box scores and highlights.

As far as the chat goes, I promise I'll get to your question or comment -- but please be patient. It can get busy fielding all of the questions and I can only answer one at a time. And PLEASE don't enter your question/comment multiple times -- that only makes things more hectic.

Note: My apologies for my brainfart-caused errors regarding Albion and the A-2 bracket in today's paper. They have been fixed in the story online.

* * *

Video from my Wednesday travels:

Emerson took the lead for good in the final minute on Trevon Tubbins' off-balance jumper.

Raytrel Finley hits the free throw and Deron Adams makes a big steal to help seal the game for the Steelers.

The post-game show:

* * *

Our previous winter chats: Feb. 15 (starting with Ken West at Ken East), Feb. 8 (scorekeepers), Feb. 1 (twitter smh column & football signing day), Jan. 25 (pre-Canisius-Joe's), Jan. 18 (2012 video debut), Jan. 11 (2012 debut/Aquinas-Kearney viewing), Dec. 14 (from the MMA-ECIC Challenge), All-WNY football talk (Dec. 7 w/video); our first was Nov. 30 (live from the Pastor-Cooper Showcase tipoff).

Our chats of the 2011 fall season: Nov. 16Nov. 9Nov. 2Oct. 26Oct. 19Oct. 12Oct. 5Sept. 28Sept. 21 (our video chat debut)Sept. 14Sept. 7 and our preseason chat (Aug. 31), which also includes links to all of of the chats from 2010-11.

As always, if you have a question but you won't be able to make the chat, post one in the comments section here, email me, Tweet it or post it on Facebook and I'll do my best to address it.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Two quarterfinal scheduling updates in boys hoops (Cheektowaga & Dunkirk)

Some scheduling updates for Quarterfinal Friday via Section VI boys basketball chairman Jim Walker:

In A-2, the Bennett at Cheektowaga game has been moved up an hour to 6 p.m.

In B-1, the quarterfinal hosted by Dunkirk will be played at 5:30 p.m. at Silver Creek, prior to Silver Creek's 7 p.m. C-2 quarterfinal.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

How The News voted: Postseason, hello

Every week during the basketball season a panel of voters participates in The News' large and small school boys basketball polls.

And every week we let you know, like the title says ... how The News voted.

Here is a link to previous ballots: last week (Feb. 14), Feb. 7, Jan. 31 (New World Order), Jan. 24 (when I said I thought Canisius would win at St. Joe's), Jan. 17 (MLK edition), Jan. 10 (back from the break), Dec. 20, Dec. 13 (the tipoff).

Here are this week's polls, and here's our ballot this finals week as we embark on the postseason (finally!):

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Canisius (18-6) [last ballot: 2] -- We're almost back where we started after authoritative win over St. Joe's.

2. McKinley (16-2) [3] -- Fine finish to undefeated Yale Cup season at Riverside as they overwhelmed Frontiers (again). 

3. Niagara Falls (14-4) [4] -- If I moved these guys back to No. 2, we'd really be back where we started. McKinley's win at Riverside kept them a quick-step a head.

4. St. Joe's (19-4) [1] -- Loss at Canisius was understandable if not expected. The loss at St. Francis -- at home -- is what drags them down here. Based on what teams had done against St. Francis, it's probably the worst loss among the top eight large schools. All year we've marveled at how Joe's came together quicker than we thought and were so solid game-after-game. Timing is bad for Joe's, intriguing for Manhattan Cup fans. As we've said all year, it should be quite the tournament.

5. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (15-9) [5] -- They just lost in OT to No. 1, they beat St. Francis twice by 20-plus. Enough blabber about losses only get you so far. They play in a super-tough league and they've shown their level of play is better than the teams listed below. The loss at home to St. Mary's was because St. Mary's is one of the best teams in WNY, period.

6. Jamestown (16-2) [6] -- Loss at Frontier sign of trouble? Or one that prompts a postseason focus that takes them to a third straight AA title?

7. Kenmore West (16-2) [7] -- Not the greatest opponents in WNY, but they head into the playoffs with dominant showings against Ken East and Nichols.

8. Riverside (14-4) [8] -- Wanted to put them higher after a good fight against McKinley, just nowhere to go with them. 

9. Hutch-Tech (12-6) [9] -- We stuck with our previous No. 9 ...

10. Frontier (15-3) [10] -- ... and No. 10. Williamsville South, Amherst, East Aurora among those who just might end up here.

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Olean (17-1) [1] -- Wire to wire in regular season.

2. St. Mary's (18-6) [3] -- Another edition of back to where we started. A win like the one they had over Walsh -- not to mention the follow-up blowout on the road at Newfane -- deserves the No. 2 spot, although it seems many disagree.

3. OTC Middle College (15-3) [4] -- Big favorites in C. I just think St. Mary's is better all-around. 

4. Archbishop Walsh (17-5) [2] -- St. Mary's won going away despite Ryan Whelpley almost being able to score at will. 

5. MST Seneca (15-3) [5] -- Loss to OTC no reason to move them.

6. Depew (12-6) [6] -- Phew, the Wildcats must be saying, now we get to be a small school playing other small schools.

7. Tonawanda (17-1) [7] -- Nice finish after the Cleve Hill loss. 

8. Silver Creek (17-1) [8] -- Standout season, one in which I've had them as No. 2 in CCAA. We'll see what the playoffs deliver.

9. East (9-9) [NR] -- Win over Bennett team that beat Hutch-Tech part of a good finish to the season. Along with Depew, Panthers will make B-1 verrrrrry interesting.

10. City Honors (12-6) [NR] -- Centaurs' season sweep over I-Prep earns them this spot while Newfane also drops out.

The rest of the small school top 35, NOT in order: Panthers, Presidents, Cleve Hill, Dunkirk (home-and-homes with Eden and Lake Shore as four of six nonleaguers make theirs, I think, the worst schedule among teams that have even been considered for a vote in either poll), Maple Grove, Wilson, CSAT, Randolph, Portville, Westfield, Akron, Emerson, Oracle Charter, Panama, Allegany-Limestone, Clymer, Roy-Hart, Sherman, Cassadaga Valley, Alden, Burgard, Lackawanna, Holland, Barker, Fredonia.

Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below and our weekly chat is here Wednesday evening.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Canisius' win over St. Joe's among many videos to review

The best boys basketball of this week will take place with Quarterfinal Friday in Section VI and Saturday's quarterfinals in the Manhattan Cup.

If you're starved until then, you can watch Canisius' win over St. Joe's (including a tremendous broadcast with John Murphy & Jack Armstrong) here:

Watch live streaming video from canisiushighschool at livestream.com

Plus, you can review a ton of video from the final week of the regular season here at the blog. There's PrepTalkTV's most recent episode from the final major day of the season, along with highlights and interviews from wins by Kenmore West, St. Mary's and East Aurora. Check 'em out by just scrolling down on the home page of the blog.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

@KeithMcSheaBN | kmcshea@buffnews.com

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