By Miguel Rodriguez
Clarence meets defending Federation (Section VI) Large School hockey champion Niagara-Wheatfield in the first of three games here today at First Niagara Center.
The Federation Small School Final is supposed to start at 6 p.m. and feature West Seneca West against Williamsville East. The Niagara Cup Final, formerly known as Federation Catholic Playoff final, starts at 8 p.m. or so featuring Bishop Timon against St. Joe's.
CLARENCE vs. NIAGARA-WHEATFIELD
N-W needs just 51 seconds to take 1-0 lead. Frank Vecchio II knocks in own rebound following a transition rush off Red Devils' neutral zone turnover.
On power play, Clarence ties it at 1 with 8:11 left on goal by Matt Colicchia.
Just 31 seconds later, N-W strikes again. Justin Durkee's change up from slot slips past Clarence goalie Devin Paluh. N-W leads, 2-1.
With 4:11 left in period, Anthony Merante finishes off 2 on 1 rush with goal for N-W to make it 3-1. Domenic Senese made nice pass on belly while being knocked down by backchecker to keep scoring chance alive. N-W leads, 3-1
Senese scores with 12.4 seconds left to make it 4-1 N-W.
After one period, Niagara-Wheatfield leads 4-1.
Observations: Clarence goalie has given up a couple he'd like back (perhaps jitters of being in the final and in First Niagara Center). This is Clarence's first final, while N-W has already won two titles and this is its fourth final appearance. Can't discount past experience being in this game.
We'll be back in a few.
Wow, computer freeze and unwanted update installation on reboot causes some problems I apologize for but in any event, Clarence had a couple chances early in period and didn't cash. Now Niagara-Wheatfield has blown it wide open, so much so that the N-W faithful began a goal-count chant similar to those rare times when the Sabres win on home ice in blow-out fashion.
With 7:41 left, Matt Paonessa scores on PP for N-W to make it 5-1.
Just 48 seconds later, Domenic Senese scores his second of the game with a nifty redirection of a pass into the goal-mouth area by Matthew Peters.
With 5:11 left, on another power play, Senese completes the hat trick knocking in a pass in the blue paint from Vecchio to make it 7-1 N-W.
End of period, Niagara-Wheatfield is just 15 minutes away from another coronation as it leads Clarence 7-1.
N-W is just trying to steer the bus into the garage nice and safely.
With 4:15 left, N-W fans start doing the Na, Na, good-bye serenade.
With 3:50 left, Clarence's Frank Willhauck scores to cut N-W lead to 7-2.
Niagara-Wheatfield wins its second straight title, this time by 7-2 score. Falcons will face Section IV champion Ithaca in state quarterfinal on Saturday at Northtown Center in Amherst.
taggedClarence | Hockey | Niagara-Wheatfield