Weekly Feature



2017-01-12 / Sports

Girls hockey team continues hot streak

Sports Reporter
TAYLOR NIGRELLI

The wins keep on coming for the Orchard Park/Frontier/ Lake Shore girls hockey team. The team now sits in second place in the Western New York Girls Ice Hockey Federation with a 9-2 record and 27 points accumulated after three more big wins.

Just before the Christmas break, the team took on traditional power Kenmore/Grand Island and came away with a 4-2 victory.

“That was a solid team win,” Orchard Park/Lake Shore/Frontier assistant coach Lucian Forcucci said. “The game was a good effort from top to bottom. All the lines were hustling and playing well. It was a solid victory.”

On Jan. 2, the team took on Amherstandcameoutofitwith a 3-1 win. The top defensive pairing helped key the victory.

“They have a really talented first line,” Forcucci said. “They have the top two scorers in the league. It was a good game. I think we held the lead the entire game, which is important when you’re playing a team as talented as them. Brooke Becker and Tori Mariano matched up against the top line and did a great job neutralizing them. To be able to hold them to one goal was a good team effort. Offensively, our top two lines did a great job and we just ended up getting more goals than them.”

The next day the team blew the doors off Lancaster/ Iroquois/

Depew with an 8-1 victory. Puck movement and communication helped the girls get the victory.

“They’re a young team and they’re in a little bit of a rebuilding phase,” Forcucci said. “Our girls are veterans and most of them have been with us for a while. That makes a big difference. The girls did a lot of communicating with each other in this game. They moved the puck up and down the ice well. Most of our goals were assisted, so we were passing the puck well. It was a nice win; that’s the type of hockey we expect them to play.”

This is among the best starts the team has had, driven partially by the addition of the Kromer sisters (Emily and Mary) from Lake Shore.

“I wouldn’t say we expected to be this good in the offseason,” Forcucci said. “About two weeks before the season, we found out we were adding Lake Shore. We knew there were a few talented girls there. We hadn’t seen them yet, though. On the first day of tryouts, the pace and the talent the girls had were apparent. We knew we had something special. We knew we could compete.”

Another key to the team’s success in the first half of the season has been the work of new volunteer assistant coach Chelsea Hausberger. She’s a former member of the team who played at the college level.

“She played for us when we won sectionals the first year we had a team. She went and played four years at Cortland and now she’s back as an assistant coach,” Forcucci said. “She’s really done a great job at helping keep the girls focused and disciplined. She’s a good role model, she played college hockey and knows what it takes to get to that level. She keeps the forward lines engaged and makes sure they’re communicating with each other.”

Going forward, the team is focused on improving the finer aspects of the game to be able to compete with the top teams in the league.

“Now that we’re getting near the end of the season, we need to make sure we get some little things done, so we can improve enough to get decent position for the playoffs,” Forcucci said. “We’re going to play Monsignor Martin or Williamsville at some point come playoff time, so we have to be ready. Anyone can play with anyone. We’re just trying to get over the hump so we can beat some great teams.”

email: tnigrelli@beenews.com

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