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Massena Skates To Final Four

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Massena Central earned a return trip to the Division I semi-finals while Norwood-Norfolk fell short of gaining a first-ever bid to the Division II final four in the quarterfinals of their respective NYSPHSAA playoffs on Saturday night.

Massena 5, Monroe-Woodbury 1: At the Sport-O-Rama Rink in Monsey, the Raiders (17-5-1) worked their way to a 2-1 lead through the first two periods before breaking open a close game with three goals in the first 5:35 of the third as they advanced past the uncontested Section 9 champion Crusaders in the first round of the state tournament for the second year in a row.

“We played a great first period but we let off a bit in the second and they really came at us. Fortunately, we were able to survive. We worked on getting the kids refocused for the third period and they came out and played the way we’re capable of playing,” said coach Mike Trimboli afterward.

The Raiders now get set to take on Section 5 champion Fairport in the state semi-finals next Saturday at 12:30 p.m at the Utica Aud. Fairport advanced by outlasting Section 3 champion West Genesee 1-0 in another opening round matchup on Saturday.

In the win over Monroe-Woodbury (5-8-4), the Raiders built a 2-0 lead in the first period when freshman Wyatt Wilmshurst finished off a play by sophomore linemates Jordan Robert and Patrick Manning at the 6:12 mark. Defenseman Devin Page tallied the eventual game-winner with 56 seconds left in the opening frame when he stepped into a pass back to the blueline by senior Ryan Thomas and blistered a low shot from the point through traffic and into the back of the net. Both Massena goals came while Monroe-Woodbury was being whistled for a delayed penalty.

After being outshot 13-2 in the first period, the Crusaders regrouped to outplay the Raiders for the majority of the second and got on the board at the 6:52 mark when Nick Pelosi converted from Joe Cromwell and Chris Carey.

“We knew coming into the game that Monroe-Woodbury was a very hard-working team and they showed that in the second period,” Trimboli noted. “We got away from our game plan but (netminder) Connor Paquin came up with some big saves for us and we were able to hold the lead going into the third.”

Whatever the Raiders lacked in the second period, they more than made up for in the opening stages of the third period where they broke the game open. Junior Dylan Stone made it 3-1 just 27 seconds into the final frame when he knocked home a rebound through a scramble. Senior Tyler Young and sophomore Ben Sprague combined to set up the third Massena goal. Junior Evan Kassian then connected off a pass from senior Ryan Thomas at the 3:19 mark before Manning capped the scoring 76 seconds later when he converted on a lead pass from Wilmshurst.

Paquin made nine of his 16 saves in the middle frame en route to backstopping the win while Ryan Fischer turned aside 30 shots in the losing cause.

“During the second intermission we talked about regaining our composure and getting back to playing our style of hockey,” Trimboli said. “I’m just very proud of the way our guys pulled together and got the job done in the third period.”

Webster-Schroeder 6, N-N 5: At the Webster Arena, the visiting Icemen fell behind 3-0 by the end of the first period but twice battled back to make it a one-goal game before falling short of their bid to earn their first trip to Utica.

“We got off a to a slow start but our kids worked hard and battled back to make it a game. We represented Section 10 very well,” noted coach Paul Durant after his squad closed out the 2013-14 season at 17-5.

“This was heartbreaking tonight but our kids had a great season and they have a lot to be proud of this year,” he added.

The Warriors (17-7-1) got on the board just 3:17 into the game on a goal by Ryan Winn. They went ahead 2-0 at the 13:20 mark on a goal by Matt Harris then took a three-goal lead just 13 seconds later when Joe Schuler broke through for the first of his three goals.

The Icemen got on the board 20 second into the second period when junior Zeb Brown connected from freshman Kaden Pickering. Schuler made it 4-1 at the 12:26 mark before the Icemen generated some late-period momentum, cutting the deficit to 4-3 when Pickering finished off a play set up by Brown and freshman Zeb Zagrobelney at 13:06 and Brown connected from sophomore Shane Cryderman with 30 seconds remaining.

Matt Montgomery made it 5-3 at 3:44 of the third period. The Icemen pulled back to within one three minutes later when Pickering scored from Brown and Brandin Cousineau but the Warriors countered just 17 seconds later when Schuler completed his hattrick with what turned out to be the game-winner.

Junior Tristen Harvey made it a one-goal margin with 11 seconds left in regulation assisted by Brown and Pickering.

Junior Brandon Richards turned aside 16 shots working the N-N crease until giving up the final goal midway through the third period. Senior Kyler MacIntire came on and stopped the four shots he faced the rest of the way. Ryan Deutel made 18 saves backstopping the win.

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