Cheektowaga, Orchard Park, Hutch-Tech and Niagara-Wheatfield all scored repeat victories in the Super Sunday XXII Western New York High School Club Hockey Championships at HSBC Arena.
Cheektowaga hammered Depew, 5-1, to win the the Western New York High School League small school championship.
Cheektowaga jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Jim Wolcott. Depew's Bobby Felber knotted the score at 1-1 early in the second period. The Warriors then struck for three goals -- by Matt Bessing, Jared Fischer (short-handed) and Chris Wesolowski -- to take a 4-1 advantage. Rob Szymkowiak added the fifth goal in the third period for the Warriors' third consecutive Super Sunday title.
Depew wore black ribbons in honor of the late William George Sr. The father of player Billy George died Saturday. The 46-year-old hockey dad collapsed and died in his driveway while firefighters were putting out a fire at the family's home.
"I just skated as hard as I could for him," said George of his dad. "All the players did their best for him too. At times it was kind of sad out there. My dad was set to come out for this game and I wanted him to. It was major to have my teammates with me and all the coaches and the other fathers supporting me. It took a lot of the pressure off me."
"He was a very kind person," said Depew coach Greg Kensy. "His main concern yesterday was to take care of his family and unfortunately the excitement got to him and I think he was overcome by the excitement of the firemen outside. It's just sad."
Orchard Park defenseman Dan Andol's overtime goal lifted the Quakers to a 3-2 win over West Seneca East in the Southtowns Club Hockey League championship game. It was Orchard Park's eighth straight Super Sunday championship.
It took Andol quite a while to find out that he was awarded the game-winner. The original goal was credited by the referee to Quaker forward Mike Schoell. However, Schoell was not on the ice at the time of the goal.
A visit to the locker room afterward to unravel the mystery confirmed that Schoell was not on the ice and found his teammate Andol proclaiming that he fired the winning shot.
"After the goal the referees came up to me on the bench and asked me if I knew who got the goal," Schoell said. "Both of them didn't see it and I was looking around and asking people. . . . I was on the bench, however, when it was scored."
"Tim Klein won the faceoff and the puck was rolling and I took the shot and it went in," said Andol. "It bounced and went in. Mike wasn't on the ice but the goal was scored."
West Seneca East forced overtime with Kevin Harris' goal with 42.1 seconds left in regulation. The Quakers earlier got goals from Justin Gunn-Taylor and Kyle Couell. Andy Schwert also scored for West Seneca East.
Hutch-Tech won its third consecutive Buffalo Explorer Hockey League title, edging McKinley, 2-1. Hutch-Tech senior forward John Ennis netted a goal and an assist, to Patrick Garry. Sean Rogan scored for McKinley.
"It gets more exciting every year," said Ennis, the Hutch-Tech captain. "It's a great feeling, especially this one because it was a real close game and I give all the credit in the world to McKinley. They stuck in there with us."
Niagara-Wheatfield won its second straight Western New York High School League large school championship, beating Jamestown, 4-1.
Kevin Ogiba gave the Falcons a 1-0 first period lead but Jamestown's Brandon Horn tied the score late in the period. Matt Beamish, Nick Melligan and Ogiba finished the scoring.
Four-game total attendance was 2,980.