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State hockey final quick hits: Williamsville North 3, Pittsford 2

Williamsville North is the top public schools hockey team in the state for the first time in six years.

The Spartans defeated Pittsford of Section V, 3-2, in Sunday afternoon's New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association Division I final before an estimated 2,000 at the HarborCenter.

Goals from Brett Sardina, Andrew Bruno and Adam Batz provided the offense North needed to win its fifth state title under longtime coach Bob Rosen – but first since 2011.

The Spartans (21-4) outshot a Pittsford crew that tried to win its first title, 31-15.

Connor Haims and John Mozrall scored for the Panthers (20-4-1), who scored first and last in the championship game – but failed to convert a few golden chances in between as Will North became the second straight Section VI team to win the state title before the home folks since the NYSPHSAA moved the final four to Buffalo.

Bruno earned MVP honors, while goalie Jake Zurat earned All-Tournament team honors, along with defenseman Matt Jeffries and forward Adam Batz.

Fast start: In the opening minutes, Pittsford did an effective job clogging the neutral zone, pinning the Spartans on their side of the red line. It resulted in a goal just 2:52 in as Connor Haims provided the screen and redirected a quick point shot from John Avery past Zurat.

North rebounds: That goal seemed provided a jolt to North as it generated offense, although it scored off a missed opportunity by Pittsford. After the Panthers failed to connect on a rush, the Spartans went the other way with Brett Sardina scoring off a wrister from the right wing with 5:49 left in the first. The shot beat goaltender William Hernes high, glove side as a defenseman attempted to block the shot with his stick just as Sardina released it.

North took a 2-1 lead roughly 2 minutes later on a power-play strike from Andrew Bruno, who stood backdoor and converted a feed from Anthony Trigilio.

Batz man: The Spartans had several great chances to increase their lead during the middle period but Hernes or his best friend, the goal post, denied them for most of the frame. That changed when Adam Batz's wrister from near the right wall off the rush with 37.1 seconds left slipped between his pads as North led 3-1 through 30 minutes.

The goal held up as the championship-clinching goal -- the third such goal of his career. He scored game-winners each of the past two years in the Section VI final.

Division II champion: I-Pelham crushed X-St. Lawrence, 7-1, scoring five times in the third period. Stefan Miklakos recorded three goals and two assists for the Pelicans (22-1), who outshot their foe 43-7 and became just the second Section I team to win a state title. They join Mamaroneck, who did it in the Division I bracket last season.

St. Lawrence finished 21-3-1.

Next: Offseason for both teams.

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